This has been safety and security awareness week at work. This is the one week in the year that all of the staff members are expected to be safe, I guess to somehow make up for the other fifty-one weeks of not being safe. I think that “security awareness” has something to do with knowing that the stock market is made up of these things called “securities”(?) and that it somehow makes my home safer from the neighborhood bully? But I digress.
Yesterday, I sat in an a “home security” class in which the speaker told us how we can make our homes more dangerous to would-be burglars (we also learned the family tree of “burglars,” “robbers,” and “thieves”—fascinating stuff!). Inspired by this class, I took a fresh scent look at my home to see where I could diminish its curb appeal to those who want to get closer than the curb. I found a few things here and there that I could consider. But really, my home was quite secure!
That night, as I lay just almost asleep in bed, with the rain gently pattering upon the moist ground outside, I slowly drifted into a mindless state of—BOOM! I was startled with what sounded and felt like lightning striking my house. But it couldn’t have been lightning because there was no thunder.
Having just learned about burglaries and home security, I suspected the worst—I had a door-busting uninvited guest intending to rob me of my collection of rare seasoning packets and noodle sculptures! Alert and now fully awake, I grabbed my wireless phone and predialed 911. Now that I look back, I don’t really know how this would have helped me when I faced the burglar. Was I going to press Send and hand the phone to him saying, “Here, this is for you”? Would I have called the emergency services once I had collected enough personal information from my visiting criminal to properly ID him? Or was I planning to use my phone’s theft-deterrent system like in that super bowl commercial? Oh wait. I didn’t include that in my phone plan. Grr.
I cautiously stepped out of my room while still in my yellow rubber ducky PJs with complimentary red slippers. I had the thought to grab a weapon—a knife, a metal hanger, a belt—but then hoped that my mere presence could be enough to scare off any attacker. Hey! It works on other people during the day when I look presentable, so the effect has got to be multiplied at night!
A quick sweep through my house revealed no broken windows, no busted-down doors, and nothing overly suspicious outside my window—not even some flying kid waiting to see if I cut off my toe. (That’s a reference to the popular Heroes TV show, in case you didn’t get it. I know. I know. That’s okay. Yes, I’m also wondering why Mr. Muggles didn’t go eat the toe. And no, I don’t know where it is anymore. Maybe Clair kept it in a little box like some kids keep their baby teeth?)
So if I wasn’t burglarized, then my next suspicion was that something had blown up. All of my PCs were turned off, my HVAC wasn’t set, the refrigerator looked fine (albeit somewhat tempting at this late hour), and I didn’t smell smoke. Then I remembered that I had something going in the dryer downstairs. I rushed down to see what was wrong, but nothing turned up. In last hopes of finding some criminal to beat up on this fine evening, I checked the garage.
There it was, clasping to what looked like iron rope, ready to strangle me! We starred each other down for what seemed like a short eternity of less than a minute. We had come to an impasse. Either I would die, or I’d have a very hard time opening my garage door in the morning. Yeah, that’s right. One of the springs had popped.
Now, I have to give kudos to my friend who conducted the home inspection before I bought my house. He warned me about my garage door springs and suggested that I install safety cables, which I only got around to doing about two months ago. Thankfully, this safety cable saved my beautiful car from losing its beauty. It would have been a terrible shame to see her glossy finish scraped or her transparent windows shattered. It brings a tear to my eye just thinking about it.
Um … what was this podcast about? Oh yes! Bathroom scale!
So now I need to repair my garage door. I successfully removed my car from the garage—how I did this will remain my trade secret, but you can buy my video on it for only $19.95 + S/H.
I made a trip to a local hardware store directly after work. In my naivety, I somehow assumed that there would be only one kind of garage door spring. Unfortunately, this was not the case. I found several different springs made for garage doors weighing 70, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, and 160 pounds, and each weight limit had two or three different tones that were supposed to harmonize with the garage door opener I had. Not knowing which spring set I needed, I had to go back home to determine the weight of my garage door.
By now, you should know that I’m not your average bachelor. In fact, I’m not anyone’s bachelor. Because if I was someone’s bachelor, then I really wouldn’t be a bachelor anymore. I’ll delve into this theology in a different episode. Probably the one that was supposed to be tonight’s release.
Anyway, I knew that an easy, and totally geeky way to measure my garage door would be to use my bathroom scale. After all, it works great for my handsome figure, why wouldn’t it work on an ugly old garage door as well? (Um … let’s not discuss the similarities between those two. … Seriously! STOP IT!)
I carefully opened the garage door, safely removed the one remaining spring, and retrieved my bathroom scale. You have to understand that this wasn’t just any boring bathroom scale—not at all! This was a thing of … perfection! It was obviously digital (like I’d buy anything that isn’t digital?), told me my weight, body fat ratio, and hydration levels! It also remembered my age, gender, and how athletic I was, in case I forgot any of these and needed to be reminded.
The bathroom scale was reverently placed in the landing location of the garage door. Almost as if an offering of peace and loyalty to my garage door. Certainly, this was one of the smartest ideas I’d had in quite a while. Then I pulled the red handle …
The door detached from the powered opener with no problem at all. I began to slowly lower the door onto the scale. But this is when my great idea mutated into a bad idea like … like … well, I can’t think of anything quirky to say right here, so I’ll just keep moving right along.
The first foot wasn’t bad at all, but in the next couple inches, I could feel the garage door’s arrogance coming out against me. There was just one more inch to go … until the weight of the door overpowered my own, poorly balanced weight and the whatever-it-weighs door came crashing down on my bathroom scale.
I’ve seen those old, Mark IV 1980s movies about the rapture. You know, “Thief in the Night,” “Mark of the Beast,” and all of those. So I was not unfamiliar with decapitation. But when that garage door struck into the heart of my $30 bathroom scale, something died inside of me. And apparently, something also died inside of the scale.
I’ve had a partial-class of training in CPR, so I went to work. The first vital sign I detected was a flashing *Err* *Err* *Err* on the digital readout. But try as I might, I just couldn’t get the little guy back to full breath.
After some labor, I did manage to get the display working again. I stood on it as a test. I’d get interesting results ranging from 170 pounds to 240 pounds, and back again, bouncing around sporadically like the little boy in the Family Circus comic strip. Standing perfectly still, I’d weigh 166.8 … 172.1 … 170.3 … 180.2 and so on. So either I was undergoing some incredible molecular change that was affecting my body mass, or my bathroom scale had given up the ghost and these were just muscular spasms.
My garage door still isn’t repaired yet, because I’ll need a new scale before I can know which spring to buy. In the meantime, another lesson learned: good idea, poor execution.