The Swing Set

Papa Scrum pulled out what appeared to be a 10 volt drill. A sleek black little thing. But 10 Volts? Humph, I judged, humph.

Me, I got out my 18 volt monster. Heavy enough that you could feel the sexual desire running through it. It comes with a flashlight and enough torque to give your Mamma a night she will never forget. That's right, it will plow your Mamma and have enough power left to drive a 3 inch screw like it was the Phillips head of God.

Some men measure their machismo in the fancy car they have. Some men measure it in the new plasma that they got hanging ever so fancy from their wall. But none of that, bucko, would be possible without the power drill. And any man worth his salt has a good one. Not a decent one, but a good one.

Stop reading this and go look into your garage. If you have any kind of drill in there that is less than 18 volts, stop reading my blog. Go to Home Depot and beg forgiveness and promise that you will never do that again. Then man up and buy a decent drill, even if the only thing you can fix is your profile on your twitter page.

I looked again at his drill. No, it was not a 10 Volt woman's drill. It was a 19 Volt tool of Posidean. Well done sir, you have out volted me. It would appear that you have an extra inch on me, touche.

With our drills we walked over to the pile of wood. It was a gorgeous pile. A pile with a destiny. Sleek 1 x 6's hemmed in by some good looking 4x4's. Beautiful. It was time to get started.

From this pile of wood we would be building a fortress of a swing set for Papa Scrum's kids. From this pile of wood we would construct happiness and it would glorify my name. Each knot added character, each turn of the grain gave it a joyous profile, each change in hue gave it a voice that sang out "Make me a monument to all that is Hoss!"

We didn't have plans. We didn't need plans. Our plans consisted of a couple doodles on household stationary. Papa Scrum assured me that it wasn't a napkin. I love working with amateurs, makes it a challenge.

We cut the angles for the A-frame, the support of Zeus that would hold up this contraption. Life and death hung in the balance.

We guessed at the correct angle. Protractors are for pussies. We just caressed the wood and spoke the secret language that only men say. It said "Cut here". And we did. Several times. Then several more times when that was wrong. Finally, we cut again. You can never cut to much.

Once cut, the tribute to awesomeness was ready to assemble. Occasionally a wife would walk by. She would have a confused look on her face. Thinking that the pile of wood still looked like a pile of wood. Sticks at best really. This was supposed to hold her children, keep them safe in innocent play?

It would do better than that. This baby would launch them to the moon from one good push on the swing or one good teeter on the totter. She quickly went away because we stank from sweat and wood and labor. Because mothers know nothing about labor.

We assembled. We assembled like we had never assembled before. We assembled like mad men because it was almost time for me to go home before my own wife started calling his wife and I don't need that kind of trouble.

Was that board straight? Straight enough I say. Is that landing level? Level enough I say. Is that step long enough? Long enough I say.

Like a beautiful sculpture it came together. Each piece fitting more or less the way it was supposed to. Each screw kinda going where it was supposed to. Each moment bringing us closer to perfection. The Pyramids of Giza, The Library in Alexandria, and this Swing Set--all wonders of the world.

And then it was done. It shone like the heavens above. To it I went, marveling at our engineering know how. I must sign it. I must sign it so that all who may play on it shall know my name for eons or 5 years, whichever comes first. And sign it I did. Like I do all my woodworking projects. If you have something that I built, whether a single shelf or your love den, I have signed it somewhere. And there it remains.

I left knowing that my task was complete.

Latter, Mama Scrum went to play with the children on it.

"Why is this step shorter than the rest?" she asks.

Because sometimes greatness needs to take a few shortcuts.


  1. I see I played right into your hands there. Didn't mean to sound ungrateful. Thank you, O Swing Set God!

  2. Love the blog Shannon...it's been the highlight of my week lately. Hope all is well up in KC. The next 'man weekend' is waiting patiently...

    PS - I've got an 18V Dewalt, I hope that'll suffice. I've stripped many a screw heads with it's might.

  3. Hossman's MIL BossmanJune 16, 2009 at 1:26 PM

    Well done sir!

    BTW, I have a Craftsman 19.2V.

  4. I greatly enjoyed this post. Sounds like you had a blast putting this all together.