Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Redneck Solutions

In my last post, I told you about my little thumbnail drive’s misadventure in clean living—a three-time tour of my front-loader’s wash cycle. Today I got the courage to give the flash drive a try, and everything is still there. I can open files and work with them and all. I’m amazed. It didn’t even need duct tape.

I’ve not had such good fortune in the past. My first breadmaker, for example. In our last house, the inside corner of the countertop had a bad buckle. Stupid me didn’t realize you could reject that kind of sloppy work in a new house; we lived with it until just before we moved out 20 years later, when we replaced it in a desperate frenzy to make the house attractive in a terrible market. Anyway, I was in the habit of setting the breadmaker to do its thing overnight, and one night I must have set it too close to the bump in the counter. The breadmaker (I’m assuming, since I didn’t actually witness this part) “walked” itself to the edge of the counter and jumped off. Breadmaker suicide. I’d always thought it was happy.

My husband, whose fixit skills are mostly limited to duct taping, shooting with WD-40, or smacking with a hammer, duct-taped the lid back together. Suddenly the electrical connections lit up again. Instant redneck breadmaker. Whenever I remind him of that, he reminds me of the house I grew up in. The hot water handle in the basement shower broke off, and Dad replaced it with a vise grip. Thirty years later when the vise grip rusted, Dad replaced it—with another vise grip. One year I gave my dad one of those 365 days of duct tape calendars, which gave a new use on each day’s sheet. He called me, triumphant: “I discovered use number 366! The calendar fell apart and I duct-taped it back together!”
Any redneck solutions in your life?


  1. Oh my gosh, Val, this is my favorite EVER! I too had a breadmaker that walked, but we talked it down and it never made the jump. I sympathize with John -- I'm the duct-taper in the house. My dad, my brother and my husband are all very handy, thank goodness! If it were left to me, I would have to own stock in a duct-tape company.

  2. Duct tape rules! I used it to rejoin the handle to our vacuum when it broke, fix a broken axe handle, and hold the passenger door shut on my '53 Ford Victoria. So ... I've used it for a long time, obviously. Oh, it comes in handy for bandages as well. But that's another story.

  3. In college, I took an OSHA class. My professor told us that duct tape was a must when packing for ANY trip. She even watched a grounds crew repair a problem on an airplane with duct tape. Her response? Why did they make us wait so long? I could've let them use my duct tape!

  4. Val, this is hilarious! Duct tape is a household staple for us, of course. I can't top the vise grip shower fix. That's classic. :)

  5. Duct tape were heck to me. Didn't even like to carry it when in college.