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Floors to walk on

Every now and then an American Guy is overcome with the irresistible urge to Do It Yourself.

I, as a self-proclaimed American Guy, have one word of advice.

Don’t.



I should probably begin with a disclaimer. I’ve been taking standardized tests since I was watching Captain Kangaroo ” and if you’re not old enough to remember Captain Kangaroo you’re not old enough to be reading this. Go watch Empty-V and leave the old folks alone.

But I digress.



Standardized tests have indicated that I’m in the 99th percentile in mechanical reasoning and ability. According to the standardized tests I passed, I’m also qualified to teach English at any level, industrial arts, history, and English as a second language. The standardized tests also indicated

I’m ready for law school, medical school, and am among those in this spiral arm of the universe most qualified to be a U.S. Army linguist and sit on the Soviet frontier in a listening post and eavesdrop on Commie tank drivers exchanging top secret information about cars and girlfriends and wanting to go home.

And if you’re too young to remember the Soviets, stop reading this, pull up your silly-looking baggy-butt pants, and respectfully ask a Real Guy with some mileage on him to tell you about practicing the duck-and-cover under his school desk.



But again I digress.

The point is that standardized tests cannot be trusted to measure anything except the profitability of the shyster companies that create them.

Standardized testing indicated I should be able to refinish my hardwood floors with no outside help.

Standardized tests lie.

I’m the guy in your neighborhood who had to call in a professional to help unwrap soap.

Still, I’m a fervent supporter of my inalienable right to possess and use power tools.

The coolest thing about any do-it-yourself project is creating a bunch of sawdust by tearing something apart with power tools, and refinishing your hardwood floor requires power tools that come with a military identification number. We’re talking serious horsepower. It’s not as cool as riding your motorcycle at well above the posted speed limit, but it’s close.

The second coolest thing about refinishing your hardwood floor is wandering next door and bribing your neighbor’s teenage sons to move all your furniture into the garage. It’s a lot like bribing bureaucrats in a Third World country, only the teenagers next door will actually do what you bribed them to do ” which you can easily see by watching furniture fill up the space in your garage, where all your wife’s stuff used to be ” stuff that is now, thankfully, gone.

You’ll learn a few things as you crank up the drum sander.

First, it creates about 174 times more saw dust than you thought it would.

Second, when the warning labels on drum sander caution about sawdust spontaneously combusting, they’re telling the truth, especially when you dump all the sawdust in your plastic trash can.

Third, there is that moment of truth when you fight off the evil notion that it would be easier to just let the trash can, and your house, burn to the ground than to complete this now-insane notion that you could actually refinish your own hardwood floor. It’s nothing like unwrapping soap.

Fourth, a green plastic trash can containing a bunch of spontaneously combusting sawdust looks an awful lot like what happens to liberals at a Rush Limbaugh convention.

It’s at that point, when you have no finish on your bare and badly scratch floor, and your trash can is on fire, that you realize you need Professional Help.

And neither talk therapy nor Prozac will do the trick.

I called Jeremy Yeik, bless his hard-hatted heart, who walked around my living room saying things like, “I’ve never seen work quite like that before.” A couple nights in a hotel and Jeremy’s magic later, the house looks like new.

Women swoon at the sight of a beautiful hardwood floor, and that’s what all American Guys are really after.

But do yourself a favor. Write guys like Jeremy a check, not only for their expertise and great work, but also on general principle. Then go to church and thank God for your sitting-on-your-tush desk job.


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