Learn to love your tools - Faine 431

By: Jon Faine

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Makita and I were a happy couple for years

I have a new favourite toy. I have passing infatuations with different pieces of garage equipment, but this little ripper has stolen my heart – for now. I am almost at the point where I have to break the news to my wife.

Years back, I admit to a long and passionate affair with a drill. It was the first cordless device I ever bought. Her name was Makita. Her vital statistics were 9v, 1.5Ah, and she came with – gasp – a  torch that used the same battery. It was so cool. I could turn her on like nobody could, and we were happy going around – and around – together for years. We shared hobbies, home renovation and even sometimes going out together to new places. Makita had a keyless chuck – nothing short of revolutionary. And unlike all my earlier drills, she wasn’t needy, did not have to stay attached. It took a while to get used to the idea that you could just walk around anywhere you liked with her, no baggage or strings attached – or cords trailing behind.

Makita and I were a happy couple for years. We matured together for over a decade, repaired garden furniture, made a pergola, hung pictures, pierced table legs and occasionally got to make holes in car firewalls for cables and hoses. She fell over a few times and didn’t break, which most certainly was not what happened with the previous plastic encased Black & Decker special friend drill. And I never tired of getting off (and on)  with that tricky matching torch with the very erotic black rubber-tipped positive action switch which lit up the dark recesses… of my soul.

I wore out batteries, put them in the freezer in forlorn attempts to extend their lives, sought counselling and eventually invested in new battery packs that cost nearly as much as the drill way back when it was new. But it was worth the effort, the cost and the emotional turmoil. My love meant a new outlook on life and our revived relationship thrived afresh.

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And then suddenly it was over. I dropped her. Literally. The faded blue case cracked and besides Makita was tired, worn out and slow. Like many before me I fell for a new young friend, a fresh faced eye catching young model.  With little thought for Makita’s feelings, 18v became the standard. My old trusty love was unceremoniously dumped, replaced, retired with a broken heart. She was deemed useless and got buried in the back of the power tool cupboard, never to be spoken to again. To make matters worse, my new partner had the same name as my ex. I just traded up. Old Makita undoubtedly sulked.

The new 18v rechargeable Makita solved my mid-life crisis, just by going to the toy – sorry – tool shop. Flash the plastic and walk out as excited as a school boy finding his wicked uncle’s hidden stash of Viagra.

But recently I have been unfaithful even to my 18V drill. My new favourite is a more flexible and adaptable companion, a shape-shifting, gender-bending, diverse wand of a device that goes by the mysterious and teasingly exotic name of ‘PRR250’. That surely is enough to get the pulse racing even before you see the lines of this sleek and curvy little beast.

Bettina Bosch – she asks just to be called Bette – is being asked to take on a considerable burden, even so early in our new life together. Right from the start, I have over stressed her, spilled tea over her, put her away without blowing compressed air through to clear the dust and I have unkindly worn down some of her attachments. It is not that I do not care, just that sometimes we take our loved ones for granted and do not realise the value they provide in our selfish lives.

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Bette is amazing. Is there anything she cannot do? She has sanding wheel attachments, flap wheels of different grades and, best and most useful of all, wire brush wheels. Although I am anything but rough, in fact quite a softie, the wire brush attachments have copped an absolute flogging right from the start.

Astonishing for someone approaching middle age (I hear your guffaws even from over here), Bette has got me trying some things for the very first time. New positions, new techniques – and as it turns out I am able to keep up with all her tricks. Turns out my body is able, but can the mind keep up?  I am not at all confused. After all, if you can draw an old dog to water and make it drink – can you teach an old horse new tricks?

 

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