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Wednesday, Mar. 08, 2006
I spent the vast majority of the weekend and first two days of the week outfitting the new self indulgence work vehicle Pictured Here into a worthy fighting vehicle for the carpentry wars at hand. In comparison to the ancient steed once used, itís a virtual RV of tool spewing luxury, with bins full of fasteners in regimented order, tools arraigned for a gun slinginí quick draw and stuff I ordinarily donít carry (but always wish I had) propped in odd corners. I can get inside and walk around! I bang my head on the door frame, but by God Iím in there, and Iím walking around!

Oh, it wonít last.

The neatness and order, that is. It wonít last.

Iím not an organizational freak, never have been. Iím more comfortable with a little slop on the edge of a core group of order. If I have a row of tool boxes without a stray saw blade or two, an orphan caulk gun without two or three empty tubes strewn about I get a little nervous. All that precision without a little mess makes me look like I ainít working.

From time to time over the years I go on a cleansing mission. The shelving units in the garage, the pickup truck, the storage shed, they all fall under the heading of ďThis must be put in some semblance of Human Sensibility, Lest we PerishĒ and the madness begins. Everything of questionable lineage is heaved into trash bins, parts are arraigned, tools are made visible once again. And all is made right with the world. Lasts about, oh . . . a week.

To be fair with myself, it should be noted that carpenters tend to have more tools and assorted optional goo than any other 2 trades combined. It just goes with the territory. I always grieve when some electrician, for example, walks onto a jobsite with little more than a pair of pliers stuffed in a hip pocket and maybe one screwdriver in hand. Because thatís really all he needs. Me, on the other hand, Iím staggering around with a double pouched tool bag that requires both a wide belt and suspenders to prevent it from sagging to my knees under the 40-50 pounds worth of trinkets festooned within.

So it should go without saying that the quantity of acquired stuff extends to the vehicles as well. Ever peek inside an electricians van? For crying out loud you could herd sheep in there. Your average carpenters truck? Youíre lucky if thereís room to shove a yardstick on top of everything else.

Stu and I used to have this conversation quite often. After filling the back of the F-250 with most of the stuff we deemed necessary and running out of room, one or the other would step back and sigh. ďBy gaw, we need a bigger truck.Ē And eventually we actually went out and got one. A much bigger truck. Big enough to carry everything! We even kept the old one as an overflow device. But when the older one filled up too, and a spare garage, and all the room we could beg or borrow from impatient spouses? Well, it just got ugly. Positively ugly.

So Iím not trying to fool myself here. I ought to take a picture or two of the back of this new rig as it sits, in my driveway, right this very minute. Because this is the shining moment. The very star at the top of the proverbial Christmas tree moment that may never come again.

Iíd take pictures, but that old retired fella across the street is sitting on his porch. Heíd see me do it, with doors open and tool bins exposed. Heíd see me and fall off the porch laughing because he knows. Just as any seasoned veteran of the tool wars knows, and I know heĎd let me hear it, as only a cackling old timer can.

ďYe damned young fool! You know you shoulda bought a bigger truck!Ē

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