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It’s never too late to be a handyman


It’s never too late to be a handyman, I learned yesterday. My dad was a great journalist, but went through his entire life hardly knowing what a screwdriver was. It was like he prided himself on not being very good with tools — and I grew up with the same approach.

So here’s what happened. I had just finished watering the bushes in the front of our townhome when JoAnn asked me to hose down the front door and windows. Which I did. About 30 minutes later, as we were having lunch, the front doorbell rang. “Who can that be,” we wondered. I went to the front door, but there was nobody there.

After lunch it was time for our afternoon rest, a wonderful survival strategy for people of a certain age. We had just got comfortable when the doorbell rang again. So of course I got up to answer – but once again, to my surprise, there was no one there.

The doorbell just kept on ringing

To cut a long story short, the front doorbell continued to ring every hour or two – with never a visitor in sight – until finally, around five o’clock, I realized I had to do something about the situation. “We don’t want to be listening to the front doorbell all night do we,” I told JoAnn.

Presumably spraying water all over the doorbell had made it angry. But while the urgency of our situation was beginning to dawn on me (ha-ha) the problem was, what was I going to do about it? My first thought was, call someone for help. But it was Memorial Day. I couldn’t call an electrician or a professional handyman, could I?

I took a bold step

I summoned my British spirit and took a bold step. “It won’t hurt to take the cover off the doorbell panel in the hallway and have a look at it, will it?” I said to JoAnn.

I got something to stand on, removed the cover and inspected the mechanism. I saw it included two wires, each fastened down on separate little plates by a screw.

Here is where I am quite proud of myself. It occurred to me that these wires obviously played an important part in making the whole thing work. And if I could somehow detach them the doorbell that was threatening our peace of mind and would definitely sabotage our sleep might have a hard time ringing, right?

I went and grabbed a screwdriver

I went and grabbed a screwdriver from my toolbox. Yes, I do have a toolbox. It isn’t very big, about a foot long by 6 inches wide, but there are a few things in it that can be useful, like some string, a pair of pliers etc.

Just for a moment, a thought crossed my mind, “Is there a chance I might get an electric shock?” But I dismissed it and JoAnn was actually very impressed when I loosened the two screws I’ve told you about and pried the wires loose.

“Don’t see how it can work now,” I said smugly. And indeed that is how it worked out. In fact the doorbell is still blissfully quiet as I write this post. Dad would be proud of me I’m sure. Perhaps there’s a handyman in all of us just waiting to come out and go to work?

Got any new adventures of your own you’d like to share?

Picture credit: 7dayhandyman


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