Saturday, September 10, 2011

Hoop Dreams and Debacles

I pay people to put things together.  For someone as cheap as me, this would seem antithetical to who I am as a person.  But the level of stress that visits our home when the box reads "some assembly required" is astronomical.  Joe and I are not patient people.  Nor are we particularly handy.  Still, my husband recently balked at paying $75 to have Jack's birthday basketball hoop assembled ("how would it fit in the minivan?").

Six hours after the project commenced, Joe was still sweating, pulling, swearing, and cursing every person who has ever written assembly instructions.  It wasn't pretty.

Having once played basketball, I was pretty sure this angle was a tad off.
Of course, filling the stupid thing with 350 pounds of sand proved no picnic either.  It took until Day Two before we figured out that cutting the funnel wider would make the process go a whole lot faster:

We're still about 20 pounds short on sand.  Joe suggested a final visit to the Warren Dunes, but I figured we'd be arrested.

The only hope I ever have to remedy our direction-challenged family is Daniel.  He is methodical and patient in building his endless Lego creations.  We stopped helping him with these when he was 3 because he could do it better than us.  It all just leaves me to wonder if I brought the right baby home from the hospital:

Who needs Handy Manny when we have a Handy Danny?
By the way, thank you to Caroline for the basketball net.  It was a kind and generous gift, and I am certain that we will all enjoy it for many years to come.  I've already beaten Joe at "Horse" twice.  Not that I'm keeping track....


  1. From the lady in front of Joe at the ATM machine regarding basketball assembly. Joe! "it's not like you got to program the f*ckin' thing"
    Martha's Vineyard.

  2. Funny. You should have married a structural engineer. Jeff takes joy in placing himself in isolation (a remote corner of the basement or garage depending on the season) in order to assemble a masterpiece (perhaps half the joy is the isolation). The process usually involves a case of beer, Aerosmith & Van Halen CDs, and a bag of Snyder's pretzels. I pushed it to the limit 6 years ago with the boys' electronic bball contraption. The post-holiday, December 27th newspaper article in the Trib that year announced it to be the most difficult toy to assemble of the year after reviewing the results of a scientifically created national timed test. It took Jeff a little more than 8 hours to complete the task
    ( national average was 14) He was not a happy man..accused me of selecting it on purpose..."I'll bet you tossed this thing in the cart thinking it would be to piss off an engineer". Completely not true (fingers crossed behind my back).

    ~Cousin MJ

  3. Yay! Danny is working on his birthday present! Mar, for the past month, I have reassembled thousands of dollars in Legos and have them all on my mantel for safekeeping until I finish with Jack's room. I've even spent hours on the phone with Lego reps to acquire missing pieces. I need help. My next project is photos. I have three years worth on memory cards. Do you think it's genetic?



  4. H&K - I'm going to keep that one from Joe. (;

    MJ - You're still lucky! Less swearing and some appreciation for these God forsaken directions.

    Meg - I can pretty much guarantee I have any Lego you need (courtesy of endless Goodwill visits). Call me first and I'll ship out overnight.