Monday, October 18, 2004
Which brings up the tale of a friend's former next-door neighbor, a chap by the name of Clyde (yes, that really was his name). Clyde was sort of the anti-Norm Abram, as any time he got his hands within the vicinity of a tool the end result usually involved damage to either his home or his person. My friend had a table saw which had a broken blade guard and a fence that had issues, yet one sunny day Clyde appeared and asked to use same just to rip some wood. Despite friend's continual warnings and protestations to the contrary, Clyde said he'd be OK, and my friend returned to whatever deviltry was in progress when the doorbell rang. They heard the sound of the tablesaw starting up, the sound of wood ripping, then a loud "zzzzzzzzziiiiiinnnnnnng" followed by an even louder "shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit!". Clyde came up a few moments later, clutching his hand and thanked my friend for the use of the saw, and toddled off next door dripping blood along the way.
Clyde's other escapades included purchasing what he thought was a minivan and ending up with a full-size Econoline that had one teeny problem, every once in a while the brakes would fail. Clyde, being a man of utter self-confidence decided to fix his own brakes. In his driveway. Which just happenned to be a sloping driveway. Needless to say the end result involved crashing through the garage door. And then there were the heating system renovations. Clyde owned a two-family home, and like most two-family homes in that particular part of New York City, there was a single heating system for the entire house, meaning the landlord had to pay the entire freight when it came to heating. In his inimitable logic, Clyde decided that his tenant should pay their fair share of the heating bill, and decided to create two independent heating systems for the house. Which of course entailed him doing mighty damage to the water pipes feeding the radiators to create the two systems, not to mention the tons of drywall and flooring that needed repair. This in itself was merely inconvenient, but of course the key point of having two separate heating system is two separate heating units, in this case natural gas burners. Now, in that neck of the woods , the gas is provided by a large public utility, the kind that every so often has to run those public service announcements about calling them if you smell a gas leak. Fortunately, as a result of Clyde's ministrations (he apparently thought the word "plumber" offensive) there was only the minor disruption of a city block or two being cordoned off as a result of the installation process, and no damage was reported to any third party's home.