The Broke-chanic

I’ve come a long way when it comes to being a handyman around our house. A few years ago, if I told my family I was going to repair something, they would moan and groan. The reason for that is obvious: I made things worse than they already were.

It’s like when I was in woodshop at Wahiawa Intermediate School. Our project was to build a birdhouse. When I brought my little project home, both my parents tried to enroll me in remedial carpentry. They also threw the birdhouse away so I wouldn’t be charged with animal cruelty.

Now envision that birdhouse to be my house today, the difference being that I have now invested hundreds of dollars in tools. After much practice, to the disappointment of my family but to the delight of the professional repair company, I think I’ve finally nailed the process, no pun intended.

Last week my mom asked if I would install a screen door on our garage. Although my wife and daughter did the synchronized eye roll thing, I was ready to prove to my mom that I had graduated from the birdhouse school of home repair. I heeded the old carpenter rule, “Measure twice, cut once.” My own version of that is: “Measure 73 times, cut once but keep the receipt.”

So I purchased the screen door, hacksawed the hinge frame to the proper length, installed the hinges and prepped the door latch. When I went to hang the door, it was blatantly the wrong size. The door frame width was 32 inches; the door I bought was 36. I couldn’t understand how I screwed that up, no pun intended. I didn’t want to vindicate my wife and daughter, so I tried to sneak out with the door to exchange it.

Sensing my failure, they stopped me and asked where I was going. With a straight face I replied, “They sold me a defective door. This one opens inward, I need one that opens outward.”

My wife, who knows me like a book, said, “You bought the wrong size, didn’t you?”

As I tried to walk away I replied, “Hey, stop drilling me!”

No pun intended.