“Bob the Builder” Ain’t Norm!

(Very Adult Language)

I was talking with my friend Harry the other day about woodworking.  Harry is a master carpenter.  Anyway the conversation soon got to those TV shows about woodworking – you know, the ones where everything always goes together as planned, all the time.  I don’t know how they do it.  I have been woodworking for many years now, and I still don’t know how they do it.  Just once I would like to see Bob Vila, or Norm Abram, or who-ever, encounter a small little problem that soon manifests itself into a “show stopper” that just pisses them off!  This is woodworking; not the crap we constantly see on TV where everything  always fits,  and everything always goes together – the first time!  That shit just doesn’t happen!

I would love to see just one episode where things are going great, then they begin to fall apart.  Now this is woodworking!  (At least, from my experience!)  I envision a scene where the host is exhorting how simple a process is; when it doesn’t fit as he goes to assemble whatever.  Knowing he’s on TV, he has to maintain his composure.  But soon the frustration level begins to rise.  Now this is woodworking!

And I’d like to see the harder he tries, the more resistance he runs into – until he reaches his “boiling point,” and completely loses it!  (This is hard to type because I’m sitting here, laughing so hard…at myself!).

So now, our host is completely “postal” with his project!  We can hear the director trying to remind him that he’s on TV, but he’s unreachable.

“This mother-fucker,” he is now heard to say, “is really pissing me off!  It went together so well in rehearsal and now look at the gawd-damn thing!  Just a simple fit; why is it fucking me?  There is ABSOLUTELY no reason it shouldn’t fit – the gawd-damn thing!”  And with this, he reaches around and takes a large ‘Mexican speed wrench,’ (a crescent wrench) off the tool board, and begins to beat the living shit out of the errant piece.  Our host is now “on fire!”  He is about to enter his “main act!”

The director is beside himself, but keeps filming…this is just too good.

It isn’t long now before our calm, composed host takes his rage to the project itself.  Only now he needs a bigger tool, and he leaves the set – returning shortly, with a huge maul!  As he raises the maul overhead, we hear him exclaim, “I’ve had enough of this shit.  For thirty years now I’ve had to pretend it hasn’t been a big deal, and now I’m just tired of it!  This gawd-damn thing embarrasses me on TV; I’ll show ya!”  And the maul comes crashing down through his project with a mighty blow.

Pieces and splinters fly!  In the background you can hear folks scrambling.  Ole Norm has gone off his brain!  He’s whipping that maul around like it’s a tack hammer.  And it’s now one hell of a show, and one I have been through many times myself!

As the dust settles and ole Norm has worn himself out, he spots a Bosch jigsaw – and it spins him up again!  (I hate my Bosch jigsaw, that’s why it’s in the story here.)  Norm grabs the tool at the end of the power cord and begins to swing it around and around, over his head.  When he feels he has just the right amount of velocity, he brings it straight overhead to where it crashes down  into the floor.  “Take that, you mother-fucker,” he is heard to say as he looks directly into the camera.  And now, with a sense of satisfaction, we see ole Norm walk off the set…

I can laugh at it all today; but there was a time… a time when I didn’t have either the patience, or the maturity, and on occasion, I would destroy things I built.  If it wasn’t “perfect,” I couldn’t accept it.  Sobriety, growth, experience have all contributed toward my woodworking today – and if something is not “perfect,” I can live with it.  As long as it is not “crappy,” I can live with it.

I also keep a cricket bat in my shop these days.  Brought it back from Australia.  I keep it there for when someone points out a “flaw” to me – something I either missed, or screwed up – well, that will be their last conscious thought of the day… LOL!

Thanks for indulging me here this morning… I am still chuckling.  And I think I just might make a YouTube video here one of these days – on woodworking!

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