Stick to what you are good at…

Many men have for some reason never been afraid of picking up a new DIY challenge in or around the house.  This would often involve a number of different obstacles.  The scary thing to consider is that most of us men who attempt these heroic adventures, haven’t got the faintest clue about what we are about to embark on.

Guess what? We really don’t have a clue.

And, to make matters worse, we will never admit to anybody (which unfortunately includes our loving wife) that we in actual fact are about to attempt something that should NOT be attempted.  One of two things will happen;

  1. The objective of the DIY project was well above our capabilities and it didn’t turn out as expected
  2. We made a complete balls of the project and we had to call a proper certified handyman – much to the amusement to my wife

Many of my friends gladly pick up the ol’ power tools and start drilling, cutting or grinding in their house, all in the name of home improvements.

If they eventually hit an e.g. water pipe, they scream and curse for a few minutes, only to patch the bloody thing up again.  One of them even knows where to turn off the main water supply to their house!

I have absolutely no problem admitting that I’m shite at DIY.  I would like to be good at various things, so I can pretend to be a real husband, but I just hate when things don’t turn out as I had pictured it in my head.  I strongly believe my optical lens is damaged or suffers from Picasso or Dali syndrome — the perfect picture in my head is incorrectly translated by parts of my brain that controls the DIY section, causing my hands to do something completely different.

To be honest, I know my DIY limitations, and so does my wife.

She knows that I’m brilliant at assembling IKEA furniture. I can now do it without even looking at the instructions – pretty amazing I know.

But more importantly, she has no problems confronting me when I suggest to do DIY stuff that is totally out of my league, such as tiling, electricity, plumbing, carpentry, etc.  Funnily enough she hasn’t mentioned gardening, which must mean that she appreciates my green fingers … or perhaps it’s because we both love the natural looking English gardens?

The other night I attempted to patch my exhaust on the hog (Vespa 125cc).  It wasn’t a huge task, but it had to be done.  The noise was so loud that it actually was hurting my ears while driving.

If I was 20 years younger, then I would have thought it was a cool sound.  Now, I was just embarrassed, because most of the city was staring at me thinking “look at the rude and loud individual, who has no respect for the noise levels!”

In short, it had to be fixed. I just had to patch it up before I could attempt driving it again.

I got the special exhaust tape and I got my toolbox out. I read the instructions on the packaging and started the job.  It was only meant to take 3-5 minutes according to the experienced mechanic in the garage.

20 minutes later I packed up or more correctly, I gave up. The toolbox was emptied on the ground and the exhaust looked like I had crashed into something.  Hopefully the bloody tape would hold together for my 30 minute journey to the garage.  I’m glad I didn’t have to remove the tape myself.

The DIY job wasn’t made any easier by the fact that I attempted to fix the exhaust at 21.00 (9pm), using a flashlight!

I started the hog the next morning and broke the sound barrier.  The tape had done nothing to conceal the noise.  In fact, I think it had gotten worse.

The drive to the garage, a 25 minute journey, was the longest of my life.  I came across three police vehicles on the route, who all looked for the source of the sound.  One person looked angrily in my direction, while I was parked in the traffic light. I simply pointed at an old car to pass the blame which worked until I took off WITH A LOUD BANG.

Beside the escapade above, here are a few reasons why I shouldn’t attempt a trade where I have no natural ability what-so-ever:

  1. I was knocked off a 2 meter ladder by electrical shock, while installing a lamp in a hospital.  Imagine the faces of the doctors, nurses and patients.
  2. I cut half my index finger off (not really), while pruning trees for my parent’s neighbors using a giant saw.
  3. I cut off the tip of my finger (same finger as above!) while attempting to break a glass plate in half, having pre-cut it with a glass cutter.
  4. I managed to drill 18 holes in one wall, just to fit one shelving unit – which normally only requires 10 holes.
  5. I slit my wrist while replacing a ceramic top piece of a toilet.
  6. I stapled my hand several times using a air-powered stapler, helping my dad.
  7. I banged my fingers countless of times, while using a hammer.
  8. I drilled directly into a power line, using a power drill. I can’t remember parts of that incident.
  9. I fell of the roof while cleaning it for leaves.
  10. I disassembled my racer bike completely to clean it, only to discover that I had NO clue how to reassemble it.

See, deep inside I know I can’t do all this DIY stuff, and shouldn’t.  When I finally do DIY stunts, then I often break what I’m meant to fix or make it worse.  Either way, I have to call in some re-inforcement.

Nowadays, I just do the easy bit and call for help.  It saves me from hours of pain and it makes sure we actually get what we wanted.  If not, then I can give out to the handy man for a shitty job or pay him/her less.

All that said, I admit that I’m shite at DIY.  When I talk to a handyman about a job, or watch them work around the house, then I can easily tell if they are spoofing it and making an arse of it.  It’s just like watching football from the sofa like a sideline coach. You always know better than the players and/or manager.

I do want to add, I have a kick-ass toolbox, with all the latest gear, allowing me to build a shooping mall.  Any man needs a good shed and a toolbox.


  1. Ouch. I’d say you’re giving the rest of us guys a bad name, but to be honest, we do that quite well for ourselves.

    This post is a great ad for the home repair industry. Consider a sponsorship…

    Thanks for the entertaining read!

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