I’ve been lobbying to get a wheelbarrow for about a year now. Last week morning I employed on the “better to ask forgiveness than permission” theory and picked one up at Fleet Farm. One tub, two handles and a box of hardware. Made in China. The parts were in branded Zip Lock bags. Good for Ziplock. The wheelbarrow itself is called an Iron Brigade. Or at least that’s what’s stencilled on it’s side. Along with the silhouette of an eagle. It makes me feel like a hero of the proletariat. I feel like one of those guys in the great communist poster art of the thirties and forties. Only I don’t have the jaw for it.
When I opened up the hardware box I was pleased to discover that the instructions actually made sense and appeared to have been written by someone who had at least a familiarity with the English language. But as I read on I realized this was going to be beyond a simple assembly. It required putting the handles up on sawhorses (like I have sawhorses) and balancing about five pieces and trying to line up the holes for the bolts and getting the bolts to go through the holes. At first inspection it didn’t look like the holes were lined up at all. I’m starting to think that I grabbed the wrong set of handles out in the Fleet Farm yard. There was only one thing to do. Ask my wife for help. She’s about a hundred times handier at that sort of thing than I am. And after years of close brushes with divorce percipitated by similar activities we’ve finally become a pretty good team. She managed to thread the bolts and we got everything put together but not tightened.
That’s when she asked me what the washers in the bag were for. “I don’t know, they don’t mention them in the directions and they’re not in the diagram, I just assumed they were for some assembly that was going to happen later.” Of course there were no assemblies left. Only dissaemblies. It was hot. I’d been digging in the garden all morning. We shut down for the evening, showered up, went to the Sample Room for dinner with some friends and I dealt with the washers this morning. There are only a few left in the bag.