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Sunday, March 4, 2012

Man, why didn’t I think of this approach even sooner?

John Bachman
John Bachman

Attention, ladies, this column is just for men. Please go read something else.

Are they gone? Good.

Guys, I have discovered a tool that will improve your lives. This tool is very powerful and must be used carefully. I suggest you practice using it on your dog before you try it with her.

This has been right before our eyes; the women have used it to great effect, but we never realized that we could use it, too. We can! I have done it. Admittedly, my usage got a little more effect than I planned, but a few tweaks and I will have it mastered.

I discovered this magical tool by accident. My lovely wife, Little Kahunah (her mother is the Big Kahunah), tends to keep things. When she buys a new piece of furniture, she puts the old piece in the basement, “just in case.”

Our basement reached its capacity in 1992. A walk through there was like negotiating over a horizontal rock wall on all fours. I wondered what might be nesting under the rubble.

I nearly reached my limit when I went into the basement cedar closet to retrieve some clothing, opened the closet door and was stopped by a pile of furniture. Clothing was back there somewhere, but a pair of end tables and a purple, overstuffed love seat blocked the way.

Then our pond water went down. In a normal winter, the pond stream gets covered with ice and snow, and the stream runs under the winter cover. This winter, we got icy temperatures but no snow cover, and water splashed out, lowering the level. I had to fill it.

The winter pond-filling hose hangs on the wall in the basement.

I stood on the bottom step of the basement stairs eyeing the hose over there beyond the deacon’s bench with the rolled-up carpet on it, and that funny little piece with cloth drawers, and an air conditioner and an old valance frame on top. What else might be lurking under there?

I ventured forth, placing the big toe of my right foot on the corner of the deacon’s bench. I stood in a crouch, grasping the floor joists above for balance. Then I stretched my left foot forward reaching for the corner of the air conditioner.

I lunged forward while scanning for another foothold. My fire department, high-angle rescue training re-emerged, however I had not prepared safety ropes, back up personnel nor personal protection equipment and had no idea where a carabineer might be.

The valance frame might have held me if there was some support under it. CRACK! My right foot disappeared into the abyss. I hoped that there were no critters under there, a crocagator or something mean.

I was trapped, one foot on some unseen item below while my left leg hung uselessly above my head.

I placed one hand on the wood frame of a glass coffee table and the other on the air conditioner. Calling on immense super powers, I raised myself until my knee was above the hole in the valance frame and the other leg was stretched out in front of me. I rolled gracefully onto my side, pulling my leg from the hole just as the crocagator’s jaws snapped shut.

I crawled on all fours to the hose rack, loosened my belt and tucked the hose end into it, retightening to secure the hose. Luckily, no cameras were around to record my image crawling across the debris field with a green, brown-tipped tube dangling between my legs and trailing behind me.

I managed to get the hose through the basement window and to the pond without further incident. After filling the pond, I pulled the hose back into the basement and looped it loosely atop the stuff.

Now, comes the tool. I was well prepared to deploy it, solidly grounded in factual events.

“That is it!” I announced. “Starting this week, I will load my pickup twice a week and haul stuff to the dump.”

She cowered. I won! I had launched a hissy fit and had won! I resisted the urge to take a victory lap around the dining room.

“Hey, is that a new table?”

For the next several weeks, Little Kahunah hauled stuff from the basement to a dump pile or onto the front lawn with a “FREE!” sign on it.

There it is, guys. Form an irrefutable foundation and then launch a hissy fit.

Caution: Do not overdue it. I saw some of my stuff in the dump pile. Hmmm, how do you partially retract a hissy fit?

John Bachman is an Amherst businessman and freelance columnist. His column appears on the first Sunday of the month. Email him at john@anatekcorp.com.