Laughing At American Guys

I’m resting here in my big, comfortable black leather poppa chair in my living room, after an exhausting day of starring in one of the leading reality shows on the government run Godless Communist Chinese Television Network. Loosely translated, the show is called, “Tune In And Laugh At American Guys.” It consists entirely of satellite shots that zoom in on guys like me putting together 3 person porch swing sets imported from China.

It’s the kind of swing that Kevin Costner and Susan Sarandon were sitting on at the end of the movie Bull Durham…except that it’s a three seater. Why is it a three seater ? They’re trying to mess up American morale by threatening to send Commie Commissar chaperones to screw up our romantic summer evenings on a porch swing. 

I told you before about my adventures assembling a Godless Communist Chinese made outdoor barbecue. The one that had some of the parts made in Burma…where they don’t like us too much either. So the instructions included statements like “Should to insert bolt forcefully with included hammer without regard to puncture in finger from doing so. Ha Ha.” But this time the Godless Communist producers of the show, like Godless producers everywhere, demonstrated their whole hearted dedication to doing things on the cheap, by simply not including instructions. That’s why, if anyone has an extra Chinese bolt, I’d like to swap you for a couple of Chinese nuts. See, Chinese bolts won’t screw into American nuts.

 And you know the kind of job that takes two guys…not because there’s a lot of weight involved, but you’ve got something too floppy to handle both ends yourself ? Or you think you can’t, until your wife smiles, and says, “Why don’t you call our neighbor Randy and ask him to help.” Not going to happen if you’re me. Stand back woman. I don’t need any help. I can do this…so I’ve got both ends of the half assembled floppy seat, and I’m just about to insert bolt forcefully with included hammer…and something that feels suspiciously like that Chinese bolt made in Burma falls on my foot, and bounces away…and it’s the last one in the box, and I’m standing in tall grass…at the top of a hill.

 Dick’s Details Quiz – all answers are in the current podcast.

1- What does the expression, “sleep tight” have to do with Jack Daniels ?

2- What does flying an airplane upside down do for you ?

3- How do we know that the smart guys in the white lab coats don’t have wives or girlfriends

Dick’s Details. They take your mind off your mind.

 People usually think pilots are good mechanics. That’s not necessarily true. I’m a pilot. But my mechanical shortcomings are the reason I got to star in “Tune In And Laugh At American Guys.” The FAA has a rule about pilots fixing their own airplanes. It’s very short. It says, “Don’t.” Because they know that most of us only know stuff like pull the wheel back and the houses down there get smaller. Push the wheel forward and the houses down there get bigger. Pull the wheel back too far, and hold it too long, and the houses down there get bigger very fast. Any time you want your plane fixed, a government licensed mechanic has to do it. He works on your plane for a while, and he calls you and says, I think it should be ok now. Why not come down to the airport and fly around for a while. I’ll keep an eye open for you. It’s marginally better than the cable companies…”We’ll have a repair man in your vicinity between February 24th and the All Star Game. Will somebody be home ?”

 Actually, most people don’t know very much about pilots at all. There aren’t very many of us. And most of us don’t fly air liners or fighter jets. We’re just ordinary guys who love to fly…usually in our little one, two, four or six seat airplanes. Ordinary guys. With ordinary lives. Just people…with ordinary people problems. There’s a personal audio cd about that. It’s called Love Comes When You Least Expect It. It’s about two pilots and a woman. There’s a few minutes of the story in the current podcast.

 She was beautiful…that woman…and smart…and more mysterious than any woman that pilot ever met. And she took over his life…it seems like without even trying. That kind of thing happens at little airports. It happens. It happened. If you like that part of the story, you can just keep the podcast. Or if you want a fresh copy…or you’d like to know the rest of the story, just go to the home page, and down load it from the Love Comes When You Least Expect It icon.

 I guess most American guys have appeared on that Godless Communist grim reality show…trying to put stuff like my swing set together. And most of us have inserted that bolt forcefully with included hammer without regard to puncture in finger from doing so. Ha Ha. But I was just thinking about the guys who make this stuff. Not the Godless Communist big guy producers. The ordinary guys…guys like you and me.

 Besides the swing set in my back yard, and the barbecue grill on my back deck, some ordinary Chinese guy made the little Christmas tree lights that I string on my tree every year. Chances are, he doesn’t really know what Christmas is. Or why little lights have anything to do with it. He’s just showing up for work every day…putting in his ten or twelve hours…sticking those little bulbs in those tiny sockets.

 His fingers must hurt by the time he leaves the factory, and on the way home, he breathes that dirty air that we all saw during the Olympics. I wonder if he knows how it feels to toss some hamburger on that grill…and have a bunch of friends over on a Fourth of July…celebrating freedom by…drinking beer…and laughing and telling corny jokes…and watching the fireworks at night. The Chinese guy’s neighbor probably made those fireworks…but the Fourth of July, and that idea of freedom…that’s something he’s probably not going to understand.

 I was thinking about that Chinese guy, working his fanny off to make the bolt that’s sitting somewhere in the tall grass in the back of my home. And I started thinking about what Big Louie, his own bad self, the Chief Mustard Cutter of the Louie-Louie Generation always says…”Watch out, because Non Judgement Day is coming.”

 So…little ordinary Chinese guy who made the bolt I lost…maybe you’d like to know that my Lady Wonder Wench and I got to rock gently back and forth…watching the fire flies one night on the swing set you made. And she likes her burgers almost raw…I like mine medium…and that barbecue grill you made sizzles them just right. If you lived around here, I’d be glad to flip one for you too…I know where I can get some Chinese Kirin beer…and there’s plenty of room in the cooler for yours. American guys like to share stuff like that.

 And I hope you someday get to walk into a room full of the scent of a real Christmas tree, and see the lights you made, and listen to Jingle Bells, and Silent Night, and hear the little kids laughing and tearing the pretty paper off their presents. I know the guy down the block from you probably made the paper…and the toy inside. Thanks for that.

 Maybe you don’t know it, but while you’re tuned in and laughing at us American guys trying to put the stuff you made together, there’s something you should understand. We know it was your other buddy across the street from you, who made the fireworks that help us celebrate our freedom. And…from one ordinary guy to another… hang in there…maybe some day…I hope we’ll get to share that too.

2 Responses to “Laughing At American Guys”

  1. Bob says:

    Hi Dick
    In a former life I was a professional automobile mechanic, there was a rule that we worked by, well there were many many rules but this one sums up your experience with that errant Godless Chinese Communist bolt, “Murphy’s Corollary to Gravity” Any (insert you choice of fastener, tool, clip or device here) dropped will fall to the geographicial center of the (insert your choice of project here) rendering it totally unrecoverable by any means in any way known to man, until its replacement has been procured by means of at least 2 more trips to the local supply store.

  2. aliasJean Fox says:

    And the degree of lost-ness of the part (how impossible it is to find/ retrieve) is directly related to the importance of the part to operation of the device, OR the speed at which the device MUST be assembled. …………