Strange thing, life. (Your life may vary.) If I were still working at my old school there’s a good chance I’d have been on the senior trip this weekend. Senior Trip last year was fun, if your idea of fun is keeping two rival high schools from rumbling is fun. But I did get to sit in a hallway until 4am and almost died playing paint ball on a glacier, so I guess everything is relative.
Not being at the old place anymore has definite pros and cons.
- Longer commute
- Less familiarity with students and staff
- Not involved with school events
- Not working with friends
- Not working on yearbook
- Not going on Senior Trip
- My new school is not closing down
Well, in all honesty, if I were back there I’d like to have gone, if only to see if the burger guy Kathy almost got fired last year is still there. At any rate, I’m OK with not going, but life being the cosmic game of “shit” that it is, kept throwing it back in my face. For example: On Friday, I found out, my new school also had their senior trip (I am sick of capitalizing that.) I had no idea it was coming, nor do I even know where they went. This is because not only do I not teach seniors, but I am also extremely dense. I found out about the senior trip when my period four class asked me “what are you doing here, you’re supposed to be on the senior trip?”. News to me. All I know is, the COSA (not to be confused with LA COSA NOSTRA, trust me, I made that near-fatal mistake) told some kids that I was going. Again, news to me. Needless to say, if you haven’t already figured it out, I did not go. I am fairly certain that I wasn’t supposed to. I think.
Then I found out that my old colleague and general partner-in-complaints Michelle is on the senior trip with her school. If somehow Michelle and Liz are on the same dude ranch, and my school is there without me, I will be pissed. Like I said, Life is a big game of “shit.”
But I made up for it. I went to one of my favorite places, one which, in fact, inspired a couple of good blogs. (I know what you’re thinking, smart-alec, yes I do have a couple of good ones.)
I went to Home Depot.
(Full Disclosure- I did not go to Home Depot. I actually went to Lowe’s, which, other than being blue instead of orange, and slightly brighter, is EXACTLY THE SAME as Home Depot. And right across the street. Please direct all complaints to the Editors_of_Mr._Blogs_Tepid_Ride@who_cares.com)
Buying hardware is a man thing. Oh sure, women buy hardware. We even let them in the stores. But like peeing on a campfire and punching out rednecks, it’s a guy thing. I was there to buy a washing machine. Major appliance. Measuring involved, plumbing, (and here you can imagine me hitching up my tool belt), and tools.
Now, I’ve had trouble at Home Depot in the past. One time they sold out of the advertised cordless drill the day before the sale began. Another time a salesman tried to sell me some 3/4? sheet metal screws when I knew damn well I needed 5/8. And, infamously, I was unable to buy a knob for my air conditioner, thus setting me on a trip to Boro Park. Forearmed and forewarned, I didn’t go to the store nearby.
I went to the one under the Gowanus. “Gowanus” is an old Indian word for “Hey Chief, that overpass is about to rust apart.” It is a really crappy area. Remember the part of Goodfellas where Jimmy the Gent tries to get Karen to go into his warehouse to get some swag, where he would most likely have whacked her? It was filmed one block over. I have some “cool” (an old Indian word meaning “bad”) pictures of me sneering like De Niro and pointing to the warehouse. I figured that a neighborhood of seedy warehouses over a slimy creek and under an elevated train near the waterfront is about as manly as it gets. It even had an element of danger. I might have been bothered by one of the drunks hovering suspiciously close to my car.
Inside the store I first saw a large display of leaf blowers. Damn they were nice. This model had an extra tank for gas storage and a pair of attachments for stubborn or wet leaves. I got as far as trying one on until I remembered that I live in an apartment and moved on to the emergency generators.
No matter what store I am in, if they sell flashlights, that’s the aisle you can find me in. I’ve got three mini-maglites (the creme de la creme of mini lights) and flashlights that have tripods, rubberized coatings, flexible arms, and even ones that crank instead of using batteries in case The Reckoning leaves me behind. So of course I put a Black and Decker gooseneck work light in my wagon.
After handling every torque wrench and comparing dry wall screws I moved on to the appliances and reflected that, had I handled the merchandise the same way in, say, a lingerie store, I may have been asked to leave.
I went over to the salesman and saw that he was about 90 years old and wearing a tool belt with grease stains older than the Shroud of Turin. Good. This guy should know what he was talking about. And he did. Our conversation was peppered with terms like “thermal mesh,” “brass sheet knurling,” and even one “other big puss salesmen in the electrical department.” Man-type conversation.
I bought a washer and was actually happy that it didn’t come with some hoses that common sense just screams that a washer should come with. Happy? Sure. I got to buy some stuff in the plumbing aisle, which is probably the aisle that over the years I’ve bought the least from. I have to point out, for honesty’s sake (a first for this blog) that all you need to hook up a washer is a Y-hose, faucet hose, and a couple of screw-on attachments. In fact, not a single tool is needed. But just in case, I bought a plumber’s wrench, wire cutters, and knee pads.
Delivery won’t be until next week because the washer wasn’t in stock. Damn Home Depot. (Lowe’s.)
Back out in the parking lot I made it my car without one of the drunks asking me for change. Good thing too, because I wasn’t afraid to swing my new plumber’s wrench.
While it was no trip to the dude ranch, I got just as much enjoyment out of the hardware store. Probably even more, when you consider that I didn’t have to worry about any kids getting kicked by a horse.
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Thanks again to BMJ2k, for allowing me access to his wordsmithing.