Short story

I posted this story on Ken’s My view blog about a year ago, so I thought I would repost it here now just because I happen to like it.

THE ROD RACK

Last night I awoke suddenly from a sound sleep. In my dream I had seen the perfect plan for the fishing rod rack I wanted to build. I jumped out of bed intending to go write down the plan so I would not forget it. I tripped over the dog, stubbed my toe on the chest at the end of the bed and hit my head on the door. I awoke again with Buddy, my basset hound, licking my face. I could still remember the plan for the rod rack. I went to the kitchen and got some aspirin for my head ache and found a pad and pencil to draw out the rod rack on. I went back to bed satisfied that I would be able to build the perfect rod rack for my work shop.

Saturday finally arrived. I was up early and headed for the hardware store to pick up the materials I would need to build the rod rack. I bought 1×4’s, 1×2’s, wood screws, a couple of router bits, drill bits, a pencil, a new skill saw blade, and a new tape measure. I headed for home to start my project. After a short stop to explain to the nice police officer why I was doing 75 mph in a 50 mph zone, Just my luck I would get the only county sheriff in the state of Idaho that didn’t like to build wood projects, I finally got home and began getting out my tools to build the rod rack. I set up the saw horses, laid out the lumber, spent an hour looking for where the drawing of the rack had gotten too, and then measured out all of the pieces so that I could start cutting them. I got out my skill saw, put on the new blade and promptly cut the palm of my hand on the new blade. A quick trip to the emergency room for a few stitches, 47, in the palm of my hand and I was back to work on the rack. I cut the first piece and did not notice the cord of the skill saw draped over the saw horse as I made the cut. Luckily I did cut the cord along with the saw horse so that when I fell on the saw the blade had stopped spinning. I went back to the hardware store and got another saw horse and a new skill saw. I also had to pick up a couple more pieces of lumber to replace the ones I broke in the fall. This time I made sure the cord was out of the way and that the cuts were not going through the saw horse. My wife finally came out and asked if I was going to work on this all night. I looked at my watch and discovered that it was 10:00 pm and I had just barely got the pieces cut. I went to bed and figured I could finish the rack in the morning.

Sunday morning my wife insisted that I mow the lawn before I start to assemble the rod rack. I reluctantly agreed and went to get the mower. I checked the gas tank and it was empty. I went and got the gas can that was also empty. I went to the gas station and got a couple gallons of gas. I filled the tank and checked the oil. I primed the carburetor, grabbed the starter rope and gave it a mighty heave. The rope broke and snapped back and hit me in the face as I fell over backwards. I told my wife the mower was broken. She said “the quicker you get it fixed the quicker you will get the lawn mowed”. Off to the hardware store I went to get a new starter rope. Finally at the third hardware store I found the starter rope and headed home. I got the new starter rope installed and the lawn mower started up on the first pull. I quickly mowed the lawn and put the mower away.

I began assembling the rack. I got out the router table and put the new router bit in, set the fence and height for the perfect butt joint and began cutting the joint into each piece. Once the joints were done I started gluing and screwing the pieces together. Everything was going smoothly until I went to pick the rack up off the table to change position. Some of the screws were just a bit too long and the rack was screwed to the table. I started slowly loosening the screws until the rack came free from the table. Not bad, only three screws were holding the rack to the table. It took the rest of the day, but I finally got all the pieces together and the rack looked just like it had in my dream. It was perfect. I took it in and hung it on the wall of my work shop. I gathered all of my fishing rods and was amazed at how well they fit and how good they looked in the rack. I went to bed tired and yet very satisfied with my new rack.

The next day when I got home from work my wife handed me my mail. There on the top of the stack was a new fishing catalog. She commented that the rod rack on the front cover looked a lot like the one I had spent the weekend building.

“How much did you spend building that rod rack?” She asked. You can not put a price on craftsmanship.” I replied. I decided to add up the total anyway.

Lumber $37.00

router bits $ 28.00

saw blade $15.00

wood screws $ 2.50

drill bits $ 9.99

tape measure $6.99

Total $99.48

“Thats not to bad.” I said.

“You are forgetting a couple of things.” Said my wife.

new skill saw $79.99

emergency room visit $1500.00

speeding ticket $72.50

Revised total $1751.97

“The one on the front of the catalog is only $29.99.” She said.

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