Saturday, July 15, 2017

Me And My Big Tool

Everyone should have a hod carrier to call her very own. What is a hod carrier, you ask? Well, that's what Dave was one of. The way he explains it--and he's perfectly happy to explain it in the presence of bricklayers, who can be thick and scary--you have your bricklayers, and you have your hod carriers. And all your bricklayers do is lay bricks. Your hod carrier is the one that sets up the job, anticipates the needs, gathers the materials, makes the cuts, does the math, brings the rocket ship home, and makes everything work. So the hod carrier is the brain and heart of the operation, and the bricklayer is the meat.

The point is, hod carriers take care of all the little details in your life so that it runs smoothly and everything you need is ready at hand before you even know you need it. If your personal hod carrier is, like mine, particularly good, you can go through life assuming groceries magically appear in your refrigerator and toilets are always clean. The toilet paper replenishes itself, gas tanks are always topped off, the bird feeder is full, and the cat is never hungry.

Even now, after all these years, I have the sorry habit of thinking that if I have everything I need or want, it's just because that's the way life is. I don't always give proper credit. But I do know to come to Dave for special requests. I think of him more as a multi-use all-in-one tool, with nothing missing but the little toothpick.

There's the Extend-A-Dave, with which I retrieve objects from high shelves. It operates wirelessly, triggered by a pointing finger and pitiful whimper.  "Ennh ennh ennh," I say, and point, and the crackers float down to the counter level.

And then there's the Stompinator. The Stompinator has size thirteen shoes and it can compact an overflowing yard debris container into a solid wad a third the previous volume. Yesterday I chopped up a bristly conifer and jammed it in the container. A mass the size of an entire Christmas tree towered above the lip. The Stompinator wadded it up in a minute and pulled four extra conifers in on top of it. There's still room for your softer weeds.

So there you have it: the Stompinator and the Extend-A-Dave, all in one easy tool. But wait! There's more!

One time we spent an entire day yarding out hedges and vines and stickery bushes and shoving them into the pickup truck to take to the dump. Limbs were married together and thorny branches intertwined and the entire tangle of rejected vegetation howled with malice. It was a mess. Nothing, it would appear, would be pulled out easily. Because the situation was insufficiently dire, we also did this on a 95-degree day, which is known to be fatal to Pacific Northwesterners. Dave pulled the truck around to the spot we needed to disgorge our debris. "How are we ever going to get this all out," I whined, plucking impotently at a vine and shouldering my rake in despair, and Dave handed me the rope from the tarp and said "Well, just coil this up for now," and I did. I spent a half minute coiling the rope around my elbow and I stashed it in the cab and then I turned around and our truck was flat empty.

Dave had a plywood sheet in the bottom of the truck and strength not generally required of 21st-century men and he'd gotten himself in the back of the bed, lifted the plywood sheet up, and dumped the entire load in fifteen seconds. He busied himself for another minute sweeping the dust out, shut the tailgate, and climbed behind the wheel.

And that's why he's also called The Big Dump. Happy 34th anniversary, sugar plum, that's the story I plan to stick to.

47 comments:

  1. Oh, Happy Anniversary :)
    I hope Dave gets to read this and recognises it for the credit it is. He certainly seems handy to have around.

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  2. Happy anniversary to you and your "Swiss Army Spouse"!

    And I realized from reading this that because of my penchant for organization and preparation, I am a hod carrier. I don't quite know how I feel about that....

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    Replies
    1. Proud. You should feel ever so proud.

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  3. Your wedding itself was a wonder
    The union has not been a blunder
    Let it ever flourish
    Be never malnourished
    And let no man put asunder

    Happy Anniversary! We are so lucky to count you two as friends!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, to the woman who made our salamander and frog wedding rings!

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    2. Salamander and frog wedding rings? Pictures please.

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  4. Replies
    1. You and Bob gave us a bird bath that is still happily in use today.

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  5. Saw the title and the pic of Dave and thought, "Heh. Dave is the big tool," and thought I was being clever.

    I worship at your feet, oh Master of Humor.

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    Replies
    1. Oh, get up! Worshipping makes me squirmy. And thanks!

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  6. Happy Anniversary! Missing you, back here on the east coast. hugs!!

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  7. Congrats! By the way, how many cases of Total Domination IPA does it take to celebrate your 34th?

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    Replies
    1. Dude. It takes what it takes. (PS That's our normal haul. You're always welcome to drop by!)

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  8. Congratulations to both of you. And if your aim was to make most of us envious, you succeeded.

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  9. Happy anniversary to you & your big tool!!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! We were together seven years before marriage, so that's...41?

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  10. ...a multi-use all-in-one tool, with nothing missing but the little toothpick... never tell on your man ;)

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    Replies
    1. Oh snap. I didn't even go there.

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    2. I was so surprised! Leaving all that money on the table. :-)

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  11. I absolutely love you both.

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    Replies
    1. We're going to have to go visit you. I've never milked anything.

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  12. A very happy anniversary. Has Dave been cloned yet inquiring (and acquisitive) brains would like to know?

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    Replies
    1. No, but I know where I can get a lot of DNA.

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  13. I have a similar multi-function fellow.I also now have a carport FULL of wisteria and passion fruit and Petrea vines to be hauled to the tip...

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    1. "The tip!" Whole new expression, and as usual, I love it! And so does my "moggie."

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  14. Aw, Happy Anniversary! This is quite the interesting tribute to your life partner, but no less affectionate and way more fun to read than many :)

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    Replies
    1. You know, when your head is in the clouds most of the time, it's nice to have someone who not only loves you but knows how things work.

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  15. I couldn't help it. I had to look it up. Heartfelt congratulations to you and Dave- here's wishing you another 41 years or thereabouts. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=iqGvLpPx3vY

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    Replies
    1. Holy cow. AND he has a nice flat head you can rest your beer on. I'm going to fancy-link that so someone else can just click on it.

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    2. Gah - that's pretty amazing!

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  16. Replies
    1. Everyone needs one. But some of us have more...privilege.

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  17. What a great, honest tribute to you both. I have one of these multi-purpose models, and I promise you I don't deserve him. Luck! It's the way the dust settles eons after the gods have passed by.

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    Replies
    1. I've always said it was better to be lucky.

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  18. I called Henry DeMot to tell him to get the cath lab ready up at OHSU.

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    Replies
    1. Never a bad idea. Oh shit--we're Kaiser people.

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  19. Wishing the world had more Daves!
    (We could use one in D.C. although I wouldn't wish that on anyone.)

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