Whatever happened to the American Handyman?
You know what makes me sick? You know what makes me so mad I just wanna staple the helpful hardware guy to a stack of sheet rock – with a nail gun?
Today I want to pay tribute to a dying species. The noble and majestic American Handyman.
I am an American Handyman – one of the last of my breed. Now let me take you back – and see if this don’t sound familiar. Back when we were kids – everybody’s Daddy was a handyman. That is a do-it-yourself dad. One weekend, he’d be in the garage dropping the tranny on the family station wagon. The next weekend he’d be installing a new hot water heater. Basically – our daddies were the jack of all trades. They could fix it… repair it… install it… or rebuild it. And that knowledge was there for the taking.
But my generation…apparently only half of us were paying attention. Lucky for me – I soaked up the knowledge. And I thank my daddy for making me the handyman I am today. I can lay linoleum… seam drywall… wire up a breaker box. I’m a plumber… an’ auto mechanic. I can mix cement… hang a door… replace a winder… I can trench, wire, paint, putty, spackle, shingle… you name it – I can do it. Even if I can’t do it – I’ll give it a shot. And chances are – I CAN do it.
So here is my problem with all of this. Let’s say a true American original handyman – like myself…was to need something for a job I was doing. That means I got to go to the giant name-brand hardware store. People – them stores today – those ain’t hardware stores. Those are giant decorating ant-hills for yuppies. You can stand right there in the parking lot and watch them yuppies streaming in and out of there carrying stuff. And none of it fixes nothing. It just ‘remodels’ stuff.
You go in there carrying a chunk a metal you tore off the back end of your furnace… and some clueless genius in a colorful vest will look at it… hold it up… stare at it for a few minutes… and go, ‘Are you sure you don’t want to see our winder coverings…?’
Wake up, America. The bad news is… you can’t find nobody to help you fix nothing in these stores. The good news is – you can pick up a decorative border for your kitchen counter. True – you won’t have heat – but the place will look better. I’m Earl Pitts, American… and Pitts Off.