Wednesday, April 13, 2011


“Insert Screw F into piece… D,” she read, squinting at the tiny words on the instruction leaflet.

“Screw F… screw F,” he said, pushing through a small pile of bags containing assorted tiny metal and plastic objects. “Which one is F?”

“Uh… it looks like a big swirly screw-thingy,” she said, looking at the diagram.

“Screw thingy?” he said, raising an eyebrow at her.

She rolled her eyes and handed him the leaflet, her finger on the diagram. He looked at it, returned his search to the bags and let out a triumphant “Ah-hah!” as he selected one which contained what appeared to be extremely swirly-looking screw thingies. He returned the leaflet to her and went about pushing the screws into the four slots on the wood.

“Ok, now what?” he asked.

“Now connect piece D to pieces A and C using G brackets,” she read, and reached out to grab the bag containing the piece drawn on the page.

“Ah, so screws are in the ‘thingy’ category but brackets you can spot, huh? He said mockingly.

She shot him a glare and tossed the bag at his head.

“Hey, hey- careful. You could poke somebody’s eye out!” he said, grabbing the bag on the bounce back. He opened it up and started attaching the brackets, stealing glances at the diagram for placement.

“Ok, then you attach piece B to A and C like you did D,” she said as he finished. He looked again at the diagram she held out and nodded.

“I’m gonna need your help on this one,” he said, sliding around on his knees. “Can you hold up this piece so I can screw it into place? No, not that one- this big one, here.”

“Ok, where do you want it?” she said, getting on her knees next to him.

“No, no, I got it- let me just get it… there! Now, hold it still and- and put your knee behind it so I have something to brace against,” he said, positioning a screw on the other side.

“Are you gonna screw this into my knee?” she asked, eyeing him nervously.

“Sweetie, how big would you say that is?” he asked, holding up a screw.

“I don’t know. It looks big enough to go through this piece of wood and into my leg, though,” she said.

“Really?” he asked, holding the screw against the wood so she could see it would only go halfway through the width of the piece.

“Oh,” she said apologetically. “Just be careful,” she added as he started pushing the screw into the wood.

“Ok… just let me get this last one in and… done!” he said, then straightened himself violently and objected to the pain in his back with a loud grunt and stretch.

“Ok,” she said, looking at the leaflet again. “Now place stickers over exposed screws, and… that’s it!”

“What do you mean, ‘that’s it’?” he asked, reaching out for the leaflet.

“I mean, that’s it. That’s all she wrote. That’s the whole kit ‘n caboodle,” she said, handing him the paper.

He grabbed it, scanned over the front and then flipped it over.

“I mean, unless you want to do the whole thing over again in Spanish,” she said with a grin.

“But-“ he said, flipping back and forth angrily, “what do we do with this?” he asked, holding up a large bag of brackets, screws and assorted pieces of plastic.

“Extra parts?” she asked, taking the bag from him.

“Extra parts, really? The whole thing?” he asked exasperatedly.

“Well, I don’t know what you want to me to tell you. There are no instruction here for what you’re supposed to do with this,” she said, holding up the leaflet and then the bag in turn.

“Well, I’m gonna call the number,” he said, grabbing the leaflet from her. “That’s all she wrote,” he grumbled as he stormed out.

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