My partner, Keith, and I had an argument the other night. He’s determined to try to rebuild our kitchen. Err … I don’t think so, sonny!!!
It’s always been a big disappointment to him that, although, anatomically, he’s clearly a man – or a female Hungarian weight lifter - he’s never been particularly good at being a bloke. In his adult life, he’s never built anything, never chopped wood, never owned an apron with boobs on it – you know all the stuff they do in beer ads.
As he says, he’s a man, not a bloke. Real blokes know about cars and he knows nothing about them apart from how to drive one and how to turn on the radio. What happens under the bonnet is a mystery to him. He assumes there’s an engine down there but, for all he knows, his car could be powered by monkeys on bikes. He doesn’t even know how to refill the water for the windscreen wipers so he usually drives to an intersection where there’s a backpacker with a squeegee. To him, a fanbelt is what a fan uses to stop his or her pants from falling down, a carby is what you get when you cross your car with a Furby; and he wouldn’t be able to identify the ‘diff’ if it had ‘This is the diff’ written on it.
To make matters worse, he was a vegetarian – that’s not blokey at all. Real blokes have a beer and a pie at the footy, and it just doesn’t sound right when males say, "Let’s grab a beer and a salad." That phase has gone, thank heavens.
But the main reason we know he’s not a real bloke is that real blokes can fix stuff. Sure, they probably broke it in the first place – possibly (no – probably) while drunk – but when they sober up the next day, they fix it. For him, when it comes to DIY, the ‘Y’ stands for "Y bother when you can call the professionals".
Real blokes have tools. Hey, he might recognize the odd tool – and he’s been called one a few times – but he doesn’t own any. The only screwdriver he knows his way around costs about $8.00 at the local cocktail bar; the only hammer he’s familiar with wears gold pants, and while he’s seen all the Saw movies, we’ve finally convinced him that’s not how they train the staff at the local hardware store.
Some of our bloke friends have so many tools; they need an entire box to put them in. Some even need a shed. He has a lot of Simpson toys, but I think if he gave them their own shed, we’ll start removing sharp objects from within his reach.
I remember taking Keith to my grandfather’s place once. Gramps had a tool shed. Then again he was a proper bloke. He built his own house in the mountains. That fact still amazes Keith.
I remember being in gramps’ shed and Keith was looking at the walls where gramps had painted outlines to show where all the tools belonged. Keith said that it looked as if a tool serial killer had been on the rampage and the team from CSI had come in and put chalk outlines around the tool bodies.
He said that he would love to have outlines of tools on our walls, but if he painted the things he used regularly at home, there’d only be outlines of various remote controls and a bottle opener.
So, he was saying that thinking about it, he doesn’t need tools to be more blokey. He just needs some paint and stencils, and then he could fool people into thinking that he has tools and that they are all out on loan. Perhaps he could even buy himself a Swiss Army knife. Those babies have about 100 tools on them, although the paint outline would be tricky.
My point in all of this is, of all the blokey things that blokey blokes do, from tinkering with carbies to burping the entire AC/DC collection, the only thing I’ve always really wished he could do is build or fix stuff. On the positive side, I guess, his inability to do so has meant that over the years, he’s created a lot of employment for real blokes.
Sorry Keith. x