There's a Phillips-head screwdriver inside the brand new Dustbuster, and William put it there.
He wasn't trying to damage the Dustbuster — or clean the screwdriver. He was trying to "fik it," and that's what he came up with.
William had watched me hang the Dusbuster in the kitchen last week. The screws, the wall anchors, the drill, the screwdriver...they fascinated him. "What doing, Daddy?" he asked. "Daddy's fixing it," my wife replied. "I fik it," he said, and that was that. He now wants to "fik it" everything.
It is the "guy" thing to do, right? Strap on the tool belt, secrete some testosterone, and fix something. If that's a rite he hopes to share with me, he had better look the other way.
I can't fix or build a thing. There's a shelf that's been sitting on the floor in my bedroom for months. I've tried to hang it several times, but I always run into one obstacle or another — obstacles like screws and drills. Some men are good at "fik it." Some are not.
Where I live, all of the guys I know hang Sheetrock, run wiring, slap on spackle, and talk about all of these things in a competitive way. If Joe hung Sheetrock, Phil hung more, and Frank drove the nails in with his bare hands. Tom made his own Sheetrock, out of material he regurgitated from a sac in his gut (which he made himself).
Look, I'm not what many would consider a true "guy." I don't care about most sports (I do watch football, but that's it). I don't spend my weekends fishing for salmon, playing poker with my "buddies" (in fact, I don't have any "buddies"), or hoping that the Falcons will cover the spread.
Instead, I'd rather listen to NPR or read one of my David Sedaris books.
Sometimes I'll abandon reason and tell some coworkers about how I stood motionless outside Gracie's bedroom door so that I wouldn't disturb her rendition of "Five Little Pumpkins." People look at me like I have nine heads. As a result, I feel out of place and uncomfortable around most other men, and don't really have any friendships. Just the kind of guy you want raising your son, right folks?
Bad news, William: You'll probably become the same inept outsider that I am. Sorry, son.
A screwdriver crammed into the side of a Dustbuster. Yup, just like Daddy would do it.