Bunning’s Men

bunnings-men

Today was a big day for me. (You might want to gather the office folk around your desk so that you can experience what is like for me. They can help to build excitement. I have no idea HOW to build that but you probably have some kind of engineer there. If you don’t, no worries, pick any man and he can pretend he knows how to do it and then you can all join in. I am pretty sure that whatever it involves, at the end there is a big song and dance finale involving wheat and square dancing skirts. Oh. Oh. And see if someone can get some dry ice and put it in a bucket of water. Awesome effect.)

Today hubby announced we were going to the BIGGG Bunnings Store. Think Home Hardware only add dinner plate size bug zappers and alligator proof waders. Hubby said we had to be up bright and early because he, “Bob the bumbler, builder, attempter, Means Well,” wanted to put up a garden shed. Of course he needed to do it all by himself, having already poured the concrete pad, prepped everything, etc. He had it all figured out. Nod your heads here vigorously and look hopeful. Ohhh,and have angels singing or play an Eric Whitacre piece. Same thing.

So we got in the car and he immediately began a  fight with the mapping system in his new cell phone. (Have the good swearers move to the front and the other non-swearers should look horrified. Some of the people can throw cell phones.) We were stopped in the middle of the street because while you should continue driving until you can safely pull over in the event of any other type of driving catastrophe, not being able to get your cell phone to work requires you slam on the brakes and the whole rest of the world be damned.  I watched the neighbourhood women gather their children and run for their homes where they turned off the lights and pulled the shades. Eventually, he had it and we drove off to the sound track of a lovely woman coaching us. “Follow the course of the road.” Thank heavens for her timely, important directions.  I know I would have headed straight over to the sidewalks and tried to use the lawns, rather than the road in front of us. Whew. Near miss.

I hate Bunnings at the best of times, but early in the morning when all the staff are skipping around the store on a coffee high . . . it is actually more nauseating. If one more person said good morning to me in that sing-songy, Aussie accented voice with a big happy smile, I was probably going to lose my marbles. And I’ve got some impressive marbles to lose, I promise you. And right when I was about to start throwing those marbles,  this dude comes skipping up to me, all 6 feet something of him and his 350 lbs. “Good morning, aww it can’t be THAT bad. Cheer up! THIS is Bunnings!! Twinkle, twinkle. I swear he was twinkling, all over the place.

“Ummm . . . Which dwarf are you?”

I don’t know why he looked so confused. Hello, he was running around in shorts and fluoro apron, a broom in one hand and a power tool in the other and he was twirling.

How come men are so happy and euphoric in these stores? All of them, singing, whistling, choosing which lumps of wood they want, which nail, which tube of glue. How can anyone be that turned on over hunks of wood? I swear the men that work there wear aprons to hide their erections. I am not sure it is even safe to allow men to be in this kind of store without a chaperone when they cannot control themselves. And then when they start to make eye contact with one another and are high fiving each other in the aisles and bonding.  It is Gang activity. Of the worst kind.

My Hubby has to go up and down every aisle in case there is something he did not write down on his list because he forgot Bunnings carried that. Like, heaven forbid he pass by a “grub screw” without picking it up and fondling it and considering if he has enough at home. And don’t ask me what a “grub screw” is because I have no idea what I am even saying, I am just repeating words I heard. I might as well be speaking a foreign language.

All the while we have Cherry the Chirper speaking to us through the cell phone saying, “take a left, and then a right,” “recalculating,” “complete a U-turn at the next intersection,” because hubby still hadn’t mastered his phone.  He needed the directions for the place we were getting the garden shed from after we were done at Bunnings.   He was afraid to turn the phone off in case it won’t work when we need it to. That meant that as we walked, she was guiding us to head to the store for the shed and everyone could hear her. I tried to suggest he could leave her on, but IN the car, but nope, she had to come with us. Even the dwarves started looking at us like we were space cadets but at least I could lag behind and hope no-one knew we were together. That worked until he said, “here, hold the phone for me will you?

He pushed it at me and my hands were suddenly unable to move, my fingers balled up. I could not open them. He pushed it again and then just slipped it into my purse. “Take the first left and then turn left.”  Cherry was chirping again.  The Bunnings employee standing next to the step ladder dropped his clipboard and raced to my side.

“You know that would be a great idea, Global positioning at Bunnings! Never struggle to find the “grub nuts” again.” His eyes got all misty and he was looking off into distance, lost in the corrugated iron on the ceiling.

“The first thing they would do is lose the dwarves.”

I am pretty sure he was “dopey.”  He certainly looked like him.   I just left him standing there while I went around the corner and turned off the phone.

Hubby’s little purchases were all lined up in his cart. He then decided, right there in the tool aisle of Bunnings that he had been unfair. He was going to spell it all out there for me, make it a teaching moment, bond with me, make me one of the guys, let me in on the club. I looked at him and the other men pushing carts and believe me, there were more “tools” in that aisle than those you could see on the shelves.

“THIS,” he said, as he held up some metal something, “is a BASTARD file.”

Forgive me, I could not reply. I searched my mind, I searched all my learnings and knowings, but I just could not come up with an appropriate response to “this is a bastard file.”

He looked disappointed.

“You don’t believe me, I am not kidding, that is what they call it.” and he lifted up the files to show me the writing on the packaging.”

He wanted a response.   I gave him one, “Of course I believe you. We are in Australia aren’t we? You people have weird names for everything. ”

He no longer wanted to bond.

Pool stufff, check check, more tools, check check, and oh, let’s not forget those impulse buys. WD40 all stacked at the checkout, and extra line for the weed whacker.  Two for one.

We broke free of Bunnings and headed to pick up the garden shed.  We lost another hour to that effort, thanks to men who sell garden sheds for a living having no idea how to tie a garden shed down for transportation.  It was just completely out of their range of expertise.

Once we were on the highway I turned to Derek,  “I have to tell you, THIS has been the best time ever. I am stoked. Thanks so much for suggesting this. Wee, what a day! If I levitate a bit of start shooting sparkles out my ears, no need to panic, that is just me expressing just how amazing this day was and the impact it has had on me. Look, I am vibrating. Wow. Fantastic day! I don’t even know how you can just sit there and drive like nothing happened.”

Hubby waited for me to finish. “OK, you’re not happy with me, right?”

“Pretty much”

Silence.

“We are never going to have sex again are we?”

“Don’t be ridiculous, of course we will …

…just not with each other.”

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