Friday, September 9, 2011

Boys and Their Toys

To my amazement, my husband has recently replaced our almost 25 year old gas barbecue grill with a new one. I say "to my amazement" because he had been nursing the old grill along since I first gave it to him for Christmas a few months before our marriage.  When he was unable to find a part, he'd make do with something else, as when he replaced the broken handles on the hood with blocks of wood.

I'd like to think that his attachment was sentimental because the grill was a gift from me, but hubby is this way with practically everything. Cars, bikes, lawnmowers, washing machines, all get nursed along along they finally give up the ghost. It's not a bad way to be, especially since he seems to apply the same way of thinking towards wives, but the grill was getting to be the bane of my life. It seemed downright unsanitary, because birds apparently perched on its redwood side shelves and did what birds do, and the wood was hard to clean. Since the grill sat outside the back door, those shelves made a handy resting spot for anything hubby had in his hands while unlocking the door, and what was in his hands was frequently food related, like his travel coffee mug or restaurant leftovers.

Every birthday, Christmas, anniversary and Father's Day for the last five years, I offered to buy him a new grill (we don't usually give surprises, we check first) and he would say the old one was fine. And then one day a month or so ago he astonished me by saying he had seen a Webber grill that he was thinking about getting. Oh, and that it cost around $700.

I did a quick mental calculation of $700 divided by 24 years and decided he really deserved it. We waited to buy it until a tax-free holiday (no state sales tax). We had to special order it to get the color he wanted, so we also ordered an extra feature - a burner on the side that you can put a pot on. It's not that we are likely to use it under ordinary circumstances, but if the power goes out we can heat canned food on the burner as well as grilling. When you live along the Gulf Coast, power going out is not an unlikely occurrence.

The new grill, with a spare propane tank, and a burner for pots on the right.

The grill arrived and for awhile everything was cooked on it, except maybe pancakes. Meantime, our hot water heater developed a mysterious problem. The pilot light kept going out. Fortunately it's under warrantee, so we called the company that installed it and soon had a service call. I was in my office right next to the attic stairs when I heard the following conversation:

Hubby: Wow, that's a big flashlight. Where did you get that?

Repairman: Yeah, I really like it. It throws a lot of light. You can get them just about anyplace. They're expensive, though.

(After the repairman left) Hubby: I'm thinking of getting a new flashlight. Want to come with me?

Since he does almost all the home maintenance around here himself, I'm not about to begrudge hubby a new flashlight to add to the six or so we already have. Anyway, Lowe's is right next to the Pet Smart store and I have been wanting to get new water bowls for the cats. Two new flashlights later ("If the power goes out, you're going to want this one, so I need one, too") we found new bowls for the cats and were looking at toys for them.

Suddenly Thrifty Husband fought his way out of whatever basement he had been locked in all this time. "I can make one of these, " he said, looking at a toy that was basically a string on the end of a plastic wand. I had to agree that it was overpriced junk. So we went home and he drilled a hole in some narrow PVC pipe, tied on a piece of thin rope, and now plays with the cats by flicking the rope around the room for them to chase. 

It keeps them all out of my way. I'm not going to complain.

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