If I had a hammer … or a football
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
“Do you remember Peter, Paul and Mary?” I asked Husband-Head as we got ready for bed on a Friday night.
“Yeah, barely,” Husband-Head scoffed. “Weren’t they a 1960’s group that sang, like, love child and hippie songs?”
Peter, Paul and Mary were actually a folk trio that started in the early 60s, but went on to gain national and international fame and actually stayed together until Mary’s death in 2009.
‘Why are you even bringing that up?” Husband-Head wanted to know. “Are we getting nostalgic about the days when your age was still in the single digits?”
“No, I just had that song, ‘If I had a Hammer,’ in my head,” I explained.
“I think there’s more than a hammer in your head,” Husband-Head agreed. “I think there’s a chain saw…”
“I’m supposed to go help build a Habitat for Humanity house tomorrow,” I informed Husband-Head.
He didn’t answer right away because he was laughing too hard. But when he saw that I was serious, his expression turned to horror.
“No way,” he said, shaking his head. “You can’t even change a light bulb. How in the world could you construct anything?”
I could see the little wheels in his head churning and that it was really bothering him.
“In fact, the idea of you handling a power tool is absolutely frightening,” he continued. “You can’t even hammer a nail into anything. For that matter, I wouldn’t even trust you with a screwdriver!”
I stood there and listened while trying to determine if he was genuinely concerned about my well-being or if he just thought I was a complete idiot.
“You have a lot of talents, but construction just isn’t one of them,” Husband-Head tried to explain. “Why can’t you make everyone lunch or something? You’re really good at that.”
Nah. Who wants to make sandwiches when they can hammer nails into stuff?
“If I had a hammer, I’d hammer in the morning, I’d hammer in the evening … all over this land,” I sang out loud, putting my fingers in my ears so I couldn’t hear him.
“I’m just saying, imagine the poor people who would have to live in a house that you helped build,” Husband-Head continued. “Wouldn’t you feel horrible when the roof or one of the walls fell down and hurt somebody?”
“I’d hammer out danger, I’d hammer out a warning, I’d hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters, all over this world …” I continued to sing, not listening to him.
Unfortunately, in the end and to Husband-Head’s delight, I was not able to go to the Habitat construction project, due to some other issues that arose.
“So now what are we going to do?” I asked Husband-Head.
“I have no idea what you’re planning, but I’m having a bunch of guys over for an NFL fantasy football draft,” he informed me.
It’s not even Labor Day, for the love of Pete.
But sure enough, the troops came over on Sunday bearing sandwiches, chicken wings and beer.
“Why doesn’t anybody ever bring stuff like frankincense and myrrh?” I whispered to Husband-Head. “That would be more appropriate on a Sunday.”
“If we’re lucky, someone will show up with tequila,” Husband-Head scowled at me. “Now go away. This is important stuff and you can’t bother us.”
For the next six hours, the boys intently focused on their “picks” and who they wanted on their teams. I poked my head in every now and then just to make sure everyone was alright and not doing anything stupid.
Except the ones that were relieving themselves on the back side of the shed.
“Why don’t you guys just use the bathroom in the house?” I hissed to Husband-Head. “We’ve got two bathrooms, you know!”
“That’s just how we do it,” Husband-Head shrugged. “It’s a guy thing.”
That evening, as we got ready for bed, I told Husband-Head that I felt bad about not being able to help out with the Habitat for Humanity project.
“I signed up for it at church and said I’d help,” I lamented. “I feel horrible.”
“It’s OK,” Husband-Head said, patting my shoulder. “To be honest, it was probably a good thing. You would’ve just been in the way.”
“So how did your draft go?” I asked. “Did you get a good team?”
Husband-Head just shrugged.
“I don’t know,” he admitted. “Who ever knows?”
Which put another Peter, Paul and Mary song in my head.
“The answer my friend, is blowing in the wind, the answer is blowing in the wind.”
– “Fried Rice” appears every Friday. Heidi Rice is a staff writer and columnist for the Post Independent. She lives in Rifle. Visit her website, http://www.heidirice.com for more columns and her book. Contact Heidi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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