Not doing what comes naturally…

I have urges. Even at my age.

Urges to do what I shouldn’t. What I know is bad for me. Inappropriate. What I know better than to attempt. Recurrent blind-spots. Wilful dumbness.

Like taking a second slice of cake;

Or thinking I can still cartwheel;

Or offering to carry that suitcase up those stairs;

Or catching the lift instead of walking up one flight;

Or bungee jumping;

image

Or passing up the chance to use the lavatory after my second coffee and before we set off for her mother’s.

Sometimes the urges are thought experiments that are really beyond gormless. They evidence a complete and utter absence of gorm.  For instance…

We have charging cables for iphones and tablets and androids and what have yous lying around. I read a tragic case of  a dog that took the end of one that was plugged in, in its mouth… I wondered what that would be like. I know I’d probably die. Like the dog. But would I just be blown back across the room with what’s left of my hair on end and my scalp smoking? Like in a cartoon. Why do I even wonder? Am I mad?

Or this…

Many is the time that I lead with my head. Currently I have a scab across my shiny pate about an inch long and rather deep caused by me trying to climb into the back of the car. There was a good reason why I felt the need to self incarcerate only I can’t remember it now. But because this is the umpteenth bump and cut, I now have this urge to shave my head and see what my scalp looks like. I think they’ll be scar tissue like some scabby nazca lines that may act as a modern Rosetta stone for aliens. But I’d look ridiculous – my head is too square and combined with my non-existent eyebrows the look would scream creepio – given we live opposite two large schools I’m not sure I’ll be allowed to walk past with Dog in tow.

But mostly my urges, the ones I really want need to suppress relate to my ingrained clumsiness. This means I cannot do DIY. I can do a year’s posts on my incompetence but the reason I have so many tales is because I keep trying.

Only this past weekend I tried to fix the runner on a shower door that had come loose. I studied it carefully. I analysed the situation with the same fearsome logic that got me two A grade A levels in maths (see what I did there?) and knew – I just knew – what to do. Undo the locking nut, unclip the runner, put it back on the rail, re-tighten said locking nut and, as they say in Marseilles, Bob Est Ton Oncle.

Minutes later the locking nut described a perfect parabola as it, complying with all appropriate Newtonian laws for the movement of mass, left the end of my screwdriver in a north-easterly direction at approximately 7 meters a second. It bounced once and, with an accuracy that belied repetition, disappeared between the skirting board and the wooden flooring touching neither.

Happily despite ruining the shower I did come up with two mathematical equations for what happened :

Hope divided by experience is never a positive integer 

and

the total of my wife’s frustration is equal to the number of my attempts at DIY  to the power ‘n’ where ‘n’ is a humongous number 

So that’s all good then.

I’m off to find a charging cable…

 

About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published three books - Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle, My Father and Other Liars and Salisbury Square. In addition I published an anthology of short stories, Life, in a Grain of Sand this summer. A fourth book will be out soon. This started life as a novel in a week on this blog and will follow later this year. I blog about all sorts at geofflepard.com and welcome all comments. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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69 Responses to Not doing what comes naturally…

  1. Reblogged this on Barrow Blogs: and commented:
    Too funny to miss!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jools says:

    Nearly snorted coffee out of my nose over this one. 🙂

    Like

  3. It has always intrigued me that some people have urges to do things that are downright dangerous, or scary. I mean, bungee jumping? Parachuting? Cycling in town? I have never in my life had the urge to do anything remotely dangerous and shall probably be one of those exceptional people who dies hit by a cow falling out of the sky.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Anabel Marsh says:

    Reading this, I realise how many benefits there are in living with an engineer who can take things apart AND put them back together again so that they work!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. jennypellett says:

    You sound about as inept as my hubs is when it comes to DIY- and he’s good at maths too. In my next life I’m marrying a plumber.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. willowdot21 says:

    Durrrrr! You lost me!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The French translation of “Bob’s your uncle” ? ☺ So sorry about your DIY insecurities, Geoff. Cherish your other talents…like writing an incredibly entertaining post. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  8. AJ.Dixon says:

    What a brilliant post! 😂 I think this is something we can all relate to in some form or another. I’ve had to fight a recurring urge since childhood to throw whatever I am holding into rivers when I am crossing bridges over them. It is a ridiculous urge, and one which cannot provide me with any positive benefits…but it still tempts me every time. It was initially my Gameboy Advance, then my house keys and since then my various phones. Thankfully, I’ve never succumbed to the urge, but if I’m stupid enough to keep being tempted, then who knows?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. jan says:

    Haha! Hope you have a good handyman around! My husband is good with DIY but he’s so slow! It takes him forever to change a washer.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I am beginning to nurse a secret passion for you Geoff – the boy who never grew up! That had me spluttering over first coffee and wiping the tears from my eyes because I SAW you putting the live end in your mouth ………………….

