Before we moved to our new home, my sister-in-law, knowing that I am as famous for my handiness as I am for my pleasant friggin’ demeanor, gave me two books as a semi-gag gift.
One was Home Maintenance for Dummies and the other was How to Fix Everything for Dummies. Even though I noticed a pattern in the titles of her selections, I dutifully packed the volumes with my other reference books and placed them on the shelf in my new office, right next to The Star Trek Compendium, which I swear I had to buy for a work assignment a few years ago.
That was last May. And, frankly, in order to get the book titles exactly right in this post, I had to remove a rather thick layer of dust so I could read them.
That is not to say I’ve never opened them. I did look at the “Tools and Equipment to Keep Handy” chapter of How to Fix Everything… because I like to buy tools. I don’t like using them; I just like buying them. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because they make me feel like I’m prepared for anything, as long as it doesn’t require knowledge or ability of any kind.
So now there’s a new book out there called What’s a Homeowner to Do? by Stephen Fanuka and Edward Levine, and it has a subtitle that is particularly frightening: “442 Things You Should Know.”
Let me just say, I’m pretty sure that I have a finite capacity for things I can know, and that this storage space is decreasing as I get older. As my daughter will happily tell you, I have enough trouble retaining information from one Doctor Who* episode to the next (especially since British TV shows can go years between episodes).
Trying to know 442 more things could very well put me over the top, and so I consider this book to be very dangerous to my health. In fact, I really only have room to know one more thing: that I don’t want to read this book.
But just knowing it was out there made me curious to see how many such volumes there are on the market. So I went to Amazon.com and searched for “home repair books.” I got 13,376 results, many of which are billed as a “homeowner’s bible.” Actually, quite a few have the word “bible” in their titles, like The Plumber’s Bible, The Carpenter’s Bible, The Woodworker’s Construction and Repair Bible, and the wonderfully specific The Slate Roof Bible.
After I purchase “How to Build a Bookshelf for Dummies”,** I’m going to buy all of those home repair bibles.
Because any home repair project that I undertake is going to require an awful lot of prayer.
See you soon.
**Not, to my knowledge, a real book.