Monday, March 17, 2008

Task Force

I was just going to pull a hit n run at Loew's on my way home from handing off Rob's Bike to Fed Ex in Portland. I needed some fresh AA batteries and some Greased Lightening. And for the most part it was indeed a quick visit. Might have spent 10 minutes inside. Considering the fact I can spend hours wandering up and down the aisles seriously contemplating what project I could supply out of this aisle or that section, 10 minutes is barely enough time to make it from the entrance to the exit.

My usual routine is to spend at least 1/2 an hour lusting after and fawning over the lawn tractors before I even think to begin any particular trip through handyman heaven. I wonder if I will ever own another lawn tractor. And if I do, will my visits after be the same? Will I still run my fingers over the shiny red or green paint? Fondle the shifters as I drink with horny eyes the deep knob patterns of the drive tires. No, I think the romance will be over once I have decided to and actually have taken one of those 18 HP tauntresses home with me.

I vowed that today's trip was in, out, wham, bam, thank you ma'am. Follow the list with no deviation or stopping to flirt with those shiny 8 foot long Stainless Steel barbeques. Covering my eyes if I even come close to the power tool section. Tonight, I would be efficient. Business like.

I knew just where in aisle 5 to look for the Greased Lightening. I wash and degrease hunderds of bikes in a season. Finding a good bang for the buck degreaser is never far from my mind. Greased Lightening may not be perfection in a degreaser, but it works as well if not better than degreasers costing over twice as much. Kicks Simple Green's butt. When I buy it, I buy it by the gallon. And never have I left without at least two bottles. Like I said I wash a lot of bikes.

Knowing the batteries are always camped out near the automated check outs that scare me so much, I head right to them so I can leave without more temptations from deeper inside the beast. Check out and head home.

That was the plan. That was my best intention. The overall scheme.

But I am a guy. And guys are as bad as the ladies when confronted with the baubles, gadgets and gizmos that guys tend to collect as they pass through this life. As a guy, all I have to do is say to myself, "Oh look, they have flashlights next to the batteries. I am tired of that wimpy light I have to hold in my mouth or between my legs when I am trying to change the belt in the sno-blower."

I probably have 10 flashlights kicking around, but I still take 5 minutes to check out what Loew's is pushing as the latest and greatest in the flashlight world. Immediately it became clear, 5 minutes would not be enough time to give their selection the consideration it deserved. I wanted a light that would stand alone and still be adjustable to direct the light where I needed it. I settled on the Task Force 6 volt Z light. Only 13 bucks, came with a battery and the package assured me the Task Force would stand up and hold the light for me. I wouldn't have to deal with the running dialog that usually comes with the helping hand my wife provides.

As I hurried to my truck so I could bust open the package, insert the battery,and see how it worked, I realized that I am as weak as the next man when confronted by stacks of the things that I want. I have no right to the consuming moral high ground when considering my own tendencies to bring home more than was on the list. I am weak. I need to be protected from what I want.

Afterword to finish on a high note -

~ I wore blue today in remembrance of my ongoing inability to remember St. Patrick's Day. The day was almost gone when I realized my disrespectful attire. Happy St. Patrick's Day!

~ This post pounded out silently without any stumbling attempts to keep even a 4/4 beat going.


A Midnight Rider said...

I didn't do the St. Patrick thing either. I'm a full time Irishman.

Your friend Rug reminded me of a guy we hung out with. His name was "Uggy". The gang named his sister "yuck" and his girfriend "spit".

There are two sad things about Uggy et al. The nicknames were mean, but most of all they were apropos.

Anonymous said...

Well you two are just pathetic, I must say. Not to celebrate Saint Patrick's Day is beyond pathetic ... it's ... it's unromantic.

No wonder you fellas hang out in hardware stores.

Apertome said...

Hey, I'd view this as a win. You only spent an extra $13 over what you intended -- it could've been much, much worse. I try not to even enter stores like Lowe's or Home Depot because the temptation is extreme. Although living in an apartment means I don't need a lot in the way of tools, which so far has helped me keep things in check.

I don't know what it is about places like that, though. I suddenly seem to, as I browse, start to "need" things I've done just fine without for many years.

Anonymous said...

I have a special fondness for "tool world". I think that's what they call the section with all the tools in it. it is indeed a world of tools. I believe it is with a similar fondness that my wife refers to ME as a "tool".

Roadside Manners said...

I worked for Lowes driving a truck for them, I was amazed at how much of my paycheck would stay with them. Tool Lust, mmmmmmmm!