Posted 12-02-2004 at 12:59:33
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There is no more miserable inside task than hanging drywall. That includes plumbing, electric work and laying ceramic tile.
A sad fact of my existence on this earth, is that I never have the proper tool handy when I need it. As a result I have become a master at using different objects.
I have driven home nails with rocks, bricks, socket wrenches, screwdrivers and the list goes on and on. The sad truth is, I would rather improvise than be bothered to go fetch a hammer. Or any other tool really for that matter.
I have pulled nails out of the wall with forks, and put bicycles together with butter knives. I have held plumbing together with duct tape, and used a pair of pantyhose once to replace an alternator belt. Truth is, if thereís a way to MacGuyver something, I will find it.
One weekend Fred and I were hanging drywall on the ceiling of the bedroom at our old house. We were standing on ladders, holding this crap up and then screwing it in with the screw gun. We were using a large rubber hammer to tap in stubborn corners. Fred made the mistake of leaving me alone to hold a piece of drywall while he ran to fetch more screws. There was one of those Ďstubborn cornersí on my side.
"See if you can knock that in before I get back." He indicated the stuck corner on his way out the door.
What neither he nor I realized, was that the rubber hammer was five feet away on the floor. The only thing available to me was the screw gun. I glanced at it nervously, knew it was wrong, but my arms were starting to feel like lead weights and my legs felt worse and I was not ready to let down the drywall I was holding, climb down off the ladder, retrieve the rubber hammer, come all the way back, and then bully that piece of drywall back into place. No way.
I studied the screw gun. It was a Sears Craftsman. It can take it, I thought. I underestimated two things. The speed which a man will travel when he suspects that one of his tools is being mishandled, and the softness of the sheet rock. I grabbed the drill and gave the sheet rock a few quick taps. Somehow, due to his psychic connection to this appliance, he knew.
"Youíre not hammering with my DRILL are you?"
This from way in the back of the house.
I could hear him quickening his pace as he returned with the screws. He came around the corner just as I got the drill back to itís place. He not only suspected, but wanted to catch me, so he must have run the last twenty feet or so.
"Well" I said sarcastically. "What do YOU think? Give me a little credit!" I spat, drumming up all the confidence I didnít feel, and projecting it in my voice with as much legitimacy as possible.
For a moment he bought the bluff and then his eyes narrowed as he studied the drywall. He lifted the drill up and held it to the drywall like a police detective offering evidence at a murder trial.
"See how the drill case fits right into those new grooves there in the drywall?"
"Your POINT?" I demanded.
"Looks to me like you can lie like a rug when you need to." He said pursing his lips.
The only thing left for me to do was try another bluff.
"What kind of person measures drywall grooves?" I said, letting as much fury creep into my voice as possible.
"The kind whose seen his wife hammer with channel locks, pliers, hunks of cinderblocks and so on when we have claw, sledge, ball peen and about every other type of hammer imaginable right in the tool shed. Thatís what kind."
He had me dead to rights. I wasnít getting anywhere with defense so I switched to attack mode.
"Well if you hadnít left me here without the rubber hammer I wouldnít have been forced to do such a thing."
He mulled this over for a moment.
"If this doesnít work" he jiggled the tool for emphasis, "youíre going to be in big trouble."
"Oh, what," I said sarcastically, "youíre going to send me OUT of my room? Not let me hang anymore drywall? Boo.....hoo."
There was dead silence as he lifted the tool, placed his finger over the trigger and pushed. Nothing. Just a click. I gasped, started to reel, almost fell off the ladder. The he grinned this evil little grin.
"I had it set halfway between forward and reverse." He flipped a switch, depressed the trigger and the drill hummed per normal.
"Youuu...jeeerrkkk!" I hissed, blinking back tears. He just shrugged.
"Itís Sears Craftsman," he said " it can take it. But donít let it happen again."
Did I learn anything? Nope. I still never have the proper tool when I need it.