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6:38 a.m. - 2002-02-11

I'M CRIMINALLY UNMACHO

What a boring, boring weekend.

I blame it on those damned Olympics. Not that my weekend would have been thrilling had "Dateline" and "Weakest Link" been on last night ... but there's just something about those damned Olympics that zaps all my energy from me. And I'm not even watching the stupid things.

Early Saturday morning, I bought the entertainment center that we had scoped out on Friday night. When I bought it, I told the cashier that I wanted it assembled for $35 more because I'm borderline retarded when it comes to putting stuff together. I'd end up nailing the thing to the sofa or something.

She said it'd be Tuesday afternoon at the earliest before it could be assembled.

So in a real macho tone of voice I said "Tuesday afternoon?? HA! I can have it assembled by noon today! I'll just take it home and assemble this wooden bastard by myself!"

Don't ask me why I said that. I don't even own a hammer. I woulda been pounding nails into the thing with my television remote control.

So I lug this PRETTY DAMNED HEAVY box into the van and take it home.

Where I tell Susie I have a project for her. First...find a hammer. Second ... she needs to put our entertainment center together because she's much handier with her hands than I am. I'm more than willing to hold things while she nails them or to run around in circles, frantically yanking at my hair when she says she needs a Phillips Head Screwdriver. I mean...I'll be the emotional support she needs to get through this. But I can't do it myself or our entertainment center will be a large board with a shelf on a hinge nailed to it.

"I can't do it today," she says.

"What do you mean?" I gasp. "Don't tell me all those years of watching HGTV didn't teach you to put an entertainment center together!"

She reminded me she had to go in to work to have an affair with someone at work on a lonely Saturday afternoon when no one else was in the building.

(Sorry. That's my paranoia talking again.)

So I ran around in circles, frantically pulling out my hair and wondering aloud what I was going to do.

She suggested that I take it back and have them assemble it and we'll come by on Tuesday night to pick it up.

Which was a brilliant idea. That's why I married her. She's the brains of the family.

So I took it back. I stopped at the customer service desk to explain my predicament. That I had foolishly bought an unassembled entertainment center and was planning to assemble it myself until I got home and realized that I had the motor skills of a dead fish.

The girl got the assistant manager paged to the customer service desk to find out what to do since she was new.

One thing I must say here...God bless assistant managers.

Assistant managers are in the position to actually get things done, but they're not nearly as bright as the actual managers, which is why they're mere assistants. Now then, if you happen to be reading this and you're an assistant manager somewhere, I'm sure you're more intelligent than the person I'm speaking about. Oh. And God bless you.

Anyway...Mr. Assistant Manager swaggers forth and wants to know my predicament. I explain to him that I was born with no bones in my hands or arms and there's no way in hell I can put this entertainment center together and need to take advantage of their stellar Assembly plan.

He asks when I want it back. I was quiet for a moment because I had been told Tuesday afternoon at the earliest.

"Uhhhhh...can I get it Monday?"

"Sure!" he said. "No problem. Monday afternoon okay?"

I grinned. "Yeah, sure. Monday afternoon's no problem."

He typed that into the computer and then told me it would be $25 to get it assembled.

"But the sign on the already assembled entertainment center said $35," I thought to myself.

...I didn't say that OUT LOUD. I kept it to myself. If Mr. Assistant Manager was looking to wheel and deal, he found the right boneless arm guy to wheel and deal with.

I paid the guy $25 and was assured it'd be ready today (with visions of Circuit Shitty dancing through my head).

So today, as long as the assistant manager wasn't stoned out of his mind when I spoke with him, I get my entertainment center.

Edweird is helping me drag it into the house after work.

Which means I have an evening of rearranging furniture, picking up thousands of toys, and connecting the wires for a CD player, a cassette player, a DVD player, a VCR, a receiver, a cable box, four speakers and a television.

I'm a little bit more efficient with hooking up stereo equipment than I am putting entertainment centers together.

Slightly more efficient.

Alright...calling a spade a spade here...I suck at it.

I'm thinking of nailing all the wires to the back of the entertainment center with my shoe and hoping for the best.

Hey.

Have a great Monday.

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