Monday, May 16, 2011

Joe Fix-It Strikes (Out) Again

The stereotypical cliché is that the helpless woman marries the man so that he can take care of the house and fix all the things that break and need fixing. I’m sure this is the case with some people, or it wouldn’t be the stereotype. I am not one of those people.

Some guys are “Joe Fix-It.” I’m “Joe Ignore-It-And-Hope-It-Gets-Better-On-Its-Own.” It never does. Then I switch to “Joe Stand-There-While-The-Wife-Fixes-It” mode. I’m very good at being “Joe Stand-There-While-The-Wife-Fixes-It.” Sometimes you just have to find your niche and go with it.

I may not be "Joe Fix-It," but I do know the difference between a crescent wrench and a Croissan'wich.
(I would prefer a Croissan'wich.)
Case in point: A while back, I got out of the shower and noticed the faucet was dripping pretty badly. My immediate reaction? I must not have turned the shower off far enough, so I crank down on the knob as hard as I can. The drip gets worse. My next reaction? Like Tim “Tool Time” Taylor from "Home Improvement," I decide to go with “more power.” I crank down even harder on the knob. Of course, this only makes the drip worse yet again.

My next course of action? Reboot. (Hey, it works sometimes with the computer.) I turn the shower back on, then turn it off again. Since the faucet doesn’t run on any Microsoft systems, this strategy fails miserably.

Now I have nothing left in my arsenal except ignore-it-and-hope-it-gets-better-on-its-own. It’s a tried and true strategy that I’ve employed for years. And, surprisingly, it’s actually worked a few times, most notably with engines that have overheated or are flooded. But, I don’t think the “Ignore it” strategy has ever worked with a leaky faucet. That doesn’t stop me. I’m going to give it a try.

So, I went back to my daily grind of watching the kids and whatnot, and didn’t give any more concern to the faucet. Then The Wife came home from work at school (she’s a teacher), and went to the bathroom. Any thoughts about the faucet had completely left my mind (I’m good at “Ignore” mode) until the moment she yelled, “Joe!” I always hate it when reality strikes and I’m shaken out of “Ignore” mode.

(And to be clear, when The Wife yelled, “Joe!” it wasn’t a yell of “Joe, what did you do to the faucet!” It was more a yell of, “Joe, do you know anything about this faucet that is leaking?”)

What was The Wife’s first reaction to the leaky faucet? “Where are the tools?” The thought of using tools to fix the faucet hadn’t even occurred to me. (I am an idiot.) And soon enough I had reverted to my role as a 14 year-old on the farm: I was the tool gopher. Except that now instead of going for tools for my Dad, I was going for tools for my Wife.

Soon enough, she had the thing taken apart and the problem diagnosed. We needed a new shower handle knob. (My cranking down on it had, of course, made the problem worse.) So, we stopped at the hardware store to get a new one. (Ironically, The Wife likes to have me with her at the hardware store, because if she is by herself they treat her too condescendingly.) Before the evening was out, the faucet was fixed. (For good measure, while she was in the area, The Wife decided to change the shower head, too.) (Just because.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

I Am Goofy! (Or Possibly Celine Dion)

I'm Goofy.

I know that I'm goofy, and everyone that knows me knows that I'm goofy. Especially my daughter. (This is a good thing, because she loooooves Goofy.)

We took the kids to Disneyland in February. We went in February because The Girl was about a month away from turning three years old, and kids get in free at Disneyland if they are under three. Using this as a reason to go to Disneyland means we are:
a) smart
b) frugal
c) cheapskates
4) looking for any reason to go to Disneyland
e) any or all of the above.

She was very excited to see where Goofy lives. Why does she like Goofy so much? Probably because of me. As a big, clumsy doofus, Goofy is the obvious choice for me to identify with. Whenever I do something that showcases my clumsiness in front of The Girl (which is more often than you might think), I tell her, "Daddy is clumsy. He's almost as clumsy as Goofy."

That is a very Goofy man! (And hey, isn't that poo on that building behind me?)

In my record collection I have an album from the 70s that has disco songs about and by the Disney characters. I put the song "Watch Out for Goofy," which is about how clumsy Goofy is on the dance floor, into heavy rotation in The Girl's night-night music. She loves it.

And then, there's the voice. Now, I'm no Rich Little/Frank Caliendo/Scott Bakula, but if I do say so myself (and I'm about to), I do a pretty good Goofy impersonation. Unfortunately, it's a limited impersonation. I can do the Goofy laugh ("Uh-huh-huh-huh,") and the words "Sorry" and "Gosh." (The key to a good Goofy "gosh" is to pronounce it "gawrsh.")

The bad thing about being so good with the Goofy voice is that The Girl requests it ALL the time. When she says, "You're Goofy," she's not commenting on my mental or physical nature, she's ordering, "Daddy, do the Goofy voice again!"

In that regard, I feel an awful lot like Celine Dion. Celine Dion, you ask? Well, no, I'm not French, or Canadian, or French-Canadian. I'm not skinny, can't hit the high notes, and I've never performed in Vegas (although my wife has). I've never been called a chanteuse. (Or a chantuer.) (I know, "chantuer" isn't a word, but if a male masseuse is a masseur, shouldn't a male chanteuse be a "chanteur?")

Wait, so why am I like Celine Dion? Well, aside from the fact that I've taken to randomly whacking myself in the chest while I'm singing, I'm like her because we both have to endure constant requests to perform the same thing over and over and over and over again. You know she is constantly getting requests from people to sing "that Titanic song." She's had other hits, but "My Heart Will Go On" is the only thing she ever hears about.

The Girl is constantly demanding I be Goofy. It wouldn't be so bad if my range weren't so limited. But, if I try to stray much beyond the "Gawrsh" while doing the Goofy voice, I end up sounding like a cross between Mater from the "Cars" movies and Elvis Presley. It's pretty pathetic to hear, but she doesn't know any better, and she still loves it. And that's why I still do the Goofy voice: it makes her happy.

On our first morning at Disneyland, as we got through the gate, Goofy was right there near the entrance. It was almost like he was there waiting just for her. She got to hug Goofy and pose for pictures with him. It was the happiest moment of her life! ,,,Until she got on the carousel. Then the Dumbo ride. Then met Cinderella. Then had an ice cream. That's the great thing about being around a three year old: EVERY moment has the potential to be the happiest moment of her life!

The Girl getting her first hug from Goofy! (You should see the smile on her face!)

And if I can bring about that next "happiest" moment by trying to laugh like her favorite cartoon character, then by gawrsh, I'm going to do it!