One of the blessings of being a pastor in the United Methodist Church is that there are trustees who help keep up the buildings… including the parsonage. You see, I’m not much of a fix-it kind of guy. In fact, in my first church, after seeing me trying to fix something, the trustee chair liked to joke with me that his trustees could handle just about anything… as long as they didn’t see the pastor with tools in his hands.
Again today that was evident. The trustees of this church were over here at the parsonage fixing a leak in the upstairs bathroom toilet. My entire contribution was to go downstairs at one point and turn the water main back on. (I did just fine, by the way!)
Anyway, it reminded me of the email I received the other day, so I share it with you my readers. From the sounds of it, I might not be the only guy who’s tool-usage impaired.
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Guide to Men’s Tools
1. DRILL PRESS: A tall upright machine useful for suddenly snatchingflat metal bar stock out of your hands so that it smacks you in the chestand flings your beer across the room, splattering it against that freshlypainted part you were drying.
2. WIRE WHEEL: Cleans paint off bolts and then throws them somewhereunder the workbench with the speed of light. Also removes fingerprintwhorls and hard-earned guitar calluses in about the time it takes you to say, “****!!!”
3. ELECTRIC HAND DRILL: Normally used for spinning pop rivets in theirholes until you die of old age.
4. PLIERS: Used to round off hexagonal bolt heads.
5. HACKSAW: One of a family of cutting tools built on the Ouija boardprinciple: It transforms human energy into a crooked, unpredictable motion,and the more you attempt to influence its course, the more dismal yourfuture becomes.
6. VISE GRIP PLIERS: Used to round off bolt heads. If nothing else isavailable, they can also be used to transfer intense welding heat to the palm of your hand.
7. OXYACETYLENE TORCH: Used almost entirely for setting variousflammable objects in your shop on fire. Also handy for igniting the grease inside a wheel hub you’re trying to getthe bearing race out of.
8. WHITWORTH SOCKETS: Once used for working on older British cars andmotorcycles, they are now used mainly for impersonating that 9/16 or 1/2″socket you’ve been searching for, for the last 15 minutes.
9. HYDRAULIC FLOOR JACK: Used for lowering an automobile to the groundafter you have installed your new disk brake pads, trapping the jack handlefirmly under the bumper.
10. EIGHT-FOOT LONG DOUGLAS FIR 4X4: Used to attempt to lever anautomobile upward off a hydraulic jack handle.
11. TWEEZERS: A tool for removing splinters of wood, especially Douglasfir.
12. TELEPHONE: Tool for calling your neighbor to see if he has anotherhydraulic floor jack.
13. SNAP-ON GASKET SCRAPER: Theoretically useful as a sandwich tool forspreading mayonnaise; used mainly for removing dog feces from your boots.
14. E-Z OUT BOLT AND STUD EXTRACTOR: A tool that snaps off in boltholes and is ten times harder than any known drill bit.
15. TWO-TON HYDRAULIC ENGINE HOIST: A handy tool for testing thetensile strength of bolts and fuel lines you forgot to disconnect.
16. CRAFTSMAN 1/2 x 16-INCH SCREWDRIVER: A large motor mount pryingtool that inexplicably has an accurately machined screwdriver tip on theend without the handle.
17. AVIATION METAL SNIPS: See hacksaw.
18. TROUBLE LIGHT: The homebuilder’s own tanning booth. Sometimescalled droplight, it is a good source of vitamin D, “the sunshine vitamin,”which is not otherwise found under cars at night. Health benefits aside,its main purpose is to consume 40-watt light bulbs at about the same ratethat 105-mm howitzer shells might be used during, say, the first few hoursof the Battle of the Bulge. More often dark than light, its name issomewhat misleading.
19. PHILLIPS SCREWDRIVER: Normally used to stab the lids of old-stylepaper-and-tin oil cans and squirt oil on your shirt; can also be used, asthe name implies, to round off the interiors of Phillips screw heads.
20. AIR COMPRESSOR: A machine that takes energy produced in acoal-burning power plant 200 miles away and transforms it into compressedair that travels by hose to an Pneumatic impact wrench that grips rustybolts last tightened 70 years ago by someone at GM, and rounds them off or twists them off.
21. PRY BAR: A tool used to crumple the metal surrounding that clip or bracket you needed to remove in order to replace a 50 cent part.
22. HOSE CUTTER: A tool used to cut hoses 1/2 inch too short.
23. HAMMER: Originally employed as a weapon of war, the hammer nowadaysis used as a kind of divining rod to locate expensive parts not far fromthe object we are trying to hit.
24. MECHANIC’S KNIFE: Used to open and slice through the contents ofcardboard cartons delivered to your front door; works particularly well onboxes containing upholstered items, chrome-plated metal, plastic parts and the other hand not holding the knife.
*So there you have it: a complete description of the tools all men need, and occasionally use correctly.
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