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Family Man 4-19
'Some assembly' means headaches
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The words “Some Assembly Required” is more than a statement on a box – it’s a warning label – a warning that there will be busted knuckles, frazzled nerves, spiking blood pressure and words uttered from your mouth that you will have to repent for.
First off, let me just say the people who write directions for assembly are either idiots who don’t know what they’re doing or deranged lunatics who take pleasure in knowing the folks who buy the product won’t have the slightest idea how to read the directions. Let’s not even get into the drawings as they are most often the work of “artists” with the stickman artistic skills of a 7-year-old (my apologies to 7-year-olds).
With this in mind, I get a call from my brother-in-law this past week, asking for some assistance in assembling something.
“Hey, you want to come out and help me assemble the new grill we got?” Chaz says, the word “assembly” immediately sending up red flags given my storied battles with assembling things like basketball goals, trampolines, and other children’s toys.
“Sure,” I reply. “Is there a whole lot to it? You know, if you ask them, they’ll give you an assembled one.”
“Nah. There shouldn’t be a problem,” he says, looking at the directions. “It looks pretty easy.”
I’ll have to admit, I was somewhat encouraged when I arrived. There wasn’t a million pieces lying around like is the case in many of my assembly projects. The bottom half was together so all that needed to be done was lifting the burner portion and then assembling parts.
“Just as long as we don’t put it together backwards,” I laughed as we sat the burner on top of the support and began putting screws in.
My nervous laughter was due to experiences I’ve had in the past where assembly went by like a breeze only to find out that I put the thing together backwards. That’s the worst. You not only have to disassemble the thing but you have to turn around and reassemble it the other way. Or, there’s always the option of leaving it assembled backwards, which, I have to confess, I’ve done before. Just be careful what you sit on at my house.
Anyway, the grill build is going well. I can almost smell the burgers cooking. Aside from nearly electrocuting Chaz when I tested the electronic ignition system, it was all smooth. Within a half hour, the thing was assembled. We looked in pride at the grill. All that remained was to attach the gas.
“Hmmm,” Chaz said under his breath. “For some reason this hose won’t reach the gas.”
That’s when we looked at each other and lamented in unison: “We put the thing together backwards.”
My nervous laughter had proved prophetic. Two grown men had managed to get it backwards. And yes, we used the directions.
Long story short, we did figure out an ingenious way of how to move a few bolts so we didn’t have to disassemble the whole thing to get it right. All the same, can’t someone write a decent set of directions?
Standard reporter Duane Sherrill can be reached at 473-2191.