Hillbilly Handyman

John’s lack of handyman skills coupled with a strong tendency toward procrastination result in many small chores going undone for long periods of time (Getting Around to It).  Occasionally he will fix something in a relatively short amount of time which is what happened last week when the handle on the screen door broke.  In less than a week, he had made his repairs, but with John in charge, a speedy repair doesn’t necessarily mean he achieved the desired result.  In fact, you never know what to expect when you live with a Hillbilly Handyman.

John’s ability to create unique solutions to a variety of problems is well-known among family and friends.  He wanted a portable fire pit we could move to different locations, but he deemed the commercial chimineas he found over-priced and/or poorly constructed.  The Hillbilly Handyman solution was to cut the end off a discarded propane tank and weld legs to it that he made from abandoned oilfield pipes.  It is very functional if not entirely aesthetically pleasing, and we have used it quite a bit since he made it three years ago.

When we moved to our place in the country, we gained a gravel road that runs past our house and over to the adjoining property, and we are responsible for its maintenance.  Since it’s not financially practical to own a road grader, the Hillbilly Handyman built an implement that he pulls behind his tractor to smooth ruts and kill sprouting vegetation.  Providing weight and stability to the contraption is a pair of windmill weights that came into his possession somehow.

John’s offbeat skill set has also been useful when entertaining guests.  We don’t drink much wine so until we received it as a gift this past Christmas, we never owned a wine opener.  Whenever company would bring some wine not of the twist cap or boxed variety, the Hillbilly Handyman would drill a screw into the cork, and pull it out with a pair of pliers.  Surprisingly, he rarely spilled any wine with this method.

As I said, his most recent home repair was to the handle of the screen door.  While it is easier to gain entrance using his homemade doorknob than reaching into the gap at the top of the door and forcing it open, I hope he doesn’t consider it a permanent solution.  On the other hand, an electric fence insulator held in place by a screw and a washer might be part of the next new fashion craze–Hillbilly Chic!

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