Monday, October 10, 2011

Handy is as handy does, sir

I'm not a handy man. Or should that be, handyman? Either/or, I'm not one of them. Though I do agree that that might just be your definition of what, and how handy, a handyman should be.

I can do a few things. I can change a tap. I can change a tap washer. I can hang a door. I can change a flat tyre. I even once, with the help of a friend, stripped out the motor of my Toyota to change the head gasket. But I'm not, and never will be, what you'd call handy.

For all the stuff I've done, and can do, I've had help. I've watched someone, read about it, or been told how to do it. It's a bit like my cooking; I can do it from the recipe but I'm fairly hopeless just being given ingredients and told to make something.

I know people who can though. A friend of ours built their house. From the ground up. The only thing he didn't do was pour the concrete slab, initially. He did everything else though. From the framework, to the bricks, to putting in the windows and most of the plumbing/electricity. You still have to get these signed off by registered tradesmen but he still did 99% of the work. Just because he knew how. He read a little bit, was told a little bit but mostly, he knew what to do.

This, in my opinion, is the essence of the true handyman. The just knowing. Lady Hem wishes I was a handyman. She always wants to DIY. She's forever saying, "why don't we just knock out both walls and have a passageway through to the back? We can do it." And I look at her like she's just said let's perform open heart surgery on each other. What harm could it do? Naturally enough, I always say no. Because I'm NOT handy. Never will be. Something small, yes. But why, when there are perfectly good tradesmen around, should I be doing something that's going to cost three times as much if I haphazardly go at it? Especially when she thinks that DIY saves a fortune.

I'm not handy. And what's more, I really don't want to be. If you are, that's great. Maybe you could come and install some bi-fold windows for us?


Gorilla Bananas said...

I can't help you myself, but I know a team of chimpanzees who are pretty clever with their hands. That fellow who built his house must have had a lot of spare time on his hands. I think there are many good reasons for leaving such work to builders.

The Unbearable Banishment said...

My brother-in-law is a Renaissance man. He's a master chef AND he installed central air in his house. Can take an engine apart and reassemble it. I'm useless. The only thing I keep in my toolbox is a checkbook and a pen.

That stuff doesn't interest me, either. I barely qualify as a man.

tennysoneehemingway said...

GB: he did have plenty of time on his hands. And actually, his house is better than most builders have time to do, these days. He spent five years on it. And it's still not finished.

UB: Amen brother.