Point #24-Sometimes You Just Have to Use the Shoe…

5 Aug

…or the phone handset, or the handle of a screwdriver, or any number of inappropriate things. I am speaking, of course, of things one would use to drive in nails. What did you think I meant? Perv. I was staring balefully at the perennially busted hinges on my bedroom door (more on that in a moment) and thinking of the various creative approaches to home repair that I have taken over the years, hoping like hell that I am not the only one, and then remembering fondly that most of my friends, at their houses growing up, ALSO had a butter knife by the tv to tighten the cable box screws. You couldn’t find the screwdriver, that was wherever the last picture hung on the wall was, the hammer having been lost when your little brother took it outside to pound rocks with playing jailbreak with his friends. Ah yes, the great circle of “where the shiny shit did my right tool for the right job go?”. In short, sometimes you just have to make do and use what you have near to hand.

I must confess, one of my less marketable, but still managing to be awesome skills is that I can pretty much MacGyver what I have lying around to get the job done. Notice I do not say I do this well. That would be very much pushing it. Usually the results fall apart before long, but I can fake it for a little bit. Take the bedroom door. The hinges occasionally get all loose and make the door hang funny, the result of which is that the door doesn’t close properly and cats come in and express their love for me by taking a whiz on my bed. So I tighten the hinge screws (with my trusty butter knife) and all is well. For about a day. So I went in and looked and sure enough, the screw holes (heh heh heh) are too loose to hold the screws (heh heh heh) and that was the problem.

Now someone who actually cared about doing the job “right” would remove the hinges, take down the door, fill the holes with wood filler or putty, let it dry, sand it down, drill new pilot holes, rehang the door, and there you go. This sounded suspiciously like work. Those of you that follow my blog know that I avoid several things like the plague. People who don’t like Muppets, clowns, and work. Especially work. Well, and clowns. And stories about dying dogs. But mostly work. So I did whatever any sane woman with a butter knife and a dream would do. I stuffed the holes with toilet paper.

This is not as weird as it sounds. This is actually a trick that, you know, capable people who know what socket to use for what project and what winches actually are use. Paper is made of trees which are made of wood. Wood is made of trees, which are also made of wood. Hence paper and wood are both made of wood. Astounding! It’s SCIENCE! If you stuff little bits of paper into a wood hole (heh heh heh), you actually can compress it into a wood like substance. This works especially well if you are screwing in a screw after ward because the threads engage the paper fibers and hold them in place. Voila. A fixed door. The hinges work, the door closes, the cats remain firmly outside the bedroom, and I didn’t even have to break out the cheese ball spreader.


3 Responses to “Point #24-Sometimes You Just Have to Use the Shoe…”

  1. Rana Wilson August 5, 2010 at 2:26 am #

    We never had the unable to find tools problem growing up (rather, we had the “which one of the 50 screwdrivers is the one we REALLY need?” problem. My dad’s weird that way), but I can relate to this post in my grad school days. I think it hurt my dad a little bit the first time he saw me hang something using a screwdriver to pound in the nail. He he would fix the door the proper way (I like your way…) but on the other hand, I never did get a closet door when I lived in my parent’s house. There still aren’t any closet doors, 20-some-odd years later. Cuz he “never got around to it”… Mom’s given up….

  2. Susan August 5, 2010 at 8:20 am #

    Awesome job MacGyvering. I’ve been known to do it myself more than a few times. I think having children has actually increased the frequency as I was very creative when it came to childproofing the house.

    I would have never thought of toilet paper I would have grabbed larger/longer screws from my random assortment I keep in an empty peanut butter jar.

  3. that girl who ran away to lame ass kentucky August 6, 2010 at 12:14 am #

    i did something similar once…i put toothpaste in the holes then a wad of TP and then another splotch of toothpaste…let it dry for like 10 minutes so it was still kinda tacky but not goopy and then screwed my screws back in…worked like a charm!

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