Archive for January 28th, 2011

Service animal?

Yeah, yeah …

We all know I live on my own with two little kids, a situation that has many ramifications, one of which involves the fact that I’m a complete incompetent when it comes to fixing most stuff that always bloody breaks so end up having quite a few things around that don’t work they way they were originally meant to.

At the moment, I have a non-functioning oven, no inside handle on my front door, a few light fixtures that are now just fixtures, a mess of broken slats formerly known as Cj’s bed, a puny wire hanging dangerously across my garden supplying a bit of electricity, and … well … other stuff that I’ve become so used to not working that I hardly even notice any longer.

If you think I’m in any way proud of the fact that I can’t repair squat you’re off the mark, because I really do wish I had some passing familiarity with what a drill can do and the difference between a wood screw and a masonry bit. Actually I’m a wee bit pleased with being in possession of the knowledge that there is a difference between a wood screw and a masonry bit. (Do NOT ask me to describe what that might be, however.)

I detest being so bloody girly that power tools freak me out and hand tools have only proven to be very effective weapons against myself. I can guess why my father never took it upon himself to teach me jack about any of this … him being an impatient man and me having the upper body strength of a sparrow most likely had him thinking just getting on with it would be SO much easier than trying to explain the proper way to begin a saw cut to his only daughter and my childhood happening in a time when people still assumed such a thing as “man’s work” and “women’s work” and some wisdom in the division.

Whatever …

It’s ended up that shit breaks, I don’t have the foggiest how to fix anything and I live in a place where hiring people to do so just ain’t easy.

I’m prompted today by broken stuff and a photo I came across to consider the concept of “service animals” in relation to my situation. No, I’m not handicapped in any of the serious senses of such a label, but I’m thinking maybe we should move beyond the idea of guide dogs and helper monkeys to things bigger and more powerful with opposable thumbs.

One of the best friends I’ve had in my life was an adult male oran utan, and thinking back on him now I have no doubt he would have been happy enough to take a hammer to a broken bed and could have easily strung electric cables WAY up high through the trees between my meter and my house. Sure, getting his huge fingers into the little divot where the oven pilot light sits would be tough, but some stuff would be a breeze, like changing bulbs beyond my reach and removing large branches that might fall on the roof.

Of course, there would be issues of training and care, but … sheesh … that’s just part of it, isn’t it? Animals are trainable … well, some animals … and what the heck? If they can help a frail and girly human like me, why not?

Then again, there is that idea that a male human could be as helpful … fringe benes might be a factor, too … but it could be an issue when it comes to the “trainable” bit. Treats only go so far and they don’t seem to easily get the hang of that most basic of commands: Stay!

(Thanks, David!)

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