Mr. Handyman

Never put a spatula down the lint filter of your dryer. Seriously, this is not a good idea and one that may cause you some headache in the future. I speak from experience, so let Hossman help you out a little.

I should have given this advice to Hossmom before she attempted a little home repair herself. It would appear that there was some extra lint that wouldn’t come up when she cleaned the filter. Her solution was grab a spatula and attempt to coax it out, perhaps sweat talk into just popping out on it’s own. But she is a mom so she took the kitchen utensil approach.

The last time my own mother took the kitchen utensil approach was when she used a wooden spoon to give me licks. Two problems with that. 1. The wooden spoon broke. 2. I was getting, um how you say, “to big for my britches” and thought that it was absolutely hilarious that my mother broke a wooden spoon on me. It didn’t even come close to the licks my father had given me or the daily little brother beatings that my older brother administered.

So my advice to all mothers is to use kitchen utensils for their intended purpose. And I really mean that. If my own mother had headed that advice we wouldn’t have ruined a perfectly good wooden spoon. If my wife would have followed that advice then I wouldn’t currently be sitting behind a disassembled dryer trying to get everything out of a lint filter.

Now let me be clear. I have no idea how a dryer is put together. But I appear to be one of those mechanically inclined individuals that can take apart things and put them back together with little effort. My father is like this but unfortunately my brother is not. It got to the point where his wife would call me to come over to do repairs as he forgot to turn off the electricity when changing a light fixture. I agree, I wouldn’t give a screwdriver to my brother either.

I have my trusty helper with me, Little Hoss. You wouldn’t think that a 2 year old that is prone to earth shattering temper tantrums would be the ideal candidate for handyman helper but you would be wrong. Believe it or not, she is by far the best helper that I have ever had. She makes my wife’s brother, Uncle Bricksalesman, look like a monkey writing Shakespear. I guarantee you if I said “Hand me the 5/8th socket” she would give it to me way before he would. Most likely he would turn chimpanzee on me and start throwing poop as soon as he got frustrated when he couldn’t remember how to divide fractions.

She is great. She knows the difference between a flat head and Phillips screwdriver. She knows what needle nose pliers are. She knows what a socket wrench is. And she never, ever drops a screw. It would appear that my little girl has a talent for this and I would be lying if I didn’t say it made that Father’s pride in me swell. Plus, she is got those little carnie hands that are really good to reach into tight spaces. She has started more than one screw for me.

I don’t ask Hossmom to help me because frankly she sucks. The last time she helped me I was installing a ceiling fan. Her solution to every problem was “just turn that thingy a little.” It got to the point that I actually debated how bad it would be if I just dropped the fan on her head. Give me my two year old at anytime and I bet we could build the space shuttle if we only had the blueprints.

As I pull out the lint filter from the dryer, I think that this is the only real reason Hossmom keeps me around. She knows that I am handy and she enjoys knowing that I can fix things when needed on most occasions. It’s either that or she considers me expendable and if I get shocked by an electric current she can classify me as collateral damage. That is another reason I keep Little Hoss with me when I fix things, she knows how to call 911. Pretty soon I’m going to teach her how to dress a hand that is missing a finger.

By now I have the entire back of the dryer disassembled and Little Hoss has all 14 screws neatly in her hand and begins to line them up on the floor. We work on counting them as I poke and prod. We are having trouble with 11 and up at the moment but I’m feeling confident that after a few more spatula incidents we can knock that out in no time. I also take this opportunity to show Little Hoss the difference between a sheet metal screw and a woodscrew. Always learning. I give Little Hoss a screwdriver of her own and she starts poking around herself.

To my utter amazement she finds one of the clumps of lint that has been balled up back there and knocks it out all by herself. It was the big one that we were looking for.

Here’s some truth about my daughter. She may refuse to pick up her toys. She may throw the biggest fit you have ever seen if she doesn’t get to watch Tinkerbell. She may enjoy chunking bits of chicken nuggets at her brother’s head. But she can totally dismantle and fix a dryer that she has never seen before and she can do it in a dress with her hair all made up. That’s my little girl.

Then she farted and we both laughed. Life is good.

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