In life there are those of us who constantly break things. Cars, chairs, doors, sewing machines, tractors, water hydrants… And then there are those who fix things. Like cars, chairs, doors, sewing machines, tractors, water hydrants and deep fat fryers.
We received a very large deep fat fryer as a wedding gift from a very nice couple. It was huge. This big ole monster took about a gallon of oil to fill it up so I didn’t use it much. But on occasion when we hungered for French fries and the closest place to buy them was over 70 miles away I filled the green thing up and fried away. About the third time I dug it out from under the counter, filled it up with oil and plugged it in, it refused to heat up. I fiddled with the plug, as we women will do. I unplugged it and plugged it back in. I wiggled the cord where it went into the appliance. But still no heat. I thought I would have to throw it out, as that was how it was in my before I was married home, with my parents. Then my new husband came home and saw my plight. Without hesitation he said he would take a look at it. Well I had already done the plug thing. I even bounced the fryer, ever so gently, on the counter. What else did he think he could do?
I washed it out so he could “take a look.” I was amazed at what happened next. He turned it upside down, and began to unscrew the bottom. What? Nobody is supposed to EVER unscrew the bottom.
Why that would be like putting a knife into a toaster. You could die I remarked.
He just laughed and kept on going. Next he took the bottom off and there were wires and coils and I could see where the plug went after it went through the outer covering. WOW. I had never seen the innards of an appliance. Or I might add a cow or a sheep or a chicken… Those innards would also become part of my “As seen on the farm” repertoire sooner or later.
He just smiled and continued. The he said, “Well here’s the problem. This wire has come undone from the heating coil.” He grabbed this little yellow plastic thingy, which I have come to know as a wire nut, and screwed the two unhooked wires together, replaced the bottom of the fryer and handed it back to me. I knew at that moment that I had married the right guy. From that day to this when I break something, and there have been many, I just have to say “Fix it” and presto it’s fixed. Yes I have on occasion had to bat my baby blues his way. I am one lucky lady.
Now I tell you that to make this next part more poignant. One day after many years of watching Mr. Fix-it, I took it upon myself to think I could fix an old antique brass bladed fan I found in a storage shed. It was hot and we did not have a swamp cooler or air conditioning. Did I say it was hot? Well it was. Farming was in full swing Mr. Fix-it was real busy and I felt like after years of watching things getting fixed I could fix this fan. After all, it had a cord, a motor; it spun when I stuck my finger in the cage where the blades were. Really, how hard could this be? Oh, and it was hot that day.
So after finding that the fan did not work when plugged in, and doing my oh so scientific plug wiggling and giggling I grabbed a screwdriver, hammer, pliers, black electrical tape, a glass of iced tea and dug right in. Do you have any idea how many parts are on an old antique brass bladed fan that also has the ability to oscillate when it works? Well my friends there are more than ten but less than a thousand. From my standpoint it was just a little 12 inch fan, why were there sooooo many parts? Some had to be non essential right? By the time Mr. Fix it walked in the door I had every single screw unscrewed, each part un-parted from the fan and strewn across every inch of kitchen counter. Why he ever stayed I have no idea to this day. He calmly just picked up the tools, put the poor little thing back together, plugged it in and then hid all tools from me. Putting them under lock and key, I thought was a bit overkill.
Now you know that in this life there are breakers and there are fixers. I am a breaker. If you too are a breaker do not kid yourself into thinking that you are a fixer. Just go with the knowledge you are what you are and reveille in it. If not you could find yourself one fine day, alone, without thinking, walking towards that toaster–with a knife.
Trina Machacek lives in Eureka, Nevada her book ITY BITS can be found on Kindle. Share your thoughts and opinions with her at firstname.lastname@example.org