Friday, November 21, 2014

Bunko job

Our growing 9-year-old son’s bedroom was smaller than the less oft-used guest room. So when he asked if he could switch rooms, I decided to grant His Highness’s royal wish.

I sincerely thought I could dismantle his large bunk bed and move it into the bigger room.


But before you question my mental status, I’d like to state for the record that I was doing just that.

Armed with only an Allen wrench and a flathead screwdriver, I was like the super-fan-ta-bu-lous Bob Vila, only in reverse.

The first bolt?

No problem.

I popped that baby out of there like I did my son’s first loose tooth.

I was flying through the process, envisioning my husband’s return home from work where I would triumphantly show him what I had done.


I even practiced my “Ta-da!

I wanted to have just the right amount of flair, you know, without dipping into the category of obnoxiousness. He’d brag to husbands everywhere how much his wife rocks an Allen wrench.

But, like the tragic heroes of Greek mythology who counted their chickens - er, drachmas or whatever they counted back then - before they hatched, the universe decided to screw with me in the form of one tiny, quarter-inch, seized bolt.

Oh, I don’t think so.

I stomped down the stairs and into the garage, threw open the lid to my husband’s tool box and grabbed another - larger - screwdriver.

I can’t tell you what I planned to do with it, mind you, but it seemed like a good tool to start with.

I stomped back up the stairs, aligned the Allen wrench on one side of the bolt and wedged the screwdriver onto the bolt’s fastener and proceeded to turn the bolt counterclockwise.

Lefty-loosey, righty-tighty, you know.

I gripped the tool handles tightly, squeezed into the scant six inches of open space between the bed and the wall, braced my shoulder against the beam and turned with everything I had inside of me.

And blew out a kidney.

And tore a rotator cuff.

Holy mother of God. This is war.

I threw down the screwdriver and stomped back down the stairs.

(I’d like to say it was at this point I got smart and just grabbed the tool box to take back upstairs with me. But I can’t say that without lying about it. So I won’t.)

I grabbed something that looked like a cross between a pair of pliers and the forceps they used on me when my son was born.

If they got a 9-pound baby outta my uterus after 24 hours of labor, then that seized bolt was MINE!


73 minutes later....

I won’t lie to you. By this time I had lugged the toolbox up the stairs and tried every *#&% tool we had.

I even tried drilling it out. No luck.

And that’s when I spotted it.

The hammer.

Just sitting there in the bottom of the toolbox.

All alone.

Calling to me.

I bent over and picked it up, hefted it in my hand, testing its weight, and thought, “Just one swing. Just one. Then all my troubles will be over.” I smiled.

Just as I swung the hammer back in a large arc over my head - I heard this behind me, “Hi, Mom.”

Oh, for the love of all that is good and holy in this world.

With the hammer frozen over my head, I turned to see my son standing in the doorway of his bedroom. He smiled at me and said, “I just wanted you to know I’ve been downstairs praying for you. I know you can figure this all out.”

I turned back to the bed and muttered, “Well played, you little son of a bunk bed. Well played.”


When my husband returned home from work a bit later it wasn’t to congratulate me on my awesomeness, as I had envisioned.

Instead, he found me crying in a huddled mass underneath the bunk bed, clutching the hammer to my chest and babbling about my kidney.

First, he fixed me a really strong drink. He’s a good man.

Then he grabbed the drill and ripped out that bolt like it was butter.

I’d like to think I’d loosened it for him.

At least...that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

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