I am a McGuyver of everyday life. You know those pictures you sometimes come across on the internet that feature things like wires and duct tape and nails holding together an old TV, usually labeled something like “redneck HD”? That is my life. A combination of frugality, pack-rat mentality and just plain laziness has made me excessively inventive, with often hilarious results.
Let me give you a few examples.
When I was a freshman in college, I got a new cell phone. It was a flip phone AND it had a camera, and I was absolutely pleased as punch to finally be with the times (never mind that I went on to use that camera for four years, and quickly became the laughing stock of all technology-based pissing contests). Like all new phones do, this one came with a charger. And because cell phone companies are inexplicably set against re-using charger designs for new models, it was the only charger that worked for my phone.
A week after I got it, I went to baby/dog sit for my aunt, whose beagle promptly chewed through the cord of that brand new charger. Not, like, chewed on the rubber a little. She actually chewed all the way through it. There were two pieces. A normal person would have probably just ordered a new charger. But me? No. Much to the chagrin of my then-boyfriend, I proceeded to spend an entire Friday evening methodically stripping back the rubber and twisting the wires back together. With my fingernails. A little electrical/duct tape kept that charger working for all four years I had that phone, and it still works, though I’ve since (finally) upgraded.
Similarly, when I discovered that no one living in my current house owned a strainer, did I give up making pasta? Of course not. I would starve. Instead, I slapped my cheese grater to the edge of the pot and just went for it. A few noodles were lost, but all-in-all it was quite a successful strategy. Then, a few days later when I realized I couldn’t steam artichoke without said strainer, I improvised again:
So when I discovered that the corner of my room where I wanted to put my TV and my reading lamp had no sockets, it probably comes as no surprise that I solved this problem with a rather sizable extension cord. The truly inventive part came when I realized that my beautifully organized library would have to be dismantled in order to move my bookshelf, so I could loop the lamp cord around behind it. Taking down and then re-organizing that many books was a task that seemed nothing sort of Herculean to my tired, end-of-Halloween-weekend brain, and so, as usual, I improvised:
Of course, the fatal flaw in my plan to loop the cord over the top was that once I’d managed to get it behind the book case, I had to let go of the plug. Which promptly fell behind the dresser. Where I couldn’t reach it without moving my dresser or the bookshelf.
As per usual, once the task was completed I found myself wondering if maybe it would have been faster and easier to just do it the normal way. But my sense of ingenuity and accomplishment quickly pushed that thought from my head, and I congratulated myself on a job well done with some dairy-free ice cream.
What ingenious things have you done lately?
“Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy.” -Charlie McCarthy
P.S. Happy Halloween.