Tools drive a hard bargain

As I’ve stated before, I am methodical, organized, and multi-tasked.
Yes, I can begin by washing the dishes, leave the room to get another dish towel, and while I’m gone for two minutes finish folding the laundry, vacuum the bedroom floors, and clean the bathroom.
I also have a photographic memory that maintains a running logbook on house inventory.
And I’m not alone in this avenue of female expertise. Many a household operates at prime when a woman’s ability to maintain the consistent whereabouts of all things is embraced and utilized by other family members.
It’s just one of the million things we are very good at.
Consequently, nothing causes me quicker mutation into “Mrs. Hideous” than to have to search for something I shouldn’t have to look for in the first place.
According to household law, said thing should be in the same spot where I left it.
And if a certain husband had employed said law (which keeps all marriages running smoothly) during a recent carpentry stint, he would have spared the dogs from bearing witness to my Tasmanian transformation when I couldn’t find the electric drill in the basement workshop.
Blindfolded and in the dark, I could have set my hands upon it because I knew where I had put it the last time I used it.
But unbeknownst to me, Mr. Spontaneous—having equal rights to all things in the household (except the TV remote on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings when my programs are on)—had taken the electric drill, removed the tiny drill bit to an unknown location, replaced it with a python-sized hole saw, and gone outside with it.
Then two or three days later, after copious kisses and hugs to the little wife, he headed back to the mining camp (where, incidentally, someone else cooks, washes the dishes, and does the housekeeping).
Meanwhile here at home after a long day at work, I’d whipped up a homemade lasagna, washed the dishes, completed three telephone surveys, and—in the two minutes I was absent from the kitchen—also finished folding the laundry, vacuumed the rest of the house, cleaned the bathroom, and made preparations to hang a window blind.
Having discovered during the previous blind installation that pre-drilled screw holes make life easier, I made a bee-line for the basement workshop to grab the house drill set up with the tiny drill bit I’d used the last time.
As I headed for the basement stairs, the near tripping episode over two prone canines (who think that if they don’t move, everyone will believe them invisible and not send them packing into the frigid outdoors) sufficiently elevated my blood pressure to power the unrestrained release of expletives that reverberated back through the caverns of the basement and up the staircase when I couldn’t find what I was looking for.
In a New York minute I grew sharp fangs and body hair, re-arranged the entire workshop in my frantic search, then blew in a whirlwind outside in the cold to the shed—passing two dogs who had jimmied themselves under an old chair in the porch, cloaking devices at their maximum.
Eventually I located the drill, and though I’d found an alternative bit to carry out my blind ambition, was at once convinced Pete had devised a lock-out mechanism on the thing because when I plugged it in, it wouldn’t work at all.
With a permanently frozen flat stare distorting my vision, I closed my eyes and teleported Pete into outer space to an extraterrestrial science experiment lab.
Then I went back to the house, grabbed my wallet and the hardware store flyer with the advertisement for an 18V cordless drill and drill bits, bought everything I needed, came home, and carved my name on all the equipment.
Oh, yeah. And I revised household regulation #2.
“Wife’s tool possession is ten-tenths of the law and everything on my side of the workbench will cost you.”

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