For handsome or handy, hammer and duct tape handled most repairs

Burt's Eye View

The great philosopher Red Green states, “Remember, if the women don’t find you handsome, they should at least find you handy.”

In that case, I am way beyond movie star handsome. I am drop-dead gorgeous.

That’s why my wife did a drop-dead faint the last time I attempted something handy in the house. My carpentry skills rival those of carpenter ants, except that I can bring down the building a lot faster. Or I could if I was allowed to use power tools.

“Oh, don’t use that, sweetheart,” my wife begged the last time I plugged in a power tool. “I wouldn’t want it to get loose and mar your good looks.”

She finds me handsome. Ergo, anyone luring me out of my easy chair with a “simple” home repair project and a do-it-yourself book ought to be arrested on charges of premeditated mayhem.

OK, I exaggerate. I’m pretty decent with a hammer and nails. We handsome types rely on them.

When a pane popped out of our garage door, I leafed through the how-to books. The directions looked like a recipe, minus the two eggs and chocolate chips: “Tools needed for the job — ladder, hammer, vise grips, ratcheting nut driver, power drill and bits, knee pads, scrap boards, and a replacement panel.”

The accompanying diagrams looked like ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to me.

Then I noticed that the how-to book was slightly larger than the hole in the door. One hammer and four nails later, I had the door fixed.

My skills go beyond a mere hammer and nails. I expanded them when my wife asked me to hang a picture. The glass shattered when I pounded nails through the frame.

That’s when I discovered that we handsome types also keep duct tape in our toolboxes. The next time Terry asks me to hang a picture, I’ll tape it to the wall.

When we wanted to paint a border up the stairway, I taped three or four yardsticks onto the wall at the proper slant and painted everything below them the accent color. The tape worked fine but the yardsticks were those free ones, the kind politicians and tractor companies give away at fairs. They were a little rounded and warped. So instead of a handyman straight and true border, we have a handsome man’s wavy line. Sometimes people get a tad seasick going up our stairs.

Hammer, nails, duct tape… oh, and a can of WD-40, in case something squeaks — that’s the complete contents of a handsome man’s toolbox.

If it moves and it shouldn’t, hit it with hammer and nails. If it doesn’t move and it should, squirt it with WD-40. For anything else, duct-tape it.

A handyman lugs around much heavier boxes weighed down with gobs and gobs of mysterious tools. Handymen sometimes need entire vans to cart around all their tools.

Those of use whose wives find them handsome travel a lot lighter. Also, we get to spend a lot more time in our easy chairs. My wife, who finds me deeply handsome, knows that when it comes to being handy, the house is far safer when I’m in my recliner. Plus, I tucked my last how-to book under the chair leg to stop it from wobbling.

— Seek home repair tips from the, uh, “handsome” one at or on the Burton W. Cole page on Facebook. Also, you can cover his picture at the top of this column with a square of duct tape.