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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on May 25th, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 11, Issue 11 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 11, Issue 11

The tools to fix my problems

Krider can clean the garageā€"all he needs is someplace to put everything

By ROB KRIDER

Last weekend, the kids and I were enjoying an easy Sunday morning when the worst possible thing happened: My wife woke up and decided she was in the mood for some spring cleaning. On the surface, that doesn’t sound like a bad thing. Who doesn’t like a clean house? But the problem is, when she decides she wants to clean, that means we all have to clean, even if cleaning was the last thing on our minds. All we wanted to do was continue our Sunday morning routine of playing Beatles Rock Band on the Wii and leaving soda pop cans and candy wrappers all over the living room floor. We had just gotten to the Yellow Submarine level and Paul’s life was hanging in the balance, but my wife doesn’t care about the Walrus. She used the remote control to turn off the TV, abruptly ending our game.

She announced, “You have two choices: Either help me clean or get out of my way.” The kids and I quickly opted for the choice that didn’t include scrubbing toilets. Mom was in a bad mood, so it made more sense to stay out of her way. There was absolutely nothing we could possibly do to keep her happy while she cleaned, especially since every time she finds something of ours not put away correctly she gets an evil look in her eyes and begins to speak in tongues.

The kids and I bailed out of the house as quickly as possible with no set destination or plan. We ended up at Lowe’s, figuring we could kill some time by walking around and staring at tools. We weren’t in the market for new tools and the kids and I weren’t planning any new projects. We just liked looking at new, clean, and well-organized tools. Nice and organized tools are something of a rarity at our house since, where we live, tools are scattered all over the place, rusting, with pieces missing from sets and oftentimes broken (that is what happens when you substitute a screwdriver for a punch and a ratchet for a hammer).

My tools are disheveled because they are stored in the sad place, a place where things get lost for years: the garage. My garage used to be a wonderful Mecca where things got fixed, furniture was built from scratch, and racecars were made faster. Nowadays, shamefully, my garage is nothing more than a disposal area for anything my wife no longer wants in the house. While I was standing in Lowe’s dreaming of new tools and reflecting on the glory days of my garage, I was sure my wife was tossing trash from the kitchen directly into the garage at that very moment. Spring cleaning isn’t so much of an actual cleaning—it’s more of a relocation of crap from her house to my garage. It was such a sad thought.

I walked around Lowe’s with my head down, thinking of the mess at home, when I saw a glimmer of light at the end of the aisle. It caught my eye, and I realized it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. It was a gleaming stainless steel toolbox. It was more than 6 feet tall with tons of drawers, an MP3 player, stereo speakers, lights, and a built in refrigerator. It was what every man dreams of: rock and roll, cold beer, and organized tools all in one place. My kids thought it was cool, too. We just stood in front of it in awe. We opened and closed the smooth ball bearing drawers, played with the stereo, and turned the lights off and on. It was absolutely awesome, and it was absolutely expensive: $1,800. I’m not even sure I own $1,800 worth of tools to put in the box.

Since I didn’t have enough money in my pocket for a new screwdriver set, let alone the greatest toolbox ever invented, I decided not to push the monstrosity toward check out. But I decided right then that someday that box would be mine.

I figured if Mom was taking the initiative to clean the house, then I should take the initiative to clean the garage. It was my responsibility and I had been admittedly slacking on the job (for about three years). I came home and announced to my wife, whom I love, that I found the coolest toolbox ever (only $1,800) and I was going to clean the garage to make room for it. She laughed in my face.

    I couldn’t believe it. “What? You don’t think I can clean the garage?”

“Honey, I love you. But you’ve been telling me you’re going to clean the garage for about six years now.”

“Uh, three years, and this time I’m gonna do it.”

My wife rolled her eyes. “We’ll see. I’ve heard this before.”

“Wanna bet?”

My wife sighed, then humored me. “Sure, let’s bet.”

“If I clean the garage and keep it clean for 18 months, you’ll buy me that kick-ass toolbox. If I don’t, then we’ll take the money and go wherever you want.”

Without hesitation, my wife shook on the bet. “You’re on.” Then she took a bag of trash from the kitchen, opened the garage door, and blindly tossed it in the garage. “Good luck!” m

Rob actually did clean his garage. Now all he needs to do is try to keep it clean for 18 long months.




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