Tuesday, January 18, 2005

And now for something completely different.

I've never had a guest contributor before... but all that has changed! I sent an old mate the link for this site the other week and he actually took the time to read it.

Sticko is an old rock 'n roll mate and a long time newspaper man (don't read the post below this one about Journo's mate) and sent me a reply which I think was meant to scare me off his turf. Writing! Anyway, the reply was so good I asked could I publish it. So with Stickos' kind permission...

"What a buzz to read your words of wiz, mate.
All the very best for an awesome 2005.
Don't have a blog meself, but offer these words of warning to anyone
foolish enough to spend their hollies trying to be "a handyman''.
My advice is fairly succinct: DON'T!
(Or this could happen to you too...)

I BLAME those television shows. They made it all look so easy.
But the fact is, handyman renovations should never be attempted by ``ordinary'' people except under strict supervision, preferably by Scott Cam, Jamie Durie or someone with a degree in astro-architectural engineering.
You're wondering how I know this, right? It's because I have now almost fully recovered from the injuries (but not the embarrassment) sustained while trying to rob accredited, professional tilers of what is rightly theirs: namely, the contract to perform a ceramic refurbishment of my dead cat-sized bathroom.
What could I have been thinking? Well, I figured it can't be too difficult to whack down a few tiles on the bathroom floor. (Everything else I'd attempted in that room had worked out OK). All you need is a sketch of your dream, the right materials and a phone within easy reach in case you need an ambulance.
So away I went, tingling with the knowledge that I would surprise my house-proud partner Siri and save at least $800 with my do-it-yourselfmanship.
First off, select your colour scheme and use your fingers and toes to figure out exactly how many tiles are needed to complete the assignment. No probs. So far, so good.
Then we rip up the old linoleum (pausing only to swat the fleeing cockroaches with a rolled-up copy of your local newspaper).
Next you smear the floor with the most powerful adhesive known to humankind, so that the tiles will stay securely glued in place until the year Cabramatta hosts the Olympics. The exertion of this bit will have you panting and sweating in the humid confines of your bathroom, so you might consider stripping down to your underwear or, if you are the only person in the house as I was, right down to your birthday suit. Now, lean forward, feet wedged in the doorway and one hand clinging to the side of the bath while you prod the adhesive into that far corner, aaaand ... fall flat on your face on the sticky surface, barely (and I mean BARE-ly) able to move a muscle.
At this point the surviving cockroaches, acquainted with the consequences of being lured onto those sticky cardboard mats which sneaky humans nudge behind cupboard and cistern ie being stuck fast and slowly starving to death over the next few days settle in to enjoy my demise, antennae twitching in anticipation.
Luckily I wasn't completely alone in the house. Help was at hand in the form of our pet kelpie Kylie, who did exactly what she had been trained to do: she rang an ambulance! No, no, I'm joking. Kylie's natural instincts kicked in and she did what millions of years of evolution had trained her to do: she jumped onto my back and started licking my ears.
She was still wagging her tail in delight and licking away playfully when Siri arrived home moments before I sank permanently into the Selleys Aquabond Adhesive like an exhausted stegosaurus into some steamy primeval swamp.
Siri did what any caring pal would do - jumped on my back and started licking my ears. I'm joking, of course. He just burst into fits of uncontrollable laughter.
But at the same time, he managed to yank me out of the glue and push me into the shower recess, where the glue on my toes and my right hand hardened like concrete. This meant I was - until Siri dashed down to Bunnings and bought a tube of Selley's Instant Gum Release - permanently attached to the floor of our bathtub and the adjustable shower rose.
Anyway, it all turned out for the best in the end. We found a reasonably-priced tiler in the classifieds section of our local paper and he laid our new tiles (although he had to apply a fresh adhesive layer, because my one had ``gone off' and, in any case, was marred by unsightly toe, knee and elbow prints).
We also learned that it pays to take a few precautions before attempting home handyman jobs of this kind:
* always have a tube of Selley's Instant Gum Release handy,
* get your bum waxed, and
* teach your kelpie how to call an ambulance."


Anonymous said...

Gross image coming up.

"Kylie's natural instincts kicked in and she did what millions of years of evolution had trained her to do: she jumped onto my back and started licking my ears."

This story would have been totally unrepeatable had Kylie been a randy male dog, I suspect.

Cap Slog said...

Brilliant post Gibbo, though I feel maybe a lawsuit is in order. It is because bastards like Durie and Cam MAKE this crap look so easy that no-hopers like you and I would have a go at this. And because we do, tilers, painters and wood butchers charge an arm and a leg as their way of getting back at DIYers.

Get yourself a lawyer, name the above mugginses as the defendents and we'll see if we can't settle out of court for some serious cash and Catrina Rowntree's mobile number.

Gibbo said...

I survive this stuff by just being plain useless. Therefore, I am rarely asked to perform "the work of a professional". I started my working life as a mechanic. This is a closely guarded secret as people ask you to fix stuff if they know this. I don't even work on my own car. I do occasionally fix a puncture in my pushbike but sometimes(like today), I just go and buy a new tube.
Sticko has already sent me another couple of great stories. Stay tuned.

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