There are two types of people in this world.
There are those who, when a door, drawer or cabinet won’t close, open it back up and carefully look for the cause. We may empty and entire drawer just to find that one object that’s sticking up way in the back, or clean out the entire closet so that sleeve from that one jacket won’t keep getting caught in the door crack.
Then there are those who, when a door, drawer or cabinet won’t close, simply push harder, sometimes repeatedly. And if that doesn’t work, they put a shoulder or hip into it.
I tend to resemble the former, but I have a feeling that most of the people around me fall into the latter category. Give me a square peg and a round hole, and I’ll go find a block plane and some sandpaper for the peg, or maybe a chisel for the hole.
Present the same quandary to many other people I know, and they’ll go find a hammer — that is, if there isn’t some other hard object closer at hand that they can’t try first.
I’ve come to the conclusion that the rest of the members of my household fall into the brute force category. I’m making this judgement based on hard evidence, to wit, the number of doors, drawers, cabinets and their associated openings that need some sort of repair around my house.
In fact, I recently had institute a new rule: the penalty for touching the dishwasher with any part of your body other than your hands will earn you 50 push-ups. This rule was established on Easter morning after my daughter, who was trying to find half of a plastic egg she had launched across the room, used a karate kick to try to close the dishwasher door — which happened to have a partially loaded bottom rack resting on it. Let’s just say the racket got my attention. And they wonder why the dishwasher racks are always coming off the tracks?
And there’s the occasional frost build-up and thawing of things in our freezer when something that doesn’t fit on a shelf is placed on the shelf anyway, and pushes back against the “use more force” method of closing the door, usually spotted by the puddle on the floor where water from melting ice has pooled.
Then there’s our chronically loose door knobs on our front door, which I’ll admit, aren’t from family members trying to jam the door shut. No, the reason the knobs keep coming loose is because my kids routinely use them as hand holds for balance while they try to jam their feet into their shoes on their way out the door, instead of sitting on the nice benches I built and taking their time to untie their shoes. My kids will never be able to sneak out of the house; any time they leave, it’s preceded by a minute of loud stomping.
More recently, we’ve been using a baby gate to keep our dog from going down the stairs while he recovers from surgery on his leg. I now have to add fixing the marks and gouges in the wall and trim to my list of things to do because instead of carefully moving the baby gate to get by, the kids try to step over it, and frequently knock it down.
Of course, depending on who you ask, my tendencies may not be any better. If you look in my bedroom, you can immediately pick out my dresser — it’s the one with all the stuff stacked on top because I can’t fit it neatly in the drawer and don’t want to just try to shove it in.
And I’ll admit, when we’re trying to tidy up quickly and I start pulling everything out of a cabinet, it might be a little annoying to some, and I’ve sometimes been concerned that someone is going to use a hammer on me. It would be pretty easy for them to do, too, because my hammers are neatly put away in one of my tool chest drawers.
Of course, it might take a little effort for them to get to my tool chest past the giant pile of stuff in the middle of the garage. You see, I started cleaning the garage last week, and things weren’t fitting quite right, so I took everything out ...
Reach Clarion editor Will Morrow at firstname.lastname@example.org.