Thursday, April 8, 2010


Those of you who follow my blog perhaps remember reading about how well Sarah and I did putting the lounge chair together.


High heels. Two left arms. Shoddy tools?

Well, David bought a new grill, and instead of us putting it together, he asked Andrew, my nephew, if he would like to make a few bucks by assembling the grill for him.

Andrew likes putting things together.

Well, as a kid, he mostly liked taking things apart, but now, he likes putting things together.

When he was young, we'd give him broken toasters or adding machines to disassemble --- he'd go to the basement or his room and take the appliance or small electronic thingy apart piece by piece and then try to put them back together. Sometimes he was successful -- sometimes not so much.

At times, I would go in his room -- and the parts for some object would be all over his desk -- its innards splayed -- his tools beside it.

It was a good way to get rid of old, small non-working appliances.

My sister?
Not. So. Appreciative.

David and Andrew determined that he would come over after class last night to assemble the grill.

He arrives about six. David and I are about to eat, so we leave him in the driveway with all of the parts of the grill spread around him -- plastic encased black things -- cylinder things wrapped in cardboard and taped down like state secrets -- as I like to say, "overpackaged" -- and little bitty shrinked wrap screws, nuts, and bolts adhered to cardboard -- it takes a machete to get the stuff unwrapped.

After dinner, I came out with a cocktail, parked myself in a plastic chair, and proceeded to watch Andrew put the grill together like it was entertainment.

At this point, Andrew has the cart with wheels that the grill sits on assembled and tightened down, and he's about to put on the grill body.

He looks at the directions.

He looks at the grill body.

He gives it a turn. He flips it. Examines it. In fact, he looks at it with puzzlement.

He picks up four lock washers and four 1/2 inch bolts and begins to secure them.


He checks out the catch pan.

Andrew: Hmmm. This says, "wheel side" on it -- if I put it on this way, then the grease tray will run into the front panel.

Me: *sips drink*

Andrew: No, that can't be.

Me: Looks like it you got something on backwards.

Andrew gives me a glare and then stares at directions again.

He takes off the catch pan. Flips it.

Andrew: Hmmm. I might have the front panel on the wrong side. It would be nice if something said right or left.

Me: Man. What a great night. I love this time of year. *sips drink*

Andrew: *stares at directions*

Me: Eh. Men write those directions; if a woman wrote it, it would say left or right.

Andrew: Not helpful.

Me: Just sayin'.

Andrew flips grill body. Holds up catch pan.

Me: What step are you on?

Andrew: Well, I was on six -- I now might be back to four.

Me: How many steps are there?

Andrew flips through directions: Nineteen.

Me: It'll be dark in a couple of hours.

Andrew glares at me.

Me: Let me see the directions. I love to read out loud.

Andrew: I'm gonna move the front panel and start over.

Me: Bwhaha. Step 19 says, "Tighten all bolts and nuts." What kind of step is that?

Andrew: Is there anything that you find not amusing?

Me: Gravity.

So, I take the directions -- and with my brain power, and Andrew's brawn and flexibility -- I mean, sometimes, he had to crawl under the control panel to attach the valves to the burner and then do something kind of contortionist with the valve tips -- so, these things do need youth, but occasionally, just to have someone read the directions with you -- and read them out loud with a real Southern drawl is helpful too.


Me: "Insert the igniter wires, which are attached to the underside of each burner, through the same hole in the grill body that the burner goes through and then attach the wire to the backside of the electronic igniter, which is attached to the control panel."

Andrew looks at me.

Me: He used "attached" three times in that very long sentence. Looks like this writer could use a thesaurus as well as a little lesson on dependent and independent clauses.

Andrew rolls his eyes.

Me: What? And. He wrote this: --WRONG HOSE LOCATION -- but does not show or say RIGHT HOSE LOCATION. I wish I could written that kind of instruction at the top of student papers -- WRONG. WRONG. WRONG. But not tell them what is right. Egads.

Andrew: Can I see those a minute? I mean, if you are through with your speech.

At one time, Andrew and I got tickled big time when the gas chimney had a sticker adhered to it (note I didn't write attached) that read "If you can see this note, then you have this part on upside down."

Bwhahah. Maybe that writer does have a sense of humor.

Meanwhile, the ice melted in my drink, and outside the light grew dimmer.

At 8:15, Andrew finished the grill.

We read this in the manual:

Estimated Assembly Time: 45 Minutes.

Me: I'm gonna email these people and tell them, YOU LIE.

Andrew: It does say, "do not attempt assembly if you are missing parts."

Me: Bwhahahaha. Wait. Are you talking to me?

BTW: Hmmm. I wonder if I could write directions for a living.

*makes a note*


  1. I can't believe you went in the house to eat dinner and left your sister's little child outside to assemble. Did you even offer the kid dinner?

  2. Better yet - why not let Andrew grill his own dinner!

  3. So how long would it have taken you to put it together? *teehee*

    My kid loves to take apart stuff too. Old computers, vcr's, you name it. I hope he likes putting things together when he gets older!

  4. we totally could have put that together in 45 minutes and heels... just saying. :-)

  5. That made my morning! Well, technically it's afternoon now, but I got out of bed only 10 minutes ago, so it's morning for me :P

    At least Andrew read the directions unlike some men I know.

    My father and my uncle attempted to assemble a grill last weekend...after an hour of failing miserably my brother stepped in and in 30 minutes had the thing up and running. A 14 year old outsmarted two grown men simply by reading the instructions. I was very amused.

    If you wrote directions for a living, you'd definitely tell people to put on the front panel left or right side up. You'd be the "Instruction Queen."

  6. LMAO! "Gravity" bwhahaha

    This was great but I want to know why you sat in a plastic chair vs the beautiful lounger :P!

    I loved this story! It reminds me of when my parents got their first gas grill and it took my Dad 2 days. Yeah, he wasn't very happy and swore he would pay any amount of money to have someone do it the next time!

  7. "WRONG WRONG WRONG" I could definitely see you writing that on everyone's papers