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Judy Martin says:

    Ha HA HA ! Oh. I do admire you for trying, and keeping on trying despite your battle scars! I creased up over the fact that you did your mathematical equations to work out how to fix the runner (why do you brainy people never have any common sense?), then promptly dropped the screw! I am sorry to say I am glad there is someone else as bloody hopeless at DIY as I am, even though you are far braver. No, way would I EVER bungee jump!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. No matter what, I give you ten gold stars for trying. Anyway, you can regale your family and friends with stories of how NOT to do a similar fix. 😀 😀 😀

    Liked by 2 people

  13. merrildsmith says:

    So funny. I will have to share your equations with my math teacher husband, who actually is quite handy around the house. Please do not try the cord experiment. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. bzirkone says:

    Very funny. My husband insists that he is not a carpenter or handyman. After 20 years of witnessing his work around the house I am apt to agree. He once told me that no matter how many times he cuts a piece of wood it is still too short. He can vacuum and mow like a madman though. We have the best yard on the street and our 10-year-old carpet looks brand new. Everything’s a trade-off.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Sacha Black says:

    This was a terrible post to read in bed next to a sleeping wife. My shoulders were rocking so hard I thought the bed might collapse. I was suppressing that much laughter I genuine released 4 tears!! Funny post EVER! 😂😂😂😂😂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Ali Isaac says:

    Yep. My hubby is good at maths and crap at DIY too. The difference is, he knows it and rarely tries. Unfortunately, I’m no good either, which is why our house is slowly falling apart.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Charli Mills says:

    Yeah, those urges…with experience they become dulled, especially if physical or emotional pain resulted from the last one. In the Hub’s family I’m surrounded by crafty women. When they start talking quilts and knitting needles and creating sculptures from milk jugs, I make writing analogies from the craft under discussion. It makes me feel connected, at least. If you want to feel better google epic DIY home improvement fails. 😉 And go have a piece of cake. Cake makes it all better.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. trifflepudling says:

    😂 😂 Can relate to the diy mess-ups too closely!
    A major urge is to tuck in stray collar labels of complete strangers in queues if they’re sticking up. I did once pick a hair off someone’s coat but realised it was a bit nutty, so left the rest…

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Reblogged this on Suzie Speaks and commented:
    My next ‘Top Blogger to Follow in 2016’ is Geoff LePard, or ‘Geoffle’ as he is affectionately known to many. I love his blog, and I’m sure you will too. Hop on over and say hi… There will be cake!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Oh you had me in stitches Geoff!!! Your poor wife. Stay way from the DIY…

    Like

  21. ellenbest24 says:

    You tube if something has been repaired someone has put it on you tube. Honest don’t thank me just try it. We all have different strengths. Gentle Geoff you made me run to the bathroom i laughed so much.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TanGental says:

      You know Ellen that’s a myth right there. I’ve become more not less confident with you tube videos. But they still don’t prepare you for the setting you find your whatever in so there’s always something – a slope, a wall, the wrong screwdriver – that will catch the unwary. And I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. It gets worse as you get older

    Liked by 1 person

  23. davidprosser says:

    I’ve learned to look but not touch. I’m still able to offer non-expert advice to whoever does the job though which leaves them wanting to shut my head in a car door.
    Hugs and sympathy.

    Like

  24. roweeee says:

    I loved your post and could so related to your DIY difficulties and I, of course, have to be married to a measure twice cut once type when I guestimate stuff and always get it wrong. This largely relates to furniture purchases because I don’t do much fixing in this house. More wrecking.
    I was visiting my dentist today who is a family friend and his wife told me a joke when could well apply to failed DIY attempts at home.
    When you get married, you get a deck of cards. When you first get married, you get hearts and diamonds but after you’ve been married awhile, all you’re looking for is clubs and spades.
    Made me laugh.
    Hope you’re having a great week.
    I wrote an extensive poem on my way to and from the dentist today. After sort of forgiving my illness in my recent 1000Speak post, I painted it in a very unflattering light today. I don’t know if it’s to blame for my tooth difficulties but I’ve had some niggly problems with a crown I had put in recently and I think they may have been exacerbated by it. Anyway, if not, it became a ready scapegoat. You don’t want to get on my bad side.
    xx Rowena

    Like

    • TanGental says:

      Love the joke Row. And poetry for me is an emotion in words so let if flow and it may help you, help others.. Who knows? And later, believe me your children will love it and cry. Parental poetry utterly does that.

      Liked by 1 person

      • roweeee says:

        Thanks so much, Geoff. I really do appreciate your ongoing encouragement.
        I will have to show the kids more of my writing. I tend to do it when they’re not home and we’re always chasing our tails.
        By the way, I’ve bought this fantastic stuffed toy Koala which looks like it’s absolutely sozzled. It’s going to be a regular visitor to my blog. Might even read your first book, which I still haven’t reviewed.

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        Perfect reading material I’d say. What’s his/her name? Bladdered? Pixellated?

        Liked by 1 person

      • roweeee says:

        I’m thinking about Bluey. Can you imagine a sleepy Koala being a tour guide…especially driving a bus? Definite potential there!

        Liked by 1 person

      • TanGental says:

        Dud I ever share this with you http://youtu.be/gNqQL-1gZF8. Might give you some ideas

        Liked by 1 person

      • roweeee says:

        Thanks so much for that, Geoff. Quite a few facts in there I hadn’t heard before plus I loved the humour. Quite typical that you learn something about your own country through someone from overseas! Hope you’re having a great weekend. The kids have just left for scouts where due to strong winds, they’ll be doing sailing theory today.

        Like

  25. What were the odd’s of that happening while fixing the shower? I hope you’ve done the lottery. I think there’s a better chance of winning it.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I am so glad i’ve found your blog …. thank you Suzie81Speaks

    Liked by 1 person

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