Saturday, April 3, 2010

Lugging 50-Pound Bags Of Fertilizer Up A Hill: A Nevin Barich Blog Experience

My father-in-law Jim is a total handyman and outdoorsman. He can fish, he can build shelves, he knows how to stack things on the roof of your car and make sure it doesn't fall. You ever watch Survivor? Jim would be the guy who builds the shelter and everyone loves, but ultimately gets voted out because he's considered too strong and too likable.

I'm not handy in the slightest. I think I've used a hammer in my life exactly twice, don't own a wrench, and do nothing of the sort in my home outside of screwing in light bulbs.

It's one of my flaws as a man. Let's face it: Handyman-ness is sexy. You can be the fattest, dumbest slob alive, but if you can fix a car yourself, you're going to find some woman who will sleep with you. It's simple human psychology.

I cannot fix cars, nor do anything handy. So I've been forced to focus on other aspects of myself to exude sexiness. I should've made it easier on myself and either figured out how to build a birdhouse or learn how to play electric guitar.

As the son-in-law of a handyman and outdoorsman, it was only a matter of time before Jim asked me to help him out on some of these tasks and try to teach me a few things involving tools and sod. So it didn't surprise me when Jim recently asked me to assist him in his garden by helping him lift 50-pound bags of fertilizer up a hill that he would later use for planting.

Jim's garden really is a thing of beauty. His backyard goes up a hill about 20 feet, and over the years he's turned it from a dirt field into a wondrous sea of green grass, blooming flowers and fruit trees. But when I met up with him on an early Saturday morning to pick up the fertilizer at the school where he teaches, I soon realized that I was going to be doing more than lifting cow poo up a hill.

One of the things Jim teaches is wood shop. I never took a wood shop class. Actually, I don't even think my high school offered one. So when Jim took out his wood shop blades and drills, I was staring at things I had never used.

Unbeknownst to me, I was about to be given a lesson in cutting wood.

"I have a little project for you," Jim said.

The project was to make a little wood carving of the word "Mom" and give it to my mom for Mother's Day. This conjured up two thoughts in my head:

1) "What am I, 7?"

And 2) Jesus Christ, I'm gonna cut my fingers off using this blade."

Luckily, Jim has known me long enough to realize that blood loss was inevitable if I got near a blade for too long. So instead, he simply had me cut the wood for 3.5 seconds, during which he shouted "STOP AND LOOK WHAT YOU'RE DOING!!" (I was cutting the wood in the wrong spot), had me plug in an electric drill -- which I inadvertently turned on and almost killed us both -- and almost dropped a heavy buzz saw on my foot.

Like I said: I ain't handy.

Thankfully, the fertilizer lugging went much more smoothly. I was able to slug those things over my shoulder, I didn't fall down the hill, and save for squashing a bed of flowers when I dropped one of the bags of fertilizer in the wrong spot, I did well.

"Maybe soon, I'll have you come back and use the weeder," Jim said.

Then he looked at those squashed flowers.

And he sighed.

"Maybe not," he said.


And now for this week's:


I'm a little boy at heart. So when my 3-year old cousin Quinten came to town earlier this week, we had a little too much fun playing with his toys. Check out our YouTube videos here and here. :-)


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