My wife loves HGTV. In every show, the cast transforms a house in the course of a half hour. Being a man that is not afraid to take action (via SCV’s in Starcraft II), I will roll up my sleeves and write about five home improvement projects someone else (I’m playing Starcraft II) can do on the weekend.
1. Paint – While easy in theory, the actual process involves about three hundred various steps, which have about twenty different grades of tools. I always thought paint involves a brush and paint. Aside from moving the furniture and placing paper on the floor, there is about three different types of chemicals to clean the wall, fifteen different putty knives to seal the holes, five hundred varieties of sandpaper to smooth the wall and that’s all before the primer.
For the uninformed person like myself, choosing the right tool for the job usually involves calling my wife (to find the variety of tool), then calling my wife’s father (to find the grade). I always thought sandpaper was merely sandpaper. Of course the process is repeated when I forget scraper, “The 2 inch, 5 inch, 7 inch?” Lucky for you, because you’ve read this column, you’ll know to call someone more knowledgeable than you ahead of time. You’ll have saved a lot of trips to the hardware store and have more time to stare at the tools confused about what to do next.
2. Laminate Floors – Most laminate floors (looks like wood, made from discarded Gobots) snap into place with a simple click. Unlike paint, the laminate floor has the alluring quality of seeming simple. Don’t believe it! It’s a trick! They do not snap into place so easily. The simple solution is paint a picture of Tony Danza, Che Guevara, and Judy Blume on the pieces of flooring. The frustration of “easy snap” pieces will be diffused by giggling when Judy wears Che’s hat (That’s not her hat! Hee! Hee! Ho!).
3. Cabinet Refitting – Why look at those cabinets made for Donna Reed in the fifties? New cabinets are simple. Replace the cabinet door! This project not only involves paint but also power tools. Most humor writers will warn of the limb thirsty drill in the hands of an amateur. I think power tools are actually very safe to use. Most people are fairly aware of how to not drill a hole in their palms (unless they are practicing for stigmata).
What they don’t realize is the humor potential of overpowered drills. Fun tricks are simple matter of setting up the scene. Simply place ketchup behind cabinet door, drill, and scream. Tricks like these usually work better with fake body parts. You’ll get extra bonus points if the doctor in the emergency ward actually considers reattaching the thumb.
4. Pet Doors – Unrestricted access to the outside is like tearing down the Berlin Wall of the pet world. Installing a pet door may seem a little scary with the giant hole to the backyard. However, making the hole is fairly simple and is achieved with various methods. The easiest is buy lots of booze, bowling balls, and invite the local touring Punk Speed Metal to sleep at your house. The downside is you won’t be able to choose the location of your pet door. Another option is antagonize your Civil War Cannonade Rein-actor Neighbor. However, for those “hands-on” types, use a chainsaw. Wait till your children are home by themselves for extra laughs.
5. Doors – Replacing doors is pretty easy. Remembering the keys is the hard part. Explaining to your wife why the children ate each other while she was gone for the weekend is even harder. She won’t be impressed by your ability to survive in the backyard via the neighbors fruit tree. On the upside, you will be more attune with nature and you’ll finally be able to run freely with the wolves.