Of the mechanically inclined, we say “He’s/She’s good with his/her hands.” For some reason though, of the mechanically disinclined, we don’t say, “He’s bad with his hands.”
But if the shoe fits. You can say I’m bad with my hands because it’s true. My excuse is I was the youngest son, meaning whenever something needed fixing, Older Brother 1 or 2 took care of it. I have a lot of friends who didn’t grow up learning trades, but they’re naturals, totally renovating their houses. “Just watch a YouTube video,” they say. I use YouCanTooTube to replace air and cabin filters, but it’s little help when attempting intermediate or advanced fixes.
Today I did my first triathlon of the season, swim-cycle-mow/edge. I used to continually fight my gas edger because it would unspool and I’d repeatedly take it apart with a screwdriver and slowly rewind it until it unspooled again. Then God looked upon me with favor, by which I mean I went electric. The electric edger never unspooled and life improved immeasurably.
Today, two years later, I ran out of line in the middle of my landscaping handiwork. Then it happened. Something as rare as a total solar eclipse.
As I retreated to the garage I wondered, “How am I going to fuck this up?” Then I flipped open the manual to the exact right page. An omen.
I lined up the hash marks so the eyelets were even, measured and cut 15 feet of line as instructed, inserted it into the eyelets so that each side was the same length, wound it up, and cut it off so that each side was exactly five inches long. Back in business in a few minutes.
I forgive you for thinking, “This is simple shit. What a sad sack for celebrating re-spooling his edger.” But everything is relative. When it comes to home repairs, the Cleveland Browns win more often than me. If my sad sackness makes you feel better about how good you are with your hands, I’m happy to contribute to the self esteem boost. One day, two accomplishments.