Caught Without My Drawers, or, The Bureau Of Frustration

Homeowner carpentry is only slightly less maddening than homeowner electrical work. I can speak with authority because when we ran the inspection on my house, we discovered that the clothes dryer had been hot-wired into the breaker box and smoked out the back when you ran it on the top setting: “It works fine on Medium,” the seller’s agent said.

I got money back on that one but for the price I paid I was not going to complain about the built-in drawers. They tended to pull half-way out and get stuck, requiring the skills of an advanced pinball player to get back on track, but I could live with it, until I couldn’t, which was about nine-thirty-five yesterday morning, give or take. The bottom drawer had gone from balky to well and truly stuck, and after several roundhouse slams with my feet there was nothing for it but the four pound sledge.

The sledge dates from my political campaign work. It was probably the most skeletal campaign for Federal office in human memory and the candidate, I suspect a high-functioning autistic (he was a career statistician), insisted on campaign signs of biodegradable signboard mounted on wooden stakes pounded in with a sledge, versus the currently popular plastic sheeting signs on wire frames. He even stipulated the angle at which the stakes were to be cut (22.5 degrees) and used to instruct us on how to level them with a three-way carpenter’s bubble level. Needless to say all of this was not always done but those who assisted with signage ended up owning sledges. I named mine Mjollnir.

I got down on the floor, aimed Mjollnir at the lower corner of the skewed drawer and fetched it about three whacks, pulled, and with a mighty tearing noise managed to wrench the thing out of the frame. The contents ranged from swim floats to a couple dozen VCR tapes (I don’t own a VCR) to an equal number of MREs bequeathed by my Albino Ex not long after 9/11, when Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge was telling us all to be prepared with nonperishable food, water, plastic sheeting and duct tape. You don’t want to know what I eventually did with the plastic sheeting and duct tape.

(No. I don’t know any normal people. It’s just my life.)

I policed up protruding nails and split wooden drogits, found a box for the tapes and things and put the drawer out at the curb so I wouldn’t be lured into attempting a repair job. This morning, still two days before the pickup, it was gone. Go figure.

There are still two drawers left in the frame, which I will pitch as soon as I can shop for a replacement. Someone obviously is looking for things like this, and I’m considering posting to the neighborhood list serve that I will leave a pair of drawers in my driveway for whoever wants to pick them up, but it doesn’t seem to come out sounding right.

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11 thoughts on “Caught Without My Drawers, or, The Bureau Of Frustration

  1. Mjollnir! Another name from my dark past, misspent cutting high school so I could browse ancient texts up the street at the city library. It’s wonderful I knew what you were talking about so many lifetimes later.

    So I don’t follow. Built-in drawers, i.e. essentiallyy part of the house?

    And by hot-wired do you mean bypassing the 220V breaker? You got rednecks out there too?

    • It’s a frame built out from the paneling when the attic was finished so it can be removed without having to find a way to board up anything, but it will take a claw hammer to remove it from the wall.

      And yup. There was no 220V breaker. It was patched right into the 110V juice, in some way that I chose not to examine too closely after the home inspector found it. I had to hire an electrician to run the right wiring and install an outlet.

      You would have love the kludgey arrangement of clothes lines and eyebolts they had used to suspend fluorescent tubing over the washer area, and did I mention the washer was placed directly behind the four inch outflow pipe so you kind of had to wrap yourself around the pipe to load it?

      Rednecks are Virginia’s commonest product.

  2. Jim says to tell you that Google was able to inform him that Mjollnir was the name of Thor’s hammer, but no body seems to know what a “drogit” is. Google wanted to know if he meant “druggist”. What is a “drogit”, anyway?

    • It’s a regionalism for a thingummy, that is, any object which has clearly been shaped or constructed to serve a specific purpose but, by the time it is called a drogit, has usually outlived whatever device or structure it was meant to be a part of. A whatsit.

      Most junk drawers and workshops contain several examples — pieces of wood carefully planed to fit… what? plastic objects with a knob or a prong designed to join up with something, if only you knew… you get me.

  3. *makes mental note to insert the word drogit into the next conversation I have*

    I knew what Mjollnir was, but you completely lost me when talking about the wiring and voltage. My mind kind of goes “la la la laaaaaa” whenever such subjects come up, especially if there are any numbers involved, and then tunes back in once the topic has changed.

    Which probably explains why it takes me an average of 8 months and a visiting friend to change blown lightbulbs in my apartment.

    You don’t want to hear about the various broken things that I have ‘jury-rigged’ in my place: they don’t really work, but I can sort of work around them. Sort of. I have a blind in my living room window that threatens to take my eye out every time I open it.

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