Thursday, July 5, 2007

The Measure of a Man

Yesterday, the microwave broke. Help! We're gonna starve!!

I shouldn't complain too much. That particular unit lasted for seven long years with us. Especially with Mrs. Gnu and the Little Gnu popping up popcorn and pizza every half hour all summer long. We got our money's worth out of it. But alas, it died so off to the local Hardware Superstore I went to get a replacement.

Brought back a really nice one for the low, low price of $200. Not bad, actually, considering Mrs. Gnu had her pretty little eyes set on one of the $600 ones. I won that argument. Dammit. The new oven has got automagical settings for all four food groups: coffee, pizza, popcorn and leftovers. Woo-hoo! One of the Helpful Hardware Experts at the store, after much arm-twisting to get me to spring for the in-home delivery and installation (a bargain at $150!!) to no avail, assured me installation was a snap. All you gots'ta do is unscrew the top bolts, slide the old oven off the back bracket, and ease the new one in. Piece o' cake.

Yeah. Murphy doesn't take a fucking holiday around here, folks.

First of all, I had about an hour and a half to get the two ovens swapped out before we had to head out for an afternoon Barbecue with friends. Shoot, if it's as easy as the nice salesman says, I'll have this done with time to spare. Who in their right minds would shell out 150 clams for someone to this? Well, pulling the old oven out was easy. Destruction usually is. Off to the boneyard with you, old friend.

Now we encounter the first problem: the bracket is incompatible with the new oven. We found that out after trying and trying to hoist the oven up into the slot and failing miserably. Arrgh! Fortunately, the new oven comes with a new bracket. Just have to pull the old one off and screw the new one in to the wall. Whoops, I dropped my screwdriver behind the stove. Time's up! Gotta go grill and chill with my peeps! Got home late from the BBQ and fireworks, off to work early in the morning.

Come home this evening to a pair of very angry Gnus. They want their popcorn... Now!! Back to work on restoring the kitchen to working order. So, we have to move the stove out and then squeeze in behind the cabinets to trade brackets. Only to find out that the guys who put it in managed to miss every single stud and had improvised with drywall mounts. Big, ugly, useless holes all over the drywall! On top of that, my cordless screwdriver's batteries died. I tried every single battery in the house (we have a whole ensemble of Black & Decker cordless products, not a single one of them in working order presently) and couldn't find one that would hold a charge. Off to the Hardware Superstore again, this time for a speed square and a drill with a cord.

Back from the hardware store, time to see if the bolts line up in the cabinet. Nope. Gotta drill those out, too. There's an old saying, "measure twice, cut once." I measured three separate ways, to make those damn bolts line up, and in the end, I was still off by 1/4 of an inch on all four sides!!

It took all night, a lot of swearing, and assistance from Mrs. Gnu to re-drill the bracket holes, mount the bracket, re-measure the top-mount holes, and hoist the microwave up only to discover that there is a quarter-inch warp in time-space that exists precisely 30 inches above our stovetop.

"It's okay, dear," says Mrs. Gnu. "You're used to handling twelve inches at a time, so a quarter inch is nothin'."

God, I love that woman!


E. S. Collins said...

When it comes to things like this I call my brother in law and get him to come over and help (re: do it for me) with the understanding that I will buy him food and say flattering things about him. The kind of aggravation that this type of thing causes would make me destroy the entire kitchen in a fit of rage. I have a few impulse control issues.

The Taco Prophet said...

"It's okay, dear," says Mrs. Gnu. "You're used to handling twelve inches at a time, so a quarter inch is nothin'."