Role Reversal

Saturday night we were heading out to dinner when the garage door stopped about two-thirds of the way down. Wouldn’t go down wouldn’t go up. We were a bit late getting started to make our reservations already, I went in and popped the door loose and shut it manually, intending to deal with it in the morning.

In the morning, after charging up with coffee, a banana and cheetos we set out on a DIY adventure. Our first idea was to observe the machine in action in order to diagnose the problem. In order to do that it was, of course, necessary to reconnect the door to the opener, by sliding the runner back over the bolt protruding from the rail that holds it to the moving chain. So I grabbed the handle on the release chord and pulled it forward expecting to pop it over the bolt. First time, didn’t go. Second time, fail. Third time, not the charm. So relying on the bigger hammer ├é┬átheory of mechanical repair, I grabbed the door and gave it a healthy upward push. The runner popped over the bolt and beyond, breaking the translucent housing that protected the light bulb and becoming hopelessly jammed on the other side. I wanted to call a garage repair guy, Beck wanted to call Dean the handy neighbor. She prevailed, which was a good thing. I should always yield to her better judgement. As if I have a choice.

Dean is in his seventies and I would say that I hoped to be in that good shape when I get that old, except that would mean I’d have to be in better shape than I am now. After struggling for about an hour to undo the damage that I had done, he took about thirty seconds to find the problem. Apparently the drive gear, made out of nylon, had worn down to the point of failure. A common flaw, it seems, because Dean’s replaced this component for pretty much the entire neighborhood. The parts guy a Sears knew what we’d come in for as soon as he saw that we were carrying the manual for the opener. We grabbed lunch at the 50s Grill on Brooklyn Blvd. returned with the part and everything was back together in an hour. Including the service door from the garage to the house, which also broke at some point during the repair process.

I stood out in the garage and watched for a little while, but it was apparent that I was useless in that situation. Beck stayed out to watch and learn. She’s much more mechanically adept than me and I usually defer to her when it comes to fixing stuff around the house. I know, the man card is in danger again.

Thinking about the events of the day and the fact that I do most of the cooking, we decided that I make a pretty good housewife. And she loves a man in an apron.

Next post: I’m going to cogitate on the plastic part that wears out before the machine is any where near the end of it’s life. Design flaw?

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