Fanfare for the Common Man: A new trick

  • Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Photos



If you are reading this then this old dog just learned a new trick.

That I’ve been able to learn this and not break the Internet is a trick worthy of mention.

Instruction manuals are saved for fire starters. I don’t read them. Ever. My brain is not configured in such a manner as to comprehend what it means to take WIDGET (A) insert it into THINGAMABOB (B) and attached it to DOOHICKIE (C).

I use the word “Thingie” a lot to describe pieces and parts that require some assembly.

When my kids were little I bought one of those above-ground swimming pools, the three-foot tall variety that came with the big blue pool liner, the metal side-thingie (see?) and those slotted tubes designed to hold everything together. And duct tape.

Lots and lots of duct tape.

Not to digress, but if the ancient Pharoahs had access to duct tape the Sphinx would still have a nose.

In assembling this swimming pool I did not trust the integrity of its design and therefore resorted to lots and lots of duct tape to hold the sides in place. I also negelected to notice a very significant and crucial tongue and groove thingie that was to play a critical part in the success of the swimming pool assembly.

As the pool stood somewhat upright and about 18-inches full of water, I noticed the three-foot long metal stick with an S-shaped tongue and groove.

It was one of a few leftover pieces and parts I had. This vexed me so I consulted the instruction manual.

The S-shaped thingie was in reality called an “S-tongue-and-groove connector.” Part number KK.

I am in trouble when they use letters and call them numbers.

A second digression. I took the instruction manual into the pool with me as reading material while I lay on my back on my brand new floatie-thingie and enjoyed a cold beverage.

There was about 20 inches of water in the pool at this point and I thought the pool assembly had gone swimmingly.

The wife and kids would be so proud when they awoke from their naps to see the swimming pool assembled and ready for enjoyment.

As I read the double asterisked (**) footnote that began with the bold and capitalized “IMPORTANT!” our neighbors from behind us stepped to the fence at the top of the backyard hill to admire my construction efforts.

As they said, “Hey you got a new pool,” to which I immediately replied in thought, “No DUH,” I read the 15 or so words that followed the capitilized and bold IMPORTANT!

It said, “Failure to use this device will result in the catastrophic failure of the product’s design integrity.”

It was right about then when I heard the duct tape start to rip.

The side of the pool opened wide and answered my question as to what comprised a catastrophic failure.

As I did the math, approximately 1,080 gallons of water flushed out of the pool and down the patio into my sideyard, taking me, my instruction manual, my adult beverage and my floatie thingie with it.

Also, the 28-letter, thrice-hyphened Big Boy word I just invented woke all neighborhood’s toddlers that had been heretofore napping which didn’t sit well with anybody, especially my neighbors with their three-year old standing at the back fence who just learned a new word.

So appreciate please, what all went into getting these last 590 words printed onto this page.

This is a very old dog who just learned a new trick.

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