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Wednesday, 18 June 2008

The Omen

By Camille Koepnick Shaffer

Camillekshafferbadge This past week, a delivery arrived for Bill. It was heralded by the dogs barking with mucho gusto. Anyone on the other side of the door and hearing the vicious, hungry barking would never consider putting one foot into our home. One could easily visualize the bared teeth, the saliva splattering around, the tongues hanging out.

What they wouldn’t know, of course, is that the minute they DID step in the dogs would turn and run! They are watch dogs, not guard dogs. They simply alert us and then hide.

From my office, I inquired as to what was going on. Bill said he had an expected delivery. When I asked "what" he said a new tool chest. I found this a bit curious as he has a very large tool chest in the garage.

Bill is NOT Norm Abrams or some master mechanic. I have to beg him to repair something around the house and then hope it doesn’t require too many trips to the hardware store. I actually judge the difficulty of the repair or project by the number of trips to ACE. I believe the record is eight trips. That’s another story!

Later that afternoon, I went into the garage to see what was up. The new tool chest was in parts. Prior to putting it together, Bill had to re-organize the entire garage: throwing things out, shifting stuff around, cleaning. I saw this part as a good thing and beat it out of there before he enlisted my help. I figure that the garage is his domain.

After a safe amount of time had passed, I returned to check on progress and there it was - a monstrous, steel tool chest standing ominously against the front wall of the garage. It was something worthy of Nascar!

I stood with my mouth gaping at the sheer size. I didn’t even approach what such a monolith might have cost. This from a man who can’t provide me with a small hammer when I want to hang a picture and I am reduced to using the meat tenderizer mallet to drive a nail in. Where are all these tools to fill this?

I left and quickly hurried back to my office and began to ponder. I shuddered when this thought came to mind: Bill has a pattern. He starts small and things mushroom from there. Not that this tool chest was small, mind you, but things are all relative.

He and Ed usually go to car shows on Saturday nights. After three years, Bill is finished with restoring his beloved 914 Porsche. Is this tool chest but an OMEN? He has spoken, after a couple of times at the car shows, that he might like to get another old car and restore it. I have been adamantly against any such idea. He and Ed are like matches and gasoline together - they feed off each other and torment their women with their wild ideas.

I have not said much about this tool chest - the less said the better. But it sits out there like an omen of what may yet come. So many drawers. If a checkerboard floor is installed in our garage, well, then it’s all over.

[EDITORIAL NOTE: A satisfying number of new stories has been arriving at The Elder Storytelling Place this past week and I thank you all. Not that we can't always use more. That's a hint...]

Posted by Ronni Bennett at 02:30 AM | Permalink | Email this post


Great story. If you really want to know, Camille, I'd say the tool chest is not an omen, but a green light onto the thoroughfare of new project mania. That is just my guess. Good luck.

If your husband is like nature and abhors a vacuum, I predict many more deliveries to fill up those drawers. Maybe he will build a space ship next time.

Very funny story and I am waiting for the one about the 8 trips to Ace Hardware.


You are so on-the-spot about the monolith being an "omen". Is it HAL of the new millenium? Those guys of ours are plotting. I can feel it; however, with the failure of their most recent business venture, the momentum may have slowed a bit. We can only hope. Good job describing the craziness our husbands create in our lives!

When I was married, something like that always heralded a huge expense that would eventually go to waste when he lost interest. Somone wiser than I said that the only difference between men and boys is the price of their toys. I confess that I almost laughed one day as I saw the look on my daughter-in-law's face when my son told her about a new "toy" he purchased but my heart went out to her.

Oh boy! I really, really wonder what's coming next! :) Good luck!

can see him throwing stuff out, madly sorting and organizing. Then I see him bending over that tool chest, very pleased with himself. Great images!

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