Why does everything I get to assemble end up with extra pieces?
I am not handy.
I am not good at construction.
I am not good at taking my time and reading directions and paying attention to small print.
But I am cheap.
And I also have a teeny-tiny problem with having to be right. All the time.
So many, many times in our 1.9 decades together, when a store clerk or a repair person or a technician of any sorts asked me one simple question,the Beautiful Bride and I have the same conversation.
It starts with “Do you need some help with that?” from the clerk.
(The “that” does not matter. I can do any “that” that a clerk asks me if I need help with.
(Incredulous, slightly offended look from me….)
“”Oh no…I can do that”
(Incredulous, slightly concerned look from The Beautiful Bride)
“Are you sure…? she says.
The clerk interjects, “Sir, the assembly charge is only $10.”
At this point it is about the money. I am cheap, I want to be right and I do not see any reason to drop another $10 at the store.
“No I got this…how hard can it be?”
(Incredulous, a bit more slightly nervous look from The Beautiful Bride, who is now a somewhat concerned that I could do something that would blow up the house.)
“Yeah, no worries, I’m good. We’ll just get this baby home, and I’ll have it together in no time.”
At which point the clerk says “OK, just make sure you follow the directions all the way through both assembly manuals…”
Both assembly manuals…? Did he just say both assembly manuals.?
I think he is just faking me out, Cause I bet that one manual is like in Chinese and German and the other is in American and Australian. So I can just ignore 3/4 of the manuals because i do not speak Chinese or German or Australian,
So off we go, one giant box, two (alleged) manuals, and one very concerned wife.
When we get home, I drag the box into the garage, rip open the top that says “Handle with care” and dump everything on the ground.”
Who knew that gas grills had some many parts? There must be about a thousand different screws. And a thousand and one warnings that say the same thing, “proceed with caution. YOU WILL NOT HAVE ANY EXTRA PARTS. IF YOU HAVE EXTRA PARTS THE LIKELIHOOD OF YOU BLOWING YOURSELF AND THE WHOLE NEIGHBORHOOD TO SMITHEREENS IS PRETTY GOOD!!!!!!!!!! DID YOU REMEMBER THAT THERE WOULD BE NO EXTRA PARTS.”
So I gathered my toolbox (which consisted of an old Allen wrench from a previous assemble-it-yourself bookcase and some imitation duct tape) and began to work.
Three or four hours into the project the Beautiful Bride came to the garage (wrapped in an aluminum foil fireproof suit – “just in case” she said) to see how things were going.
I was just finishing. Four hours of work to save $10. I had just paid myself a sturdy $2.50/hour,
“Ta-Da!” I said. “There is your gas grill. Let’s have some steaks.”
She nervously looked around the garage.
“What’s that?” she said, pointing to a small pile of screws, bolts, wires, and springy-looking things.
“Oh…nothing. That’s just some extra pieces.”
We had only been married a few months at this point, but i already had learned that this was not a “Oh Honey, you are an amazing, virile, talented hardworking construction worker (but not in the Village People kind of way) kind of “Hmmmm….”
No, this was the kind of “Hmmmm….” that said “ARE YOU CRAZY DID YOU NOT READ THE DIRECTIONS WHERE IT CLEARLY SAID THAT IF YOU HAVE EXTRA PIECES THERE WILL LIKELY BE A CRATER THE SIZE OF A SUBARU SUV IN YOUR BACKYARD THE VERY SECOND YOU TURN THIS THING ON.”
“Uh,,,,yeah….i”m not really sure they meant that, because I followed nearly all the directions in both manuals and I can’t imagine that those things in that pile are really all that important.”
‘OH, SO YOU HAVE SUDDENLY BECOME A TRAINED PROFESSIONAL IN BBQ EXPLOSIVE DEVICES AND KNOW BEYOND A SHADOW OF A DOUBT THAT IF YOU ATTACH PROPANE GAS TO THIS MOSTLY PRETTY WELL ASSEMBLED BOMB NOTHING CAN GO WRONG?”
“Hmmmm….?” she purred.
(There’s that blasted “Hmmmm….” again…)
“Well, not exactly…,”I said.
At which point she said, “I called the store and they said if you bring it back they will only charge $10 to take it apart and another $10 to put it together correctly.”
So I said, “Hmmmm….that sounds like a good deal to me.”
And the way I figure it, I did not cost myself an extra 10 bucks AND an afternoon of misery by trying to put it together in the first place, rather I saved myself about $30,000 because I did not blow up the back of my house.
See, I told you I always have to be right…