, Derry, New Hampshire


April 3, 2014

Another screwup to add to the scoreboard

In my household, if something breaks in half, gets shattered to pieces, or simply disappears off the face of the Earth, nine times out of 10 the guilty party is the clueless guy who’s often exposed his cluelessness in the opinion section of this newspaper.

However, the inexplicable does occasionally happen. One afternoon recently, my wife, Betty, raised the blind over our living room slider only to find the cord dangling in her hand.

Betty’s expression, one of total incredulity, must have been identical to the one Mr. Comber, my algebra teacher, wore on his face when he recorded my 95 test grade in his ledger. Why? Because it was a one-time-only-freak-of-nature occurrence.

Wow, I thought. Now Betty knows what it feels like when fate lands a swift uppercut to the jaw.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” sighed my wife. Then, after a brief period of contemplation, “What are you going to do about it?”

Ah, yes. The handy man extraordinaire will come up with a considered solution. “Let’s just buy a new one.”

No? And I guess cramming the cord back up into its little hole won’t solve the problem either.

The next day, one of my teacher colleagues suggested I go on-line and research how to replace a blind cord. Her husband did it. A tad tedious, but not that difficult. Right, tedious but not that difficult for her husband, an engineer. The kind of guy, I imagine, who’d like to remove the back of his new TV and poke its innards with a screwdriver, “just to figure out how it works.” Sounds like a party to me.

When I’m desperate I get practical. I remembered we bought the blind at Penney’s, so I went on their web site to look around. None of the generics sounded familiar. Then, to the left, I spotted “Levolor,” the granddame of window blinds, and it spoke to me. But it sounded more like James Earl Jones than Maggie Smith.

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