Hello, I’m Mr. Fudd.

Posted by admin on September 24, 2018 in Home Ownership |

I grew up on Saturday morning cartoons. It was the best day of the week and I anxiously awaited my favorites. I freely admit, the Warner Brothers Cartoons were my favorite. Hanna-Barbera was O.K., but it was hard to touch Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the cadre of characters that regularly paraded across my TV screen.

Yes, my TV screen. I had my own TV when I was still just a little kid. It’s one of the few perks of having a dad who repaired televisions and radios for a living. Inevitably, someone would want to trade their old TV in for a new one or simply decide to not pick up their TV because they couldn’t pay the repair bill. These TVs would then trickle down through the family, with me being the youngest, getting the last of the castoffs.

No matter. The TV was my gateway to hilarity. Sure, I liked the Jetsons, but give me Foghorn Leghorn or Wile E. Coyote and I was in heaven.

Now, I know that these cartoons are pretty sanitized for today’s audiences. The coyote isn’t shown falling all the way to his death because some child psychologists figured out that a child might want to emulate them.

Right. I knew that hitting your thumb with a hammer hurt like hell as a kid. I sure as hell knew that jumping off the roof, let alone a cliff, meant a quick trip to the hospital or the morgue.

That said, it didn’t mean that I didn’t willingly take risks as a younger version of me. I mean, I used to scurry up and down the ladder all day long as I tested G.I. Joe parachutes out from the roof of my house. I had no fear of such silly things as falling. I was, after all, invincible as a kid.

This invincibility continued well into my mid 30s. I would regularly undertake such ill-advised projects as rewiring wall sockets or tearing the subfloor out of my girlfriend’s kitchen. I loved rip and tear, with its powerful saws and sledgehammers.

Yes, I was a bit reckless back in the day. I would scurry up almost any ladder or attempt any home repair, even though I was not gifted with any mechanical or electrical aptitude, that DNA going to my brothers.

I was also, somewhat ironically, afraid of heights and falling. I’m still not sure why I attempted those things, except to say that in your youth you are Wile E. Coyote, tapping into the Acme catalog for all sorts of do-it-yourself projects and exotic tools, some of which should have required extensive training and even a license to let a casual weekender like me touch them.

Thankfully, I made it through this period of my life. I had a few Wile E. Coyote moments for sure, not the least of which was a half dozen nails driven through various body parts, along with enough X-acto blade cuts to please Jack the Ripper.

These days, I’m more careful. I’m more like Elmer Fudd than the Coyote. As I sit here writing this blog, I’m looking up at the metal plate on my living room ceiling. I know there’s wiring under it. I know there must have been a ceiling fan up there at one time. I know that there needs to be one there again. In my younger days, I installed a ceiling fan. I could install this ceiling fan. But I’m not going to because I am now Elmer Fudd, not Wile E. Coyote.

There are people who do these things for a living. There always have been. But back in the day, I wanted to save a buck or two. Contractors and home repair people cost money. I wanted to keep my money, so I did it myself.

Yes, I often fixed it worse as my stories go. But I’ve had enough successes to still give me the misguided belief that I can still do these things. Famously, I managed to not only install a new dishwasher in our new home, but a section of subfloor as well to raise it to its correct height.

I was lucky. I have a window that leaks now. It’s a big picture window. One pane of the double-pain window was broken, so whoever “remodeled” this house tried to fix it. It just needs to be replaced.

I’ve gone so far as to watch a YouTube video or two on how to do this. It looks pretty straightforward, I tell myself. Remove some framing and flashing, pull the old window out and slap in a new one. Simple.

For others. To me, opening a big hole up in my house would be akin to me slicing my belly open to remove my appendix. It’s just not natural. This is what professionals are for, I tell myself, even though professionals is actually spelled profe$$ional$ in my own world. Getting that window replaced will cost me as much in labor as it does in materials.

Oh, to be Wile E. Coyote again. I would wait for my Acme Window to arrive via Fed Ex, open up the overly complex instructions, watch helplessly as they blow away in a gust of wind halfway through the project, then improvise as I always do, using my duct tape and baling wire mentality.

Instead of hours, it would take days. In the meantime, the window would be covered with the standard issue blue tarp. Overnight, the raccoon would come in and help himself to anything in the refrigerator and days later, the window would finally be in.

Before Kat ever got home, I would have spackled over the gashes I put in the wall, chopped off the bent nail heads with my Dremel tool, scrubbed off all the caulking that had hardened on my hands and put everything back together, good as new.

She would be so proud of me, if for no other reason that I didn’t end up in the hospital. She would look at my handiwork, smile at me, and say, “Elmer, you did it again. The window’s upside down.”

In the Emerald City, getting the prybar out, which I keep right next to the Xanax,

  • Robb

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