My incompetence with tools is breathtaking. In high school, I actually had a carpenter yank a hammer from my hands and explain to me how to use one properly. “I taught Special Ed to retards for 5 years!” he screams in my acne’d face. “NEVER did I have to show anyone how to fuckin hammer a nail!”
So when my first Black & Decker edger/trimmer projectile-shits its cover across the lawn (which disappears forever), I figure it’s something I do wrong. When the next one — Homo Depot doesn’t carry replacement covers, so I end up shelling out for an entirely new unit — works for 5 second bursts at best, forcing me to stop, rip off the cover, advance the line manually, then repeat so that edging takes 90 minutes each time — I naturally assume I’m doing something stupid that I’m incapable of detecting, and put up with it.
When it breaks again and I call Blackened Pecker to ask WTF, they send me a “repair kit” with no instructions, so, attempting to fix it, I break it again. When I call them up to ask what the hell I did wrong, they tell me to do exactly what I already did, and that it “shouldn’t have happened” so I should take the unit to a repair center. Which I do. They fix it. I ask what they did different. They tell me. That’s not what they told me to do on the phone, I protest. They shrug, they smile, I leave. Story of my life.
And it still doesn’t work right.
This goes on for TWO FUCKING YEARS. Eventually, I take BOTH broken units back, both still under warranty. When B&P sends me two brand new replacements, I take them BOTH back for a full refund and buy a much more expensive machine from a company called Cub Cadet. Which works perfectly.
So for two full years, I struggle with these busted tools, deal with the asshats on the phone who tell me lies, endure endless frustration every time I mow the lawn, all the while figuring it’s my own thumb-up-the-poopshoot inability to hammer a nail properly taken to the next level.
Today a letter arrives from Blackened Pecker. Evidently they have discovered that the unit(s) I attempt to use/repair for all that time are defective. “It may be possible for the spool cap to disengage from the unit or for the line to mis-feed during use.”
Great Hung Gods of Gore and Glory. I was right. They’re fuckin dumber than I am, and they’re in the business.
Makes no never-mind to me. I have this great gas-powered unit with attachments that edge, cut weeds, trim hedges, and even blow debris off the driveway. Five B&P units and 20 years later, I have tools so practical and well designed that even a dunce like me can use them. I only wish they designed software, too.
The B&P letter, framed, will hang in my den. Haven’t felt this sanctimoniously vindicated since I voted for Nader.