I went home, got two outdoor garbage cans, put them in the back of B's van, and returned to the state road. On the way, I remembered I once got free dirt from the town, and I hurt my back lifting the dirt-filled garbage cans out of the rear of the car. They were heavy! So, I cautioned myself, this time be careful.
I only filled the garbage cans half full. I hefted them into the car. They were still heavy -- dirt is heavy -- but I did get them home. I emptied them into the corner of the yard, and I didn't hurt my back.
Then I woke up the next morning. My back was fine. But I had a pain all down my right side. I climbed out of bed, gulped down some Advil, and struggled through the day. Now, three days later, my shoulder and the right side of my chest still hurt.
And thus concludes my latest venture into DIY -- an abbreviation we're all familiar with, meaning "Do It Yourself."
I have been struggling with DIY ever since 1977 when as a callow young fellow I bought my first house, and was surprised and disappointed to find out that the bathtub faucet in the hall bathroom didn't work.
I made a trip to the hardware store and spent $75 (back then, a lot of money) on two different state-of-the-art wrenches plus a pair of pliers and a few other things the guy at the hardware store told me I would need. Then I went home, managed to get the shower hookup off the bathtub wall, only to find that the fitting looked nothing like what the fellow at the hardware store said it would look like.
So I went back to the hardware store with my piece of plumbing. The guy took one look at it and guffawed. "I haven't seen a fixture like that in 20 years! How old is your house anyway?"
|Wanna buy a wrench? Only used once!|
Nevertheless, he sold me some more equipment, for another $30, which he assured me would work. I returned home and wrestled with the pipes again. Make a long story short, after cutting my finger, spraining my wrist, and wasting an entire Saturday -- a precious weekend day, down the drain so to speak -- I called a plumber and had him fix the faucet. For another $75. (Like I said, back then $75 was a lot of money.)
I've had a kind of love-hate relationship with DIY ever since. There was the time I stepped on a nail trying to fix our mailbox. The time I slashed my leg with the electric clippers when I was trimming our front hedge. The new attic stairs I installed . . . that came crashing down two days later. And don't ask what I did to my daughter when she was helping me out in the backyard one afternoon. Suffice it to say, you can barely see the scar anymore.
Do you remember the 1990s TV show Home Improvement starring Tim Allen? It was supposed to be funny. I didn't get it.
But on the radio the other day I heard a new acronym: DIFM. It's the abbreviation for "Do It For Me." Instead of selling you some equipment and sending you home to do it yourself, the store sends someone out to your house to do it for you. It costs a little more, but still, this is a strategy I can support.
I heard the term on some kind of business report. Apparently, Home Depot and Lowe's are facing retailing challenges because aging Baby Boomers are starting to fall out of love with DIY. They are beginning to prefer DIFM -- a trend that's been going on for a few years but is building as Baby Boomers get older.
I think they're onto something. I have an electrical socket on the back wall of the kitchen that shorted out a while ago. Instead of electrocuting myself in another attempt at DIY, I think I'll go over to Home Depot and see what they have in the way of DIFM . . . after I take a few more Advil and my shoulder stops hurting.