Monday, July 20, 2009
The Man’s Man and the Modern Man
Men from generations past are much different than the ones today.
For example, my Dad was a mixture of Dwayne F. Schneider , Rambo, and MacGyver. He could fix just about anything with duct tape, the Swiss army knife on his key chain, and if needed the clothes on his back.
One time our car broke down and he used his own belt to substitute the broken engine belt. It lasted just long enough to go get ice cream and then pull into the car shop – our garage.
He looked down on people that used things like, AAA, power tools, mechanics, air-conditioning, or bottled water ("use the water hose!")
Now that I’m older and a Dad, well I get pretty excited when I can hang a picture on the wall straight. And I do it only so I can use the leveler app on my iPhone. I love that app. And I love my friends at AAA.
I’m not anywhere near as handy as my Dad especially given my track record the past few years – fixing that broken toilet (story link here) which is still kind of broken but I’ve learned to live with the hissing. And the time I changed the oil in my car (story link here) with assistance.
My iPhone now has a pretty good handyman on voice controlled speed dial. I programmed it - wait for the beep and say “iPhone, get me the handyman on the phone… now!” and it does. And then I say, “Now continue playing more Depeche Mode songs” and it does.
My daughter just got a bike for her birthday and the little girl next door got one on the same weekend too. So two other Dads’ and me were outside on the driveway trying to put these things together with no luck for about an hour. Why 1,200 pieces is beyond me! They might as well just pack the box with raw sheet metal, flower stickers, and pink paint.
Anyhow there we all were, me with my iPhone looking up the manufactures website to send a complaint email, and the other guys with all sorts of tools spread out all over the ground. Some still in fancy cases all shiny and new, perfectly organized by size, make, and color.
After I sent my complaint email, I looked up and realized how mortified my Father would have been if he were around.
“What's wrong with all of you!? AND with tools that are organized and NOT just thrown in a paper bags and jars? Bunch of communists!”
He probably would have run us all over in his 1978 truck still being held together with a roll of duct tape.
I felt ashamed.
Ashamed for not knowing what to do. Ashamed for not paying attention more to my Dad when I was growing up. Ashamed that these guys were my neighbors. Ashamed that my child is growing up without a Dad that can to put a simple 1,200 piece bicycle together in 12 minutes flat like the instructions say it should. Ashamed because the happy little girl pictured on the box probably has a Dad that put that bike together with raw sheet metal and pink paint in his sleep.
“Stop!” I yelled to the other guys. Then after the beep I shouted, “iPhone, get me the handyman on the phone… now!”