Growing up is easy; becoming a man, not so much

I have a couple of egg-shaped items that mysteriously exist between my legs, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out their purpose. Clearly, they are not working in the aspect of making me a man.

Over the weekend, one that saw temperatures in Kentucky reach 85 degrees, my air conditioner stopped working, so I did what any guy would do in that situation.

I called my mom.

To be sure, I most certainly could have called my dad, perhaps even asking him face to face when I saw him Sunday. That would be silly, though, because that would just give him yet another reason to wonder how on earth I’m actually his son. He likes tinkering with cars; I do not. He likes yard work; I do not. He has operated a bulldozer, back-hoes and various other machinery. I have not.

In short, he’s Jack Bauer, a man’s man who takes no gruff from anyone or anything. I’m Jack Spratt, he of the finicky eating habits (although I don’t particularly indulge in Mr. Spratt’s fondness for overly plus-sized women).

Mom, surprisingly enough, offered little useful advice on how to fix my broken air conditioner, so I did the only other thing I possibly knew to do.

I e-mailed my builder, who is also a friend.

He’s also a dude’s dude.

“My air conditioner is on the fritz,” I wrote. “I’ve been told I might need to replace an air filter, which I most certainly would do if I only knew where such a thing was located.”

“You’ve been in that house 15 months and don’t know that,” he replied. “There’s your problem.”

Yes, that’s my problem in oh so many ways, but regardless, I needed help, which he offered to do Monday after work. He stopped by at about 5, and we ventured into the crawlspace to change the offending filter. I followed him in, moving a bit slow because of achy knees. He was already removing the filter by the time I fully entered the crawlspace.

He was also already removing the filter by the time the door blew shut, thus causing the latch to fall, effectively trapping us under my house.

“This isn’t your day, is it?” he asked.

I declined to respond.

My friend, a former cop, managed to get us out from under my house – he kicked the door off its hinge, which was allowed him to relive his former days busting into crack dens (note, he probably didn’t do such things as a Georgetown police officer, but it sounds pretty tough, so let’s just go with it).

After he left, I made my first adult trip to a hardware store, ready to purchase a new filter. I rarely carry cash, and today was no exception, which posed a bit of a problem when I realized how much air filters cost. They’re 85 cents. There was no way I was going to put 85 cents on my debit card, and since there is literally nothing else of interest to me in a hardware store, I bought two additional filters.

Sometimes, I really am embarrassed to be me.


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