April 16, 2024

Tools . . . by Joseph G. Evrard, Staff Kentuckian


Sooner or later any bunch of guys hanging around together will get to talking about tools.Tools are one of the great defining essences of Guy-ness. Just as Gals are defined by cosmetics, clothing, soap operas, and babies, Guys are defined by cars and trucks and sports and TOOLS.
I was in the new Ace hardware store the other day and saw a perfect demonstration of this. Up by the cash register was a bevy of gals oohing and aahing over a new baby some woman had brought in to show off.

At the same time, back in the rental department there was a huddle of guys cooking and oohing and aahing over a hydraulic post hold digger. Both groups had the same glassy-eyed stare. The same simpering smiles and the same longing looks as they contemplated how wonderful it would be if they could only take it home with them.

Tools also generate a tremendous amount of brand loyalty. Just as you’ll see guys walking around in Titans or Rams jerseys, you’ll see guys wearing baseball caps announcing at the top of their lungs, their favorite tool brands.

Occasionally it’s carried to extremes, as happened last week in Milburn where the Husqvarnas were lying in wait to ambush the hated Stihls when Steve McChristian just happened to cruise through in the nick of time, averting what could have been a nasty confrontation.
I’ve learned that in this county alone there are underground gangs of fanatics devoted to the support and eventual world domination of Black and Decker, Craftsman, Snap-On, Stanley, and those interlopers from the Far East; Ryobi.

I remember well that wonderful day a few months ago when a traveling tool show came through the county and had a sale at the firehouse. From miles around guys came to see the latest goodies and drool over that special torque wrench they’d been saving up for. Probably the neatest thing about this show was that it carried a good selection of really heavy-duty specialized tools that you don’t get to see every day.  It was a grand opportunity to lengthen the wish list.

My particular favorite was the 25 horsepower variable frammis setter with optional wobble control and a full set of cramming dies. What guy wouldn’t be proud to be seen driving around the county with one of those in the bed of his pickup?

Although I knew I could never explain it to my wife, there was a bunch of stuff at this show that I just HAD to have! I did the only thing a true guy can do; I took out a second mortgage on the dog (my banker was very understanding) and strode through the showroom eagerly gobbling up one of these and a set of those and two or three of them. You never know when you might lose one.

When I arrived home it was quite a scene.  Never mind that I’d spend all the kids’ lunch money, blown six months of mortgage payments and committed us to a year of nothing but macaroni and cheese, I was now the proud owner of the best torque blender in the world.

I had finally been able to finish my long sought after complete set of micro-priming gauges (English and metric). Never again would I have to borrow my neighbor’s 3-phase packing wrench flodget setter (with auto feedback control).

Finally, I could march boldly out to the shed secure in the knowledge that waiting for me was the ultimate state-of-the-art plingle variator. What a thrill it was to wrap my hands around the control box of my new long-range heavy-duty Coriolis compensated laser posthole conformance inspection tester.

I was so proud of saving huge bucks on all these essentials; I rewarded myself with a few items just for play. Like my new gold-plated fishing rod line guide analyzer and a first-class shotgun sight polisher.

Then there was the joy of joys, the cream of the crop, the piece de resistance; a brand spanking new high-precision Leupold scope adjusting knob knurling cleaner/refurbisher! Needless to say, my family had never before seen such an array of tools.  Their reaction came as no surprise. They were all speechless.

That was several months ago and they still haven’t spoken to me.I must admit that there are some advantages to not having to put up with their constant yammering, but it does get a bit cramped and cold out here in the doghouse, especially since the dog discovered I’d taken out a second mortgage on him. Now he makes me wait for my turn at the food bowl.

See ya around,


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