Tracey’s enthusiasm for our new BBQ waned a bit yesterday when we drove to the pickup area of the store and discovered some assembly was required. She looked at me doubtfully.
“It’ll be fine,” I told her. “I’ve been doing this sort of thing since I was a kid.” I mean, I assume foreseeing a need to assemble flat packed goods is why parents of my generation gave their young boys Meccano sets. What I didn’t mention was that despite my parents best efforts, and these assurances to my wife, I was never very skilled with Meccano. Even my Lego creations would fall apart. Fact is I was more of a Chess playing sort of kid.
Of course, my father-in-law can’t understand why we need to replace our perfectly good BBQ in the first place. He gifted it to us only ten years ago. I explained the thing was old, wobbly, rusty and generally past its use-by date. These things happen to old BBQ’s, I told him. Not to his BBQ, of course. It’s circa 1980 and in mint condition. This would also have been a much stronger argument if he hadn’t given Tracey’s sister an identical BBQ to ours at the same time, and hers still looks as good as the day she got it home.
When Tracey found a BBQ in a catalogue for $98 she was excited because it meant I would remove the old eyesore BBQ from the balcony. Of course, for the big money we paid, our new BBQ is the Hyundai Excel of the BBQ world (only with the equivalent of a tail fin on the boot because we paid an extra $30 and got a hood), but at least I’ll be able to burn meat outside again, the way nature intended.
Eyesore or not, Tracey wasn’t convinced replacing the old BBQ with one I’d assemble myself would improve the look of our outdoor area.
“We can get our money back,” she suggested.
But I wasn’t having any of that defeatist attitude. I was a man, albeit not a particularly handy one.
“I’m sure I can do it,” I said confidently. To fully understand how ridiculously misplaced this confidence was you would need a tour of our property, where you’d be dazzled by an array of poorly hung photos, poorly repaired fence palings and poorly assembled Ikea-style furniture which no one is allowed to put stuff on for fear of a fatal collapse.
Next I explained to Tracey she’d need to fetch me my hammer. I’d have fetched it myself but she won’t tell me where she’s hidden it.
“You don’t need a hammer to put a BBQ together, Bruce.”
Poor Tracey. She knows so little about man stuff.
“And what if the holes for a bolt don’t line up?” I asked her, eyebrows raised to give my face an especially slapable appearance (or so she tells me).
Occasionally I’ll stumble across my hammer wrapped in a rag and shoved behind in a suitcase, then I’ll race around the house hastily and happily banging away at things until Tracey snatches it off me and hides it again. She tells people I have a tool handicap. Or I’m a retarded tool, it’s something like that.
“I guess I could always use glue. Do we have any araldite at home?”
“I’m sorry, we’ve changed our mind,” Tracey said to the nice lady who’d just dragged the huge box along the concrete floor to the dock door. Sometimes my wife has no faith in me at all.
After a curt discussion, where I promised I wouldn’t put big nasty dents in our new BBQ or go near it with glue, Blu-Tack or masking tape, we were heading home with a big box in the trailer…
…where it remained for the next 20 hours because the thing about pregnant women is they don’t like to do a lot of heavy lifting. Our new BBQ remained safely stored on its box on our trailer while I tried to work out how I was going to move it onto the balcony and get the bits to stick together.
For anyone with a similar tool-based disability, here is my step by step advice on assembling flat packed BBQ’s:
Step 1. Ask a mate to help you unload the awkwardly large BBQ box from the trailer.
There really is only the one step. The rest will take care of itself because no man worth his salt can resist the chance to work with tools and build something.
So when some out of town friends showed up for a quick coffee on their way to visit local family I asked my mate to help me move the box before slipping away to the kitchen to put the kettle on. He didn’t even ask if he could start putting it together, he just set to work pulling bits out and marrying them up. When they left, four quick coffee hours later, I had a BBQ which looked just like the picture in the catalogue.
So I guess there’s only one thing left for my skeptical wife and I to do and that’s to say a heartfelt check mate to our friend. Oops…I mean, cheers mate!
If we got a chuckle out of you please repay with a share 🙂
When not over here, Bruce hangs out at his Big Family Little Income Facebook Page.
Come join us 🙂
”Raising a family on little more than laughs.”
You and my husband have a great deal in common …
I was about to say the same thing Jenni! ha ha
You don’t give yourself enough credit Bruce… from my memory the driveway gate is pretty well hung 😐
Okay, fyi I didn’t do that – the roots of the tree have started moving the fence. Although it does look like my standard of workmanship lol. Funny bugger.