A wood warrior in the making

Pete doesn’t know it yet, but I suspect one day soon his expression will go blank, the cigarette in his mouth will drop to the ground, and his right foot will hurt real bad.
That’s when he’ll realize he shot himself in the foot (figuratively speaking, of course) when he gave me a 24 sq. ft. area to set up “shop” in his shed.
In fact, I think I heard him launch a grievance against the work order I put in for shelving, a plug-in, more lighting, a stool, and a laser level to make sure the “authorized personnel only” sign I just nailed to the wall over there is straight.
The funny thing is, despite grumbles from the master builder, my “shed” work order was completed in a New York minute—at least compared to the “to do” list in the house that is piling up like the discarded clothing on his side of the bed.
Go figure.
Maybe I should bring the five-month-old work order for wiring in the computer room out to the shed? Then again maybe not. Pete might assume I was on the cusp of buying him a laptop for in there and keep the wiring for his own computer system.
I know this type of shed accessory to be viable because the place already has its very own phone line which, at the outset, came under huge opposition by yours truly.
But given my 24 square feet and all the supplies I’m going to need to complete my projects there, a direct line to the hardware store is quite practical when I need to order inventory.
And Pete already is second-guessing the light fixture he installed over my side of the workbench, leaving his spot cast with shadows from my tool collection.
The dividing line he penned a few weeks ago on the workbench in permanent black marker that reads “Pete’s side” and “Beth’s side” wasn’t needed after all. Not only will my spot be forever cleaner, neater, and more organized, my real estate is now the only well-lit area in the whole building.
Even so, I still wasn’t convinced that I wanted a “place of my own” in the shed. After all, wasn’t the whole idea behind the shed project to give Pete periodic escape from the perils of a “purpose-filled” life with his wife?
That lingering thought vanished when one night while Pete was visiting Cohort #1 over the holidays. I found an old kitchen apron with pockets big enough to carry a bottle of Baileys, a glass, ice cubes, and some munchies from the house and headed to the shed.
Alone with my creative skills, I poured a drink, slung the apron over my head, tied a big bow at the back, slipped on my new pair of safety goggles (so I wouldn’t poke my eyes out), and plugged in the “Black and Decker RTX” three-speed rotary tool my parents had bought me for Christmas.
The “r.p.m.s” hit home and before I knew it, I’d drilled enough holes in my shelving and on the walls around me to hang more than a dozen screwdrivers, a coat hook for my apron, a place for my blackboard (good for love notes), and a prime spot for my 2006 “Chippendale” calendar.
All of a sudden, I was a woodworking warrior. I went on to sacrifice the only good piece of wood I could find (commandeered from Pete’s side of the workbench in an undercover sting) and drilled it out so as to hold the new additions to my warrior collection—colletts, sanding tubes, rotary bits, and engraver points.
Come to think of it, maybe a laptop and an Internet connection in the shed is a good plan. That way, I could shop online for more accessories for my new career in woodworking—and more decor for my work space.
But it would take some serious, purpose-driven reverse psychology to convince the master builder that I wasn’t formulating a takeover bid as shop manager.
Oh, who am I kidding? Behind every good man is a woman waiting to welcome him home wearing only her kitchen apron as she pours him a shot of Baileys.
He’d lose his cigarette all right—but he’d never know what hit him.

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