Driveway Guy by Chris Zito

Why is it that tradesmen always tell me everything is “easy?”

We got the driveway re-paved today and the foreman was just like any plumber, electrician, or carpenter I’ve ever hired.
I asked him, “What do you think of these stone steps in front of the house?”
“Oh, that’s easy to fix. You could do that yourself.”

Seriously? This guy has never met me before this morning and he thinks I can demo concrete steps with a rented jack hammer and built wooden steps? He obviously has never spoken with Mr. Wes, my high school wood shop teacher.

We were once assigned with making a “mod lamp.” It was basically a wooden box with a circle cut out of the top for the fixture.
“This will be easy,” Mr. Wes assured the class like a harbinger of a future handyman.

My box was uneven. I had to sand it, use wood filler, and extra glue. It was a mess. On the day we got graded Mr. Wes took each guy’s lamp, commented on it and told you your grade. He picked mine up, turned it over in his hands a few times and said, “This is a real putty wagon, Zito. C.” My hand to God that’s a direct quote.

Years ago when Kimi and I were dating she came to visit me for a weekend and I attempted to impress her by hanging a full length mirror in my bedroom. After disfiguring my closet door to the point where a return of my security deposit was out of the question, the mirror finally ended up on the floor propped up against the wall. Three hours later. You would think a guy working in radio wouldn’t need to invest an entire afternoon on a full length mirror installation, but hey, any job worth doing is worth ruining a few fixtures over.

Guys that are handy seem to have a blind spot for people who aren’t. God didn’t make all of us good with our hands. The best thing I can do with mine is hold a microphone. Maybe the next time a carpenter looks at me like I’m six and says, “That’s easy. You can do that yourself,” I’ll hand him a microphone and say, “Get up there on stage and make this room full of strangers laugh for an hour. It’s easy.”
Of course he can’t do that, but for me, making someone laugh for an hour is a breeze! My wife still laughs about me trying to hang a mirror and that was fourteen years ago!

Thanks for reading. Tell your pals.
Chris Zito

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2 Responses

  1. Yikes, I had completely forgotten the “real putty wagon” line! Did he ever threaten to “tune you up”?

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