Pondering with P.J. — No patience for tools (and relatives) that don’t work

By PAULINE JAQUISH

Columnist

This will be a revelation for some, but I’m here to say I have no patience for anything that doesn’t work — relatives included.

Faulty kitchen tools can ruin an otherwise mediocre day for me. Take my can opener, please.

First, without a can opener in my house, there would be no food. I pride myself in being a “20 minute cook.” Most days, before the dust settles in the driveway, I can have a meal prepared and waiting for The Spouse. It may take a little longer than that for him to get up enough nerve to eat it, but it’s there, ready for consumption.

The only thing that will throw my time off is my pesky, sometimes mechanically-challenged can opener. Occasionally, it will cut the top off a can of beans like Grant took Richmond, but the next day I’ll need a jack hammer to achieve such a task.

What’s with that? What can go bad on a non-electrical device one day and have a complete recovery the next?

There are a few who are close to me who have implied it may have something to do with the manner in which I place the device back in its designated resting place. Throwing it across the kitchen and having it land in the dog’s water dish isn’t considered normal maintenance, but I’m not a patient person. I expect results!

And then there is my vacuum sweeper. I need something that can suck paint off a wall. It never fails, every time I use the attachments to reach those hidden things between seat cushions or under the couch, I latch on to something that turns that thing into a gasping-for-its-last-breath piece of junk!

Taking a vacuum sweeper apart is easy. Getting all the pieces back together in an orderly fashion hasn’t ever been my strong suit. If luck is on my side, I might be able to cure the problem by dislodging a sock from the flexible wand with a wire coat hanger, but I usually have that stuck after the second or third poke.

I’ve found cussing only helps when The Spouse is within earshot. If he can sense the next sound might be shattering glass as I throw it through the bay window, he will come to my rescue. After nearly 47 years of cussing, The Spouse now has full custody of the vacuum cleaner and I am grateful.

And now my van. Sheer panic sets in when my van doesn’t work. The thought of life without motorized transportation even for a day puts me in a horrible state of mind. The last thing I want to do it walk!

Like life itself, I take my van for granted. I expect to put the key in the ignition and be on my way. When the “be on my way” part doesn’t happen, I realize what a bad vehicle owner I am. I expect so much, but give so little in return.

I seldom give it a bath, inside or out. Normally, I use it as a dump truck, storage container and U-Haul. Occasionally it will transport people, but most folks aren’t that anxious to ride with me because they never know what might come crawling out from under a seat.

Fortunately, there is a fix-it shop just a short distance away. The guys there understand my delicate condition when my van is under the weather. I appreciate their expertise and consideration for my needs. Besides that, they’re kinda cute and they work really hard.

Sometimes I take my van there even when it’s not broke!

As Usual, PJ

Author of “Uncommon Sense”

Pj646@centurytel.net

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Posted by Pauline Jaquish

Pauline Jaquish is the author of “Uncommon Sense.” You can reach her at Pj646@centurytel.net.

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