Popular Woodworking 2000-01 № 112, страница 60

Popular Woodworking 2000-01 № 112, страница 60

The day my wife, bless her, tried to go tool shopping.

Be it known that I certainly do not consider my wife to be a stupid woman; actually quite the opposite is true. Though she is well educated, I admit she is far from her field of expertise when it concerns my passion for woodworking. Despite her fascination with my creations, her lack of tool knowledge, their use or any of the terminology has produced several funny anecdotes. But no doubt the most amusing took place during the Christmas of 1997.

With the holidays rapidly approaching, I found myself working evenings and weekends to complete some personalized gifts for family members. These projects included a curio cabinet for my wife's collection of crystal figurines, a combination cat house/climber/scratch post, and fancy shelving for my new mother-in-law. Unfortunately, I wasn't making much progress. Many of my tools, some of which had been left to me by my grandfather, were old and unreliable. So my projects were becoming more of a struggle of love than a labor of love.

Unbeknownst to me, my wife had made a mental note of every tool she heard me complain about. She opted to make those items my Christmas gift.

Thinking that she had become familiar with some of the tools I'd wished for, and others I had circled in a catalog, she set off to do her shopping at a large, reputable department store. Once inside, it didn't take long until a salesman approached and asked if she needed any help. That's when the troubles began. She first asked to see a "jack hammer." After several minutes of confusion, the salesman concluded what she really wanted was a hammer drill.

She perused the store's selection, then skipped to the next item on her list. Next she asked for a "Ping-Pong hammer." Apparently, the salesman didn't send her to the sporting goods section and surmised that she meant "ball peen." The situation

continued its downward spiral when she asked the frustrated salesman to point her in the direction of a "wasp." I suppose she hadn't been listening too intently when I said that I needed a new rasp.

The highlight of this tool shopping fiasco came when she began to act out a commercial featuring Bob Vila. My wife could not remember the name of the product that was advertised, only that several times I had remarked favorably on the item. Try as he might, the salesman was not able to identify the tool she struggled to describe and did little else but laugh at her pantomime of the ad. Realizing that she wasn't making much progress, my wife turned her attention to power tools, in particular scroll saws. She asked for information and price differences. And as she did so, the salesman noticed the linen department in the far corner of the store. He decided it was time to guide her in a different direction by in

forming her that the bed and bath department was having a huge sale, and he thought she would be more successful there.

An hour later, my better half returned home teary eyed and too embarrassed to tell me what had happened. I overheard her make a phone call to her father. Shortly thereafter, he arrived to take her back out shopping. He gladly clarified the requests with the salesman and helped her purchase everything on her list. The presents I opened that year may not have been my wife's choice, but the wrapping and fancy bows were definitely her loving touch.

The next Christmas I woke to find the old standbys under the tree: socks, underwear and aftershave. PW

Robert Lonsdale is a project manager for a large contracting company in Toronto, Canada, and is looking forward to building nursery furniture for his first child. He is grateful that his wife is more knowledgeable about children.

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