Home Improvement Can Be a Funny Business!
copyright Linda Alexander, 2007
I couldn’t help but wonder what people would think.
I sat cross-legged on my bedroom floor, wearing only my underwear and a chenille robe. The robe hung open from top to bottom--I was gettin’ hot. I had stainless steel hemostats in my right hand, pincers open, and a yellow heavy-duty flashlight in my left hand. I was shining the flashlight into a small square hole in my bedroom wall, peering intently inside, hemostats open . . . anxiously waiting.
Waiting for what? Well, my husband, a retired naval aviation officer, was in the attic in his heavy dark blue zip-up flight suit, drilling holes through the ceiling. Drill, stop. Drill, stop. He yelled, “It’s coming. It's--com-ing! I’m lowering it down. Can you see it yet?”
“No,” I called back. “I can’t see it . . . ooh, wait! There it is. Stay STILL! I’m trying to catch it!”
The hemostats frantically snipped open, closed, and open again with each erratic wiggle. It was right there. I could SEE it – of course I could see it. It was hanging down in front of my eyes, and I had the flashlight trained right on the hole where it teased me, dangling, swaying back and forth.
“I’m going to try again,” my husband yelled, a little breathless. “Wait, let me tape it to a straightened-out coat hanger.” I could hear him above me, rummaging around. “Okay," his voice held a spark of humor, "it’s straighter now, lined UP. You should be able to grab it. Grab!”
Some more dust sprinkled down the hole on me as he lowered, and lowered, and lowered. . . . “Ooooh, there it is again!" I giggled. "I see it. Stop! Don’t drop it any farther yet. Hold it there just a minute.”
I scrambled into a pretzel-like position, still trying to hold the flashlight steady with one hand while making the delicate catch with the hemostats in my other hand. “Just . . . a minute. I . . . think . . . okay, I’ve got it!” The hemostats finally made contact with the coat hanger, precariously and just barely holding on.
“Okay,” hubby called back, “you sure you've got it?” I responded in the affirmative. “Hold on. Don’t let it go. I’m going to pull from up here and secure it to the wire with duct tape. Then I’ll let the rest of it down, slowly, so you’ll be able to pull it through the hole. It’s gotta come through the hole.”
Moments later, after me holding on tight, my captive feeling as if it would pull right out of my tiring fingers, while it slid up and down, up and down, finally!, the real prize slithered conspicuously through the hole. As promised, it was messily duct-taped to the end of a worse-for-wear coat hanger.
“Good!” he exclaimed. “Now I’m coming down.”
He was coming down? He was finished? Here’s where the neighbors might scratch their heads. He’s coming down? But, uh, how. . . .? I was still on the floor below him, holding on to his . . . loooooong, white, tubular . . .
When he got to the bottom of the attic stairs and stood in front of me, in his flight suit, covered in white, messy fiberglass, he was perspiring, heaving deeply. A few cuts were visible, but he was clearly triumphant.
We’ve recently moved into a new house. When the cable guy came to hook us up, he couldn't supply cable to the guest bedroom because the main box is located in our bedroom. So my husband, a creative handyman, devised a plan to take care of the problem. He was determined to have cable TV available in the guest bedroom before our son came to visit.
And he had taken care of it, by golly.
I sighed, thrilled to be able to let go of all my tools and accoutrements. With knees and neck creaking – it’s crampy in that position, trying to peer up a tiny hole to actually see anything . . . I don’t know how voyeurs do it – I stood and got out of his way.
It was now his turn to sit there and hold it . . . and do with it whatever he needed to do to complete the job.