My grandfather has always been a little quirky. His latest DIY is usually my favorite thing ever, and they happen frequently… like when a lizard got into the house accidentally, and he installed cardboard and duct-tape “lizard flaps” across the bottom of all the doors. Or when the paint started to oxidize on the top of his old car, so he bought a can of spray paint and was disappointed by the way it looked when finished. Or how he leaves notes on my car that aren’t usually at all noteworthy.
My father is also known for his strange antics. Like the clogs he bought when he took an evening job for fun at Border’s Café back in the day. Plastic, so he could put them in the dishwasher when they got dirty – which he did all the time. You’d open the thing for a clean plate and find shoes instead.
I’m not around as often, so I don’t get to witness the shenanigans like I used to. But every week my dad and I meet at my grandfather’s house and go to breakfast together with whoever can join us, and this week we were waiting for my sister to arrive.
“Come out and keep me company,” he said, peeking his head through the door to the garage.
So I went outside, and he was holding the most decrepit extension cord I’ve ever seen in my life. In two pieces.
“What the? What happened?” I said.
“Puppa cut the thing in half with a chainsaw when he was doing yard work.” He had a pair of wire cutters in his hand, and he was carefully cutting the rubber from the sliced end of the chord. And then I notice all the silver lumps of duct tape down the line.
“What are you doing?” I said.
“Splicing it back together,” he said like I really should have known better than to ask that question. Because why would anyone ever buy a new extension cord once they had sliced it in half? And it had been repaired, oh, a half-dozen times already. Puppa slicing it in half with a chainsaw is evidently an epidemic.
He finished stripping the wires and then twisted the two halves together, copper hanging free. And then he pulled open a drawer and started shuffling through the tape.
“I don’t know if there’s electrical tape in here. Dad!” he yelled. “Dad, electrical tape?! Hang on,” he told me. “I’ll be back.”
He disappeared into the bowels of the house to find Puppa, and when he came out he started rooting in the tape drawer again.
“We don’t have any electrical tape,” he said. “I don’t think we can do this without electrical tape, it’s not very safe.”
AS IF ANY OF THIS WAS SAFE TO BEGIN WITH.
I started laughing, and I couldn’t stop. This right here is my heritage, folks. To be fair, I was totally willing to let him plug it in and see what happened, so I may not be entirely blameless myself. I did manage to convince my dad that he should just gift Puppa a new extension cord, so at least he’ll be safe until the next time he cuts through the thing.
Also, I missed this.