With our updated ‘FAMILY’ set of photos hanging in the dining room, we decided to hang the older set up in the lounge room.
Well I decided to – as a surprise for Tracey while she was at work today.
Trouble is my tool kit is a little sparse on things like tools. It’s lacking a hammer, for example. In fact, it can hardly be called a ‘kit’ because the tools are kept in the junk draw with assorted pens, calculators, batteries, torches, chargers, recorder, GPS, pegs, sticky tape, door knobs, glue, sharpeners and, showing my age, a Sony walkman.
Let’s see, I thought to myself. A couple of screwdrivers. An adjustable thingame. A butter knife. A nut turner. Four retractable measuring tapes. I have lots of measuring tapes because I know it’s very important to measure things lots before you do anything. ‘Measure twice, cut once.’ Only it’s inevitably three measures for me because the first and second never seem to match up. Sadly though, there was nothing in the junk drawer to help me hang a few frames.
“What are you doing, Daddy?” asked Master7. He’d obviously heard me making noises in the kitchen and thought there might be food.
Pulling a kid’s recorder out of drawer, I answered him with a question of my own. “I don’t suppose you know where the hammer is?”
“Um….,” he said. My head shot up. He had that look of suddenly being trapped in my headlights.
“Mum says we’re not allowed to tell you!” he whined.
“Ah, well lets call her and get her permission,” I said, picking up the phone. “Hello Tracey? Daddy here. I need the hammer to put up some pictures. Yes. Yes. No, just the pictures. Who? Ah, okay, I’ll get him to fetch it for me, shall I? Great. Okay, love you too.” I put the phone back on its cradle and turned to my son. “Mum says it’s fine, mate. Just this once. Go grab it for me please.”
“I’m not stupid, Dad,” Master7 said, shaking his head and walking off. “You didn’t talk to Mum.” Damn. He’s got his mother’s smarts.
Thing is, now I knew the hammer was in the house – Tracey hadn’t sold it.
I started in Miss17’s room. We hardly ever go in there. An hour and several rooms later I had it. My devious wife had hidden it in the mop bucket – like I’d ever have reason to use the mop! Genius.
Only now Tracey was due home in only fifteen minutes. I quickly grabbed one of the measuring tapes and dropped the end behind the lounge. Two small pencil marks followed by a couple of small nails and the F was up. I moved onto the next letter and dropped the tape. Two pencil marks, two nails and I hung the A.
The top of the A was ten centimeters below the top of the F.
I squinted down behind the lounge. When I dropped the end of the tape measure when I was doing the F instead of going all the way to the carpet it came to rest on a damn kids toy. Forgot to measure twice, didn’t I.
I looked at my watch. Ten minutes.
Quickly weighing up the odds of me managing to correctly measure all six letters so the tops lined up I settled on a new strategy – an arty farty stepped look.
“What a great idea!” Tracey said when she arrived home a few minutes later. “I’d never have thought to do that.”
What can I say: I have a gift.
When not typing away over here and checking his stats every two minutes
Bruce Devereaux hangs out at his ‘BIG FAMILY little income’ Facebook Page.
’raising a family on little more than laughs’