Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Handyman

Of all the books I've read and reviewed over the past six months, Super Sneaky Uses for Everyday Things, by Cy Tymony (Andrews McMeel, 2011) was the most ingenious and fun.  Although I've written a formal review of the book, I thought I would offer a few more personal (and warped) insights here.

Essentially, Mr. Tymony is a modern-day Inspector Gadget.  His series of books highlights his sweeping knowledge of paper clips, batteries, coins, rubber bands, duct tape, and a catch-all-drawer approach to creating all manner of fun toys and novelties using discarded items from around the house.  I love this stuff!

I am, however, much too mechanically-challenged or technologically-deficient to do anything about it.  Although I have figured out other uses for rubber bands (binding a bag of potato chips, for example), I have yet to attempt any of the novelties Mr. Tymony outlines.

My wife complains about my lack of handyman skills all the time.  I do remind her, however, that I am handy in other ways . . . ways that she, quite frankly, refuses to acknowledge.  While I maintain that I am, and will continue to be, her handyman . . . she merely sees a harried Hamburger Helper cook who retreats from the stove to write romance poetry (which I hand over with the romantic pick-up line:  "How about them apples, baby?!").

True, I do not know how to relight the pilot light on the water heater (although there is a button that says "Press Here to Light Pilot"). And it is true that I have not changed the oil in a car since I was sixteen years old and nearly suffocated in 40-weight.  And it is equally valid that, when it comes time to changing a light bulb, I need to ask the personnel at Lowe's to give me a refresher course on how to do it.

Nevertheless, I recoil at the thought that I am not handy around the house.  Mr. Tymony has helped me discover a few new uses for pipe cleaners.  And I also maintain that there is something handy about having a man around the house who can write a 1000 word essay about Egg Drop Soup in under 30 minutes.

I'm handy, all right.  I'd love to know how long it took Mr. Tymony to write his book.  I'll bet I could have written it in 1/3 the time.  Sometimes, when I'm in the zone and typing, my fingers are a blur and it takes fifteen minutes for my thoughts to catch up to my hands.

Handy?  I'd say so.

Next week, I plan to discover ten new uses for ordinary typing paper.  I've already started working on several origami patterns.  I've got airplane designs, too.  And, if we suddenly ran out of toilet paper . . . .

No comments: