Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Home repair

Something around the house stops functioning the way that it should. You try the easiest solution you can come up with. You fail. You entertain the idea of calling the local handyman to repair it. Then you remember how much he charged for the last simple fix you and your husband couldn't be bothered to figure out on your own and you vow to repair it yourself. This was my day today.

The back door stopped closing because the pushy-innie thing (sorry for the highly specialized technical term here for all you non-home-repairers) was lodged flush into the door and no longer catching on the plate. After the several seconds of annoyance this complete malfunction caused me, I trotted out to grab the WD-40. Afterall, isn't it a truth of repairs that if it should move and doesn't, you spray it with WD-40? I am sad the have to be the person who bursts your bubble, but this is not an incontrovertible truth. It didn't work for me. So after considering handyman guy, who is charming in that very Southern way, I remembered what it cost us for him to essentially gerry-rig the fence gates so the dog couldn't get under them (and they look no better than they would have had I done the gerry-rigging). It may only have been the idea/illusion of money that went up in a puff of Wall Street smoke, but I have better (read more appealing) places to spend our *actual* money so handyman guy didn't get a call. I trotted myself off to the local home improvement store with the pushy-innie thing after I dismantled the entire lock and door handle. I was rather dismayed to discover that you cannot buy the innards of a door handle without buying the entire handle. Bummer. Although the instructions tell me the pushy-innie thing is actually called the latch so at least I learned something given the extra money I had to spend. I came home, read the directions, replaced the lock and door handle, stood back and admired my cost-saving handiwork (in the interest of honesty, it takes all of four screws to replace a door handle unless you also replace the strike plate, in which case it takes aa whole two more). As I patted myself on the back, I swung the door closed. CLUNK! The door hit the strike plate and bounced back hard. Who knew you could install the pushy-innie latch upside down?!

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