I followed Jakob out of the house. “Hang on a sec.” I said, stopping in the garage. I had a feeling a couple of tools might be a good idea to bring along. I grabbed a few wrenches, along with whatever else I could get my hands on. Oh, and some extra patience. Cause, your friendly neighborhood Jman isn’t known for being much of a “fixer”. Just ask my ol’ man. On second thought, don’t. But, what I lack in fixing skills, I sure make up in cursing.
“C’mon, dad!” Jakob said, waving me on. “Hurry.”
“Ok!” God damn. This had better be good.
The scene by the fence was one of total and complete chaos. Twisted pieces of shattered metal scattered about the lawn. Chain link fencing hanging from houses across the street. Metal poles bent in unholy shapes. It was horrifying. Jakob stood next to me, tears welling in his eyes.
Ok, perhaps that’s all a bit of a stretcher, but to Jethro, I’d be willing to wager he didn’t think so. ‘Cause he was struggling in a near panic, trying to wrangle this monstrosity of a gate back onto it’s hinges by himself. It was a losing battle for him. I mean getting that gate back on is at least a 4 man job. This gate is six feet of pure hell. I’ve had the WWE ask me if they could use the gate in their steel cage matches. I always decline, though. On principal, of course.
Jethro put on a good face. He was probably thinking I was gonna meltdown on him any second. As I walked over, the gate tipped out of his hands again. “I got it Dad.” He tried to reassure me. Clearly he didn’t, though. And if he did, then why was I standing out there? When I could be surfing internet por, er…working diligently on an article?
“Here, Jethro…” I said grabbing the hinged end of the gate. “Let me do this.”
“I got it, Dad.” He said, struggling to hold the gate up.
He glanced up at me. Now, I’m not sure, but I think he might’ve been bracing himself. Like, I’ve ever yelled at him for running around outside without shoes on, or shooting nerf guns in the house, or doing flips on the trampoline, or jumping off the top bunk, or forgetting his homework, or punching Jakob, or kicking Jakob, or listening to dance music. You get the picture. “It’s fine, Jett. I got it.”
“Ok.” He replied, reluctantly letting the gate go.
Now it was my turn to struggle with that f**cking, mother**cking, stupid f**cking, mother**cking, cursed, mother of all things great and small, stupid f**cking gate myself.
The hinges on the fence, which the gate connected to, had to be adjusted. For whatever reason, probably for the big guy upstairs amusement, the hinges were out of alignment. I managed to get the bottom hinge adjusted, but the top one? Not so much. Fortunately for me, ’cause I can be clever at times, I did grab the WD-40 when I was in the garage.
Still, though, that bastard hinge would not move. Oh, I sprayed that shit up and down. Nothing. And because I’m not entirely clever most of the time, I forgot to grab a hammer in my rush to see the damage. Jakob’s fault entirely. So, I did what any other quick thinking Neanderthal would do. I picked up the wrench and started beating that f*cking mother*cking f*cking hinge.
I heard Jethro chuckle behind me. “That’s like Rod fixing the engine.”
I turned, shooting that little turd (who, as I know you recall, created this mess for me to fix in the first place) a dirty look. “What?” No. There wasn’t much in the way of happiness in my voice. Here’s the part of the story where I tell you a little about myself. Don’t talk to me while I’m fixing something. Don’t talk to me if I’m busy. Or while I’m reading. Or while I’m doing the laundry. Especially if you caused me to do the extra work.
“Ummmm…Heh.” Jethro sputtered. “You know…in Hot Rod? When Denise comes over to the garage and Rod starts banging the wrench on the car engine? “Oh…Denise. What’s up?”
I stared at him for a moment until it dawned on me what he was saying.
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“Not much.” Jethro responded, laughing.
I nodded to him with a smirk. “Funky fresh.”
“Funky fresh.” He managed to get out between fits of laughter.
We must’ve laughed at least a good ten minutes. Just when we’d stop laughing, I’d bang on the gate again. And start all over. I wish I could say that this story had a happy ending. But, it doesn’t. Cause it took me a fucking hour to get that gate up, once the laughter died. God gave me the real practical gift of words, not a superfluous one like fixing shit. Ok?!?!?