Volume XVII, Issue 18 # April 30 - May 6, 2009

Where’s the fun if you know exactly where everything is? That’s like hunting at the zoo.

Guys You Can Trust

They don’t have tidy workbenches or neat tackle boxes

by Allen Delaney

Many years ago a neighbor, who had moved in three houses up from me, walked down the street and introduced himself. We exchanged pleasantries, and he invited my wife and me to a small get-together he and his spouse were having on Saturday. He wanted to get to know his neighbors and figured that would be the social thing to do. After he left, I told my wife, “There’s something about that guy that bothers me.” 

Saturday came along, and my wife and I walked up to join the party. We were having a nice time, despite the lack of beer, when the host decided to show the guys around the house. The tour was fine until we got to the basement. That’s when we saw it. As our host talked, the other guys and I looked at one another, and without saying a word, we knew it was time to leave. 

What we saw down there was a workbench. A neat, precise, flawless workbench. Each tool was outlined on a pegboard. Each nail was in its proper container and labeled according to size and type. Saws were clean and hung with care. Each piece of equipment was spotless and easily accessible. There was even an Exit sign over the door.

I knew then that my new neighbor and I could not be pals.

Guys tend to gravitate toward those who are like themselves, which, in my case, would be slobs or at the very least, the highly disorganized.

You need a nail? Sure! Dump those three rusty coffee cans and four jars of assorted nails, screws, bolts, bits of wire, fuses and various odds and ends onto a piece of newspaper and hunt around. You should find something in there to suit your need.

Now that’s a challenge. Where’s the fun if you know exactly where everything is? That’s like hunting at the zoo.

When everything is in disarray, who knows what you may find? You could be searching for a three-inch nail and come across a measuring tape you thought was lost five years ago. It’s no longer a tool; it’s now a discovery.

“Honey!” you yell, “Look what I found!”

She taps her foot and with a cold voice says, “Wonderful. Did you get the nail to secure the loose deck plank?”

Of course you didn’t; you were in the basement finding lost treasures.

Guys who have tidy workbenches usually have neat tackle boxes, too. There’s nothing more annoying than some guy saying, “You know, I think a number two Mepps spinner cast into those rapids would bring up a nice smallmouth bass.” He then opens his tackle box and pulls out, without even searching for it, the correct size and type of lure, still in its original box.

When I open my tackle box and pull out a lure, seven more are attached to it along with hooks, weights, leaders, bobbers, line and sometimes my sandwich. I slowly spin the congealed mass around until I find the lure I’m searching for, pluck it off and attach it to my line. Of course, the lure I was using I simply toss back into the box to rejoin the mass. When you’re fishing there’s no time for neatness. 

Fortunately, my wife is much more organized than I am. For that reason she is not allowed to touch my workbench or tackle box. However, if I do need such things as old tax records, bills, my shoes, etc., she always knows where they are. In fact, I even took a picture of her logical, pristine filing system.

Here, let me show you. It’s right over here … No wait, maybe here. Oh I remember! I left it on my workbench. Never mind.

Bay Weekly’s contributing humorist Allen Delaney sometimes tells the truth, as you saw in his letter to the editor last week on not wasting rockfish (www.bayweekly.com/year09/issue_17/letters.html).