Last October, my then one-year-old son ripped the bottom cover panel off the front of our dishwasher. At the time I thought it was hilarious; Bugsy in his nappy showing off his herculean baby strength. I felt quite proud. It reminded me of a young Superman lifting the car up with one hand in the Christpher Reeves version of the Superman movies (wiping tear).
Since then, every time I open the dishwasher I look at the exposed section and make a mental note that I need to fix it. "I must fix it, I must fix it, I must fix it!" Yesterday when I threw a vegemite smeared knife into the top compartment the gaping hole taunted me once more. I had an image of me staring at the very same cavernous hole in ten years time. I'm a bit of a dodgy handyman, I admit it but with a son like mine – with super human strength – I'd better get used to being a handyman, even a dodgy one.
How is it that I can find the time to watch six episodes of True Blood straight but can’t spend two minutes getting the electric drill out of the cupboard?
I didn’t plan it this way. I was going to stay on top of things like this but one day you wake up and you’re that Australian male who drags a wheel-less wheelie bin to the curb every Tuesday and figure, "I'm done".
There’s a history of this kind of behaviour in my family so I'm being forced to relive my childhood, as we all do to some degree. Our central heating went on the blink in 1982 and we suffered through five arctic heater-less winters. It was only the threat of taking an axe to the piano for firewood that prompted Mum to pick up the phone. Dad didn't fix it, don't be silly. Help was called in. When the repairer arrived he quickly diagnosed the problem – the pilot light had gone out and the heater was fixed for the price of a $25 call out fee. FIVE WINTERS WITH NO HEATING. I would have paid $25 five times over… See, my Dad made me the way I am. If it wasn't for him I'd be a brilliant home handyman.