On hunting ‘thingies’

  • Tuesday, August 12, 2014



It is well documented that I am not a handyman.

I didn’t take shop in high school. I know where you stick the ignition key and how to set the dashboard clock when we spring forward or fall back, but my definition of auto repair is having the mechanic’s phone number on my cell phone’s speed dial, and I have no clue how to set up speed dialing.

I’m not a complete buffoon, mind you. I have skills, and they are manly skills.

I could throw a baseball harder than anybody else and I am a magician with a piece of cooked meat.

But I don’t do yard work.

I don’t do home repair.

My idea of having five tools is that I can hit for power, hit for average, throw, field, and run fast.

I have two basic rules of home repair: If it’s stuck and needs to be unstuck use some WD40. If it’s unstuck and needs to be stuck, get the duct tape.

I’ve said this about duct tape enough times I can almost claim it as mine: If the ancient pharoahs had access to duct tape, the Sphinx would still have a nose.

So this week I had the occasion to venture into a Lowe’s and Home Depot in search of plastic chair pad thingies.

I hate shopping.

Browsing is not a part of my vocabulary. If I can’t buy it why am I looking at it?

That’s like watching someone else eat.

I found going to Lowe’s amusing because never before had a grown man walking into a Lowe’s or Home Depot have less business being in there more than I.

There is nothing in these stores that I either want or can use.

There’s no Sporting Goods department here. No book section, either. No deli counter or bakery.

And no Starbucks.

My handyman pedigree is this: I’ve used a Phillips head screwdriver more often to clean out my ears than I have trying to affix a Phillips head screw.

I do though, cop Man Card points simply by owning a Phillips head screwdriver, and this thing has magnetized reversable heads, too.

Chalk up another Man Card point.

But here I am walking into Lowe’s looking for plastic chair pad thingies.

Please note, if you have to use the word “thingie” to describe something, it’s a given you have absolutely no clue what you’re talking about.

After 20 minutes of wandering around Lowe’s, I realized I was lost; and yes, I get lost in Lowe’s and Home Depot on a regular basis, which meant my chances were better than half that I would never be seen or heard from again. My purgatory would be to forever walk around the home appliance section of Lowe’s wondering why these refrigerators had no food.

Eventually, I did happen across a helpful Lowe’s associate somewhere way back in the lumber department, and asked him where I could find “the plastic chair thingies.”

He looked at me like I was breathing air he could be breathing, and said, “Well for sure not in the lumber department. Lumber is made out of wood. Chair thingies are plastic.”

Good point - even if it was sarcasm.

Good news though, I did eventually find the plastic chair thingies at Office Max, but they only had two.

I needed five or six.

“You know you could have ordered these online,” the sales rep said.

I wonder if Google knows how to differentiate between plastic chair pad thingie or say, picture hanger thingies.

I need those, too.

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