Friday, June 26, 2009

Number Three on the List...

Violet and I keep a list of God's Five Greatest Gifts to Mankind. Violet always has five things on her list, but once in awhile, one gets bumped off in favor of another.

I, on the other hand, am the kind of person who, once the List is complete, wouldn't think of changing it. So, I have just now, today, added a number three.

I'm sure you are on the edge of your seat, wondering what holds places number one and two.
So here goes:

Number One: Indoor Plumbing.

I maintain that I am richer than Solomon in all his glory, because I have wonderful, albeit humble, bathrooms in my house. A full one, and an extra half-bath on the first floor. Sure, people in newer homes have like, four bedrooms and five bathrooms. Wouldn't our great-grandmothers roll over in their graves to think of more baths than bedrooms in a house?

Number Two: Chocolate.

Really, is any explanation necessary?

Number Three: Hardware Stores.

Now, this is not a new thought. I love, Love, LOVE hardware stores. And their big-brothers, the big-box home improvement stores. So many things you never even knew existed, all there begging you to take them home. And me not even knowing how much I really, really need them!
But right now, I'm talking about the regular ol' neighborhood hardware store.

This morning, I took my good scissors into the hardware store:
My mother bought me these scissors before I went to college. Her comment: Everybody needs a good pair of scissors; they will last you a lifetime. Of course, I knew about don't-use-fabric-scissors-on-paper-or-they-will-be-ruined. Throughout the years, I have kept and broken and kept and broken that rule a few dozen times. But they always sharpen up nicely.

Over the last couple of years, I found myself having to tighten the screw more and more often. Finally, no amount of screw-ing helped. That little screw was done Stripped.

I looked over all my cheapie scissors, thinking that I would steal a screw from one of them.

I found out that cheapie scissors are held together with rivets, not screws.

I looked online and found a place I could get a replacement screw. The screw was pretty cheap, but of course shipping costs would be involved, as well. So, I decided to try the Friendly Guys at the Local Hardware.

I asked for the Screw Expert. I didn't know if there would be some sort of Specialty Screw involved. After all, the screws in a pair of scissors don't just sit there, they are Moving All The Time. Turns out their screw expert was a teenaged girl. She took me back to the Screw Desk. (which was also the extra-house-or-car-key desk...) She began by working to get the old screw out. Fully five minutes later, this is what we had:

I don't think you can see very well. The best part of the screw shows that the threads are worn down to almost nothing; near the head of the screw, there are no threads at all--absolutely smooth. I *have* had the scissors for thirty-six years. I guess thirty-six years of faithful service should earn a guy a new screw, right?

So, to wrap up this long story, two employees took twenty-five minutes to finally narrow down six different screws (and a lock-washer) to one. That means fifty minutes of man-power. The final bill:

Fifteen cents.

(plus a penny tax.)

My scissors are happy.
So am I.
I love my hardware store.


Anonymous said...

Don Quixote writes --

fifteen cents over fifty minutes equals eighteen cents per hour.

Inglesidemom said...

I worked at a hardware store! Bostwick's True Value. Finding litte things that meant alot to a customer was a favorite thing of mine.

Long live the hardware store!