I like being a bloke.
I enjoy wrestling with problems in an attempt to find a solution.
Problem = Solution. It's how blokes are made.
|See me? Good at camouflage aren't I?|
Each step taken with the senses completely alert, each clue assimilated, using the mighty powers of his logical mind to work out dangers and opportunities.
Comes in very handy whilst teaching a class of semi-feral 14 year olds, when you need every sense fully operational to pick up the little signs of impending doom.
The devious chuckle under the breath.
The little note passed to a neighbour.
The glazed eyes and vacant expression of the eternally stoned (bit difficult sometimes to spot the difference between the eternally thick.)
|SIT DOWN you bunch of little bastards|
But I enjoy the challenge, as do most good teachers.
But back to the differences.
I like solving problems. So when my beloved offers me the opportunity to exhibit my mighty powers of deduction and solution creation I am pleased.
For example, just last week, my Beloved noted that she was finding it difficult to hang out our newly washed clothes on our rotary drier and the alternative clothes lines under the roof of our back deck.
I was almost prepared.
I had my workshop ready.
|Almost enough tools in my wee workshop|
|Just a few more. Just in case. One can never have enough tools, especially power tools.|
I sprang into action.
|Not me obviously, but she's very pretty|
I removed the rotary drier from its concrete foundation, used a metal grinder to remove about 50cm from the length of the pole, ground the edges smooth, primed and painted the edges, reset it into its foundation and finished the job by lubricating the swivel so it turned easily.
|Too high? I fix.|
Then I leaped into the next phase. The clothes lines were too high, and my beloved (I knew) was finding it difficult to reach up to hang the clothes, and she preferred ( I knew) the way she had hung the clothes in Singapore, on rigid bamboo poles.
Bamboo poles of the dimensions available in Singapore are difficult to get down here in sunny New Zealand, so my problem solving mind went into overdrive. I carefully measured all of the dimensions, raced down to the local hardware supermarket and after browsing the sections on wood mouldings and plumbing (why is it that blokes always enjoy browsing these areas. Walking up and down the isles, examining all of the available materials, gadgets and tools, until the solution to the problem (and often some other problem that you didn't even know we had) presented itself. See. problem solving again)
|Now if I could only find a left-handed widget clamp|
I had the solution.
I bought many long wooden poles, plastic plumbing joints, glue, sandpaper, tins of primer, undercoat, waterproof topcoat, plumbing brackets, stainless steel screws, a new screw bit and a really lovely complete set of drill bits that I didn't really need, but were too lovely to ignore.
|Drool. Admit it. They're lovely|
Back home, a frenzy of cutting, sanding, painting, gluing (and long periods of standing back and admiring my work) resulted in the finished article. Perfectly finished poles, fixed to the right height for my beloved, situated under the transparent roof of our deck, ready to accept the newly laundered clothes from my Beloved's precious hands.
|Note the cunning piece of parachute cord, used for the carefully crafted extra support.|
I called to my beloved to share the wondrous beauties I had created. I took her little hand and led her to the rotary drier, illustrating with boyish enthusiasm the care I had taken to alter it to her needs.
|Note the perfect joint between two pieces of dowelling (poles) using plastic plumbing fixture|
Then I led her over to the newly finished clothes-hanging poles, gleaming brilliantly with their pristine finish under the glorious New Zealand sun ( which apart from glowing like a golden orb in the cerulean sky generates more UV radiation than one of Herr Teller's demonic creations, and can strip paint and skin with equal abandon).
I pointed out each carefully finished feature of my creation, and finished with a flourish, saying "I did what you desired, my loveliness" "It's all ready for you now." and stood back, my head humbly bowed, awaiting my due praise.
|I'm humble. Just tell me I'm great and awesome.|
Not a bloody word.
I looked up and saw her face.
It had a look I had seen before.
A look which shook the very foundations of my soul.
It was the "You have f*cked up again look"
|Not so much IF you have f*cked up, but when.|
(I could itemise the many times I had received that look, but time is finite, and a 76 page post would put many people off from reading this humble blog, so I won't)
"What is it O delight of my eye?" I said.
There was a long silence.
"Well" she said, "All I meant was that you should hang up the clothes"
|Oh bugger me backwards with a bluebottle on a broomstick|
Men solve problems.
I'm solving mine right now with a large glass of whisky (and a cigar)
Actually there is another reason I like being a bloke.
It means I can wear socks like these.
One of my colleagues did say that she thought them a wee bit unprofessional, but I wasn't exactly exposing them for all to see, just the ankle fetishists amongst staff and pupils.
But I really don't care. Because my lovely daughter gave them to me as a Birthday present, and no power on the damned earth will stop me wearing them. Including of course the PC Nazis. (For some reason, I seem to have a lot of conflict with those bastards. I wonder why?)
My lovely daughter (often referred to by me as My Wee Dear) also sent me these socks, which I even wear with shorts (so everyone can see them)
It's good being a Bloke.