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.