There’s no way to repair a lie as ridiculous as this DIY tale

Burt's Eye View

I’d never heard such an outrageous lie. I was ashamed to be related to the man who told it to me.

“JH,” as I’ll call him here, expected us to believe that he completed a repair project on his vehicle WITHOUT A SINGLE SNAG.

Yeah, right. No man in the history of time ever finished a repair without six or seven glitches, four missing pieces and a minor emergency or two.

“It’s true,” JH insisted. “None of the screws went missing. Nobody interrupted me. I didn’t even run out of daylight. No money was spent. I had all the tools I needed already in my garage.”

His lies already were snowballing into an avalanche of dishonesty. Everyone who’s ever tried to fix something knows that at least one screw ALWAYS disappears. Somewhere in the universe, a black hole portal exists that sucks in single socks, lists of passwords and account numbers, and the last screw needed for any project.

If that wasn’t falsity enough, JH compounded the lie with assertions of no interruptions or that he already had all the tools he needed.

I nudged my wife. “Remember that time he came by one Saturday morning to make a four-hour repair to our bathroom floor? By the time Monday rolled around, we’d made nearly a dozen trips to the hardware store. JH and the lumber manager still exchange Christmas and birthday cards.”

I had to put a stop to this nonsense. “For a lie to be good, there must be the possibility that it COULD have happened.”

“It did,” JH swore. “I fixed the squeaking in the door of my truck. The fix went perfectly, exactly according to the YouTube video, which was the first one in the search results.

“The 20-minute job actually took 20 minutes. The socket sizes matched what they said in the video, and the one that they didn’t talk about I guessed and grabbed the right one on the first try.”

“Stop it.” I clamped my hands over my ears. “Tell me about the monster fish that got away or the time you bowled over eight defenders to score the winning touchdown or how nothing hurt when you got out of bed this morning. Anything that’s even slightly plausible.”

“I’m telling you, I did it,” JH said. “The door panel went back on, all the same screws went back in the same spots on the first try, the door locks and the window still works. The door speaker still works.

“I didn’t even have to go to Home Depot, Lowe’s, AutoZone or anything. I only had to take it part, fix it and put back together ONCE,” he avowed. “It’s just … done.”

I whispered to my wife, “Call for an ambulance. I don’t know if any thermometer can register the temperature he must be running.”

JH countered that perhaps a slower-moving vehicle would be more appropriate. “Alas, it is all true and my quest is now complete,” he intoned. “I go to rest with the ancestors and bask in clean garages full of completed projects. No honey-do lists. Putter free forever.”

“And this is how legends are born,” my wife sighed.

“Look,” I snapped. “When I find my hammer and wherever the nails went, I’ll finish fixing the table. You know nothing ever goes as planned.”

JH grinned. “Now that’s a lie if I ever heard one.”

• Help Cole find his missing tools at burtseyeview@tribtoday.com, the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook or at www.burtonwcole.com.


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