Tuesday, June 19, 2018

What would Hobo do?

By Wylie Hudson


Now that Hobo is gone, I’ve had to take over the job of minding Dad, which is a full-time job because he’s always coming up with some hairbrained idea of fixing something around the house.

Yesterday started as a normal day. Dad and I ate breakfast and took a little walk, but then, Dad announced he was going to replace the switch on Mom’s floor lamp so she wouldn’t have to hold a flashlight to read by any longer.

My heart sank on hearing this because Dad is not the handiest dad on the planet and I still remember the saga of his replacing the faucet on Mom’s laundry tub a couple of weeks ago, which is a story that is best left untold.

I walked over to have a look at the lamp. It had a round, heavy base with the electric wire entering it and a hollow pipe about 4 feet long attached and then a heavy light fixture screwed on the side near the top. The switch in question protruded through a hole in the top of the fixture and was attached to the socket.

Dad came out with a pair of pliers and unscrewed the nut holding the switch to the fixture after first unplugging it from the wall, and that’s where the problems began. He grabbed the light bulb and started to pull the socket out of the fixture, and it wouldn’t move!

He then took the bulb out and grabbed the socket with a pair of pliers and gave it a hard yank, but it only moved an inch or so. After sitting back and thinking the situation over, he decided the electric wire must be going through so many twists and turns when passing through the fixture base that friction wouldn’t allow it to slide.

The worst point was a sharp bend where the wire made a turn from the upright pipe into the fixture so Dad decided to unscrew the fixture and then feed the wire through a bit at a time. Simple, right? WRONG! The screws holding the fixture to the pipe had a square hole in the top, and Dad didn’t have a tool to fit. He took a small chisel and started trying to turn the screw by tapping the edge but couldn’t move it. I raised my head toward heaven and closed my eyes. Hobo, what do I do now, I asked. The answer came to me in a flash. Cut a slot across the top of the screw and use a flat blade screwdriver!  

When I suggested it to Dad, he thought it was a great idea and proceeded to get his Dremel out and make the cut. Naturally, the screws came right out, but he still couldn’t pull any slack. I then suggested that he reach up inside and cut the wires. This worked great, and he finally got the socket and switch out.

After a number of other missteps, he finally got the new switch and socket installed and he was ready to test his work. He turned the switch on, but nothing happened. I opined that it might work better if he plugged it in first. After that, it still didn’t work, and I asked if it would work better with a bulb in the socket. When he screwed in a bulb, it lit up so he was good to go, and the half-hour repair job only took about eight hours instead of the hour maximum it would take a normal dad to do the job.

He then picked up the lamp by the center of the pole to return it to Mom, and I noticed something odd on the bottom and asked Dad what it was. He laid the lamp on its side and peered at the bottom.

“Darn,” he said, “I forgot all about the little clamp on the wire that prevents the wire from being pulled loose if the wire is jerked.”

I again raised my head toward heaven and closed my eyes. “Hobo,” I said, “what do I do now?”

The answer came back in big blazing letters. BITE HIM! The first thing I saw when I opened my eyes was Dad’s hand with the middle finger extended so I reached out and took a bite. I guess I bit a little harder than I had intended because red water started pouring from both sides of his finger. It didn’t take Mom long to stop it, but she wasn’t too happy with the mess on her new carpet.

When we got up this morning, his finger was very swollen and he was crying about not being able to tackle the next repair job. At least, I’m safe for today while he just sits around and reads.



Foley Monster, Pocket and River Song said...

Oh Wylie, I am not sure biting was the right answer but sometimes we have to take drastic action to keep dad from burning down the house.

Brian said...

Well, you did what you had to do according to Hobo. I know what you're up against, my Dad isn't very handy around the house either@


About Hobo

This was Hobo Hudson, my doggy brother, a little terrier mix with black fur. He became famous after his first attempt at writing stories, which was an article published in the newsletter of our local animal shelter, the same shelter in which I ended up years later before Hobo and his parents adopted me. Hobo’s fame quickly spread as he made a name for himself as a business dog and an adventurer. To keep his memory alive, my doggy sister, my three kitty siblings and I, Wylie Hudson, are continuing his blog. Our mom is the blog’s editor.

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