Monday, April 2, 2012

It's not quite cold and not quite warm outside;

if you stand on the shady side of the street then cold wind bites you and on the sunny side you get cooked. I have walked an inordinately long distance (~1 mile) to buy a pair of pliers at the dollar store instead of at a "real" hardware store. I am in the market for a pair of pliers because I have to attach a new hose to the washing machine, since the old hose burst and sprayed like 2 inches of water into the middle of the apartment. I was pretty annoyed when that happened, but soon realized I was grateful it was the cold-water hose that burst and not the hot-water hose, which if that one had burst it would have been spraying scalding water and steam everywhere. I also am grateful that there was someone home at the time, otherwise the leak would have filled up the whole place pretty quickly.

I am in the market for the pair of pliers because I am over 30 years old, a man, and I own zero tools. Not one. No hammer, no screwdriver, no...shit, I can't even think of the name of another basic tool (other than pliers). I don't even have any thumb tacks.

The traffic situation on the corner of Grand and Lorimer is really entertaining. It's a busy intersection on a normal day - Grand is a major truck route - but today is special, the traffic light is flashing yellow on Grand and red on Lorimer. The walk/don't walk signs are off. School has just let out. There are buses, commuters, dumptrucks, and groups of children all snarled up, honking and screeching. I stand on the corner for 5-10 minutes, waiting for a truly fantastic accident to occur, but I am sadly disappointed.

The dollar store is great for some things, and not so great for other things, but I'm not trying to start a professional tool collection. They have hammers there that feel like they're made out of balsa wood and aluminum. I buy a pair of pliers for $1.08.

On the way home, there is a man passed out on the corner, flat on his back. He looks like he's on his way home from a construction job. I pat him on the shoulder and say Hey buddy are you OK, and he wakes up and starts mumbling in Spanish. A man in sunglasses standing nearby says an ambulance has been called, I guess this guy fell over a few times before deciding to nap on the corner. I ask him if he needs help, and he nods and sticks out his hand. I stick out my hand and he grasps it and keeps mumbling and rolling his head around. I'm like, OK, I guess I'll sit here and hold this guy's hand until the ambulance gets here? I'm still giving him the benefit of the doubt w/r/t whether he's injured or just drunk. Then he starts pulling on my hand, he's trying to get up, and he's thanking me. He's drunk. He gets up and weaves away, makes it about half a block before falling up against a fence and leaning on it. I follow him and try to ask him how far he has to go. He starts saying "que?" which I'm pretty sure means "what". He starts getting salty, and starts saying "que" louder. I'm like OK man, I'm gonna go. He says "go" and points down the street. He is moving in slow motion. I'm like, OK man. I go.

When I get back, I take the pliers out of the package and try to use them to attach the washing machine hose. They are terrible pliers, in my (admittedly uneducated) opinion. They don't open very wide, and almost immediately the rubber grips on one of the handles slides greasily off. There's kind of a lot of grease on them in general, I don't know if that's a thing with pliers or what. I didn't look on the package, maybe they said "Now With Extra Grease" or something. Maybe that's a thing with pliers.

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