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Some Assembly Required: Take This Flap And Shove It
by Marjorie Dorfman

Page 2

My family has its own short story, fully equipped with flaps, screws, instructions and dreams of assembly as well. Ours centers on the fate of a rockinghorse my father ordered for his children a long time ago. But alas, my sister and I never saw it. Only the discarded carton and my father’s maniacal screams for help reverberating down the corridor do I recall. It seems the purchase was one that he could not refuse. (It came with 500 free envelopes and non-matching stationery.) When the bulky carton arrived at the house accompanied by two masked men, my father was eager to open it and give it to us, or at least that’s what my mother always claimed. His smile however changed into a grim horizon when he noticed the words written in black capital letters across the carton’s top that would prove poisonous to his non-mechanical ego: SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED.

guide to assemblyInitial chagrin turned into something much more serious when after removing the pieces to assemble, my father found the instruction sheet. Any hopes he might have had for a complete toy were dashed right then because all of the writing was in Japanese. My mother said he tried and he tried. He borrowed a saw from someone and glue from someone else and spent the afternoon inserting here, detaching there and cursing whenever he could in between. But alas and alack, it was not meant to be and we grew up without a rockinghorse. There are worse things, I know, but still I feel a bit cheated. I also feel bad on rainy days when tinkering seems the proper thing to do, but I do try to look on the positive side. I find courage from the examples all the famous people and civilizations throughout history who have never had any mechanical aptitude and made it anyway.

The list is quite long and growing every day. Consider the Romans, for example. Had their civilization possessed any mechanical aptitude en masse, they surely would have built stronger gates to keep the barbarians out! (Perhaps the barbarians within the empire let in the others! No one will ever know.) Marie Antoinette certainly didn’t have any of the stuff either. Otherwise, wouldn’t she have found a way to rig that guillotine so that she could have saved her head (or her cake or whatever it was that she lost in the first place)? Napoleon Bonaparte only possessed manual dexterity in one hand. He always kept the other one hidden inside his jacket because he was ashamed of that fact. Don’t forget Albert Einstein either. The poor man resorted to figures because he couldn’t work with his hands. That’s why he invented the theory of relativity instead of the theory of mechanicalativity. Need I go on?

unpack the boxAnd so my friends, there is hope at the end of the tunnel (if you can find the tunnel, that is). The next time you attempt to use that screwdriver or hammer, just close your eyes and think of all the others who came before you and couldn’t do it. Don’t leave your eyes closed too long however, or you might have a nasty accident. Face that nail in the wall as if it were an enemy bridge to cross. Close your eyes and pound it into the wall before it can get away. Should you drill a hole in the wall first? Well, I hadn’t thought of that. It’s not my job and besides, I am the poster child for not being able to do these things. Remember?

Good night, goodbye, happy nails and good luck.

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Don't miss this excellent book:

Mechanical and Spacial Aptitude

by Learning Express

Mechanical and Spacial Aptitude

This text includes some basic knowledge of tools and fasteners as well as test taking tips. Good preparation for do-it-yourself and even civil service exams.


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