Monday, December 28, 2015

Don't try this at home!

Some things are better left to the experts, but you have to love people for trying.

Ask any plumber how many times they get called to someone's house, only to find that Handy Harry tried and failed to replace a toilet or unclog a drain.  First step is to undo the work of the well-intended amateur, and then fix the original problem. Since the plumber will be at Harry's house twice as long, so will his bill be twice as large.

"Let's turn this unused deck into a nice enclosed sunroom" is often the last sentence you hear from a would-be carpenter, just before disaster sets in.

"Why hire an electrician, when I can learn how to rewire the house online by watching YouTube videos?" is the statement that precedes a series of shocking events in home after home.

I have known people who deluded themselves into thinking they could perform physical therapy on themselves following surgery, overhaul a car engine by reading HOT ROD magazine, and represent themselves in court in a complicated legal matter. Time would prove them all wrong, but, again, you have to hand it to them for trying so hard.

But as someone who appreciates a good joke well told (not that I do that myself, ya unnerstan'...) I can't help but think of a dude I knew years ago who wanted so hard to be funny.  He would make up jokes that had all the form and rhythm of a real joke, so you would be there by the water cooler when he said, "A guy walks into a sub shop and says, 'Gimme a cold cut sub with everything,' and the guy behind the counter says, 'Do you want onions on that?' and the guy says, 'Onions are part of everything, aren't they?'"

And you just stand there going, Wha?????????

He would take a Henny Youngman gag like "If at first you don't succeed, so much for skydiving!" and say it like this: "If it doesn't work out when you go skydiving, you could be seriously injured, and then it's like 'If at first you don't succeed.'"

The thing of it is, the guy was a really great electrician. That's why I saw him so often.

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