Over time, as you accumulate your own cadre of handy powers, you’ll find that your services will increasingly be in-demand, especially when it comes to your kinfolk. Be forewarned, many of these requests will come disguised or misrepresented.
Case in point … weekend before last, The Handyman received a call from The Handy-Mom, asking if I could spare an hour or two to drop by her house to “meet some fans”. Little did I know she meant installing ceiling fans. Needless to say, I felt compelled to oblige.
After I recovered from my mild shock, I set to work. Now, if’n you haven’t ensconced a ceiling fan before, there’s nothing top secret about it, outside of cuttin’ power to the circuit. Some ceiling propellers are easier mount than others. Of course, in this particular instance, these were of the challengin’ variety.
The first two installs were par for the course and with much fanfare (forgive The Handyman his punny fun). The first order of business was to yank the existing fans, then affixiate the new hanging brackets. The next hour was devoted to assemblelating all the various pieces, from the motors to blades, which with these fancy fans was bit like figuring out a 500-piece SpongeBob SquarePants puzzle. Once that was all parsed out, it was up the ladder with the pole and motor assembly, slapping it into place and wiring everything up. All that was left at that point was attaching the blades, and do the ol’ “rinse and repeat” for the second fan.
“There you have!” I said with a toothy, self-satisfied grin and a hearty thumbs-up. Unfortunately, the look on The Handy-Mom’s face told me that my honey-do’s weren’t quite yet honey-done.
“I have one more that needs putting up”, she said. With a not-so-subtle hint of trepidation, she said, “She’s in the garage”. Wearily stumbling behind her, we entered garage. To my surprise and dismay, I found a box well nigh the size of a 747 engine, slathered with images of a funky double-fan contraption, the likes of which I’d never seen.
“Where’s this behemoth supposed to go?” I asked. Matter-of-factly, she replied, “The living room!”
Now, no other location in the house has a higher ceiling than in the dreaded living room. With a mounting sense of foreboding, I headed back into the house, into the living room, and looked 12 feet over my head to see a cover plate on an electrical box.
Now, you don’t have to tell me that I’m a few pounds heavier than I was in my younger handyman days, and the duty rating on my mom’s ladder is conservative at best, but adding an extra 60 pounds to the top few rungs of the 10 foot ladder was a recipe for trouser chili. My best bet was going to be assembling and hanging in stages.
The first thing to be done was to reinforce the electrical box to support all that freakish weight. That meant a trip through the attic and attaching a 2×4 over the box, into which I would bolt the hanging bracket. Good thing we were still in the grips of an October heat wave here in The Dangly State, or else I might have forgotten the suffocatin’ embrace of 120-degree heat.
Four pounds of water weight and a half hour later, I emerged slightly dizzy from the attic. The next couple hours were spent assembling parts, climbing the ladder about a zillion times (like Benny Hill in one of his videos with Yaketee-sax soundtrack), and wiring up the motors.
Like I said before, always remember to kill the circuit to the fan, unless you enjoy a few 110v zaps every now and again. I personally don’t enjoy those tase-me-bro’ moments, but I was on the receiving end a couple anyway (word to the wise … always check the breaker our own self). The last step was to attach the blades to both sides of this beast. Finally, I had reached the finish line.
Just as I tightened the last screw, I felt a tug on the leg of my overalls. I looked down and there stood my mom holding up a ceramic monkey. “He belongs on the pole!” she said with a grin.
“You want me to put that monkey where?”, I asked.
So, chuckling and occasionally scratching my armpits, I adorned the oddest fan with the strangest accessory I have ever beheld. And, no, I didn’t use a monkey wrench.
After carrying the ladder back out to the shed, The Handy-Mom and I sat just beneath the fan, sipping iced tea, enjoying the breeze and glancing up at the monkey. Although not the way I had envisioned spending a Saturday, the Handy-Mom was ecstatic with her new fans and monkey.