Thursday, November 14, 2013

No Skills No Problem

Okay, before we start our regularly scheduled column I have to share something.

Let me set the stage.  As many of you know I live in Dodge City and out here in Dodge City we understand wind.  Chicago, Illinois claims to be the “Windy City” but that is as full of beans as the large number of mayors and governors that city and state has seen indicted.  Dodge City knows wind.  So on this past Monday when the wind was blowing a consistent thirty miles an hour and gusting to forty-five we took it in stride.  Even though most of the topsoil from Grant County had taken up residence in my hair and between my teeth I just went about my day.  Sure some of the kindergarten kids at my school had to pulled back down to earth as I guided them to the bus and sure I had used a stapler to ensure my hat stayed on my head and I grant you the birds were white knuckling it on the tree branches due to a fear of flying I soldiered onward.  Even with all that being said I saw something which proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that we hardy denizens of western Kansas scoff at wind.

I was driving away from my house at about 6:30 in the evening and the wind was doing its darnedest to not only separate hats from heads but was going for the naturally sprouted hair as well.  I go past a place of business with a large lawn and the professional lawn guys were cutting and trimming their little hearts out.  One of the minions of a well manicured lawn was dutifully wielding a common tool of his trade as he moved down the sidewalk.  He was using a leaf blower.  Holy unnecessary Batman. 

Now back to our regularly scheduled column…

It is a poor musician who blames his instrument.

I am a very poor musician and I have no desire to blame the instrument.  Even with a Stradivarius in my hands if I played the violin it would sound like a schizophrenic cat arguing with itself about who used up all the catnip. 

Different tools get very different results in the hands of different people.  Don’t get me wrong I have some skills in the handy man department.  I can use a screwdriver, but there have been times I used the handle of the screwdriver as a hammer because I couldn’t find the hammer.  Hey, it worked and truthfully, I hit my thumb less frequently when I do it that way. 

Whenever I have had “do it yourself” projects they weren’t totally done by myself.  I have to rely on the kindness of friends.  Sometimes I just need to borrow the proper tools.  Sometimes I need others to act as consultants as I use the tools.  Other times I need to borrow the person to wield the tools.  I always return them, the people at least. 

Truthfully, this lack of any useful skill set makes my life easier in many ways.  Think about it.  If you can fix plumbing issues friends will call you evenings and weekends to help them out because a plumber would cost roughly the Gross National Product of Finland.  If you have computer skills people call you when they have a virus, their e-mail won’t open or their uploads and downloads are pinging over 100 milliseconds. (I don’t exactly know what that last thing means, I Googled “common computer problems” in order to finish the joke.) Even just owning a truck means people call you when they have to move big stuff.  I am left alone because I have no discernible skills and my four door sedan barely holds my family.
I am probably being too hard on myself.  I do have some skills.  I have been a school administrator for about nine years so I can threaten to take away recess really well.  I can help a kindergarten kid find his or her lunch card in under 2 seconds.  I can be totally invisible to children as I try to slow them down when they are running for the bus as if Usain Bolt riding a cheetah was chasing them. 

I have some other skills. I can play the Jeopardy “thinking about what to write on your screen for the Final Jeopardy question” music on the ukulele (just don’t ask me to answer it for you the one time I had a crack at that I messed up).  Also, I have pretty much mastered juggling the three ball cascade pattern.

Now don’t everybody call out at once for my services.

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