Me & the Bolt Cutters
Bolt cutters 3′ tall. Weight 15lbs. I’m 5′ tall. I was swinging that thing around like it was a hotdog I was trying to keep from my son’s unruly dog, Bacon. And now I explain.
I own a garden cart for work. Big basic black workhorse, carries 175lbs. Client taught me about mine two years ago to the day, and I wish I’d owned it since the day I started Casual Uncluttering. It doesn’t have a name, like my favorite box knife, but it’s close. Shoves over gravel, rickety wooden stairs and snow like a truck with 4-wheel drive and real horsepower.
Until November 12, 2022. A day that will haunt me forever. Steep, narrow, cracked concrete stairs. Heavy heavy load. And I was tired and got lazy and neglected to put the support panel in the bottom. AGAIN. And I hear a POP. And another. And the poor girl shears the bolts holding her primary struts. Needs new bolts as desperately as I used to need replacement rubber bands in my braces after I’d eat Milk Duds.
Well, I ain’t gonna spend $150 on a new cart. I am stubborn and try to fix things myself. Know the old saying “Measure twice, cut once?” Here’s an even more appropriate one for my situation: “Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.” Maybe don’t take the old bolts out until you know you’ve got the new parts. Especially maybe don’t take the broken bolts out without the right tools, because doing so just jams stripped bolts in the holes. Maybe, just maybe, if you bring the cart to the hardware store – which will go unnamed – the really talented clerks will have a better chance of giving you the correct replacements if they see the old dear’s creaky connections immediately-post-sproing. I got the wrong parts the first time. Got the right parts the second time. Chopped the mangled original bolts out with the massive bolt cutter, which had an ever-so-slightly too-blocky head for the job. Therefore all the swinging.
Everybody makes mistakes!
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