the handyman can…

by Bella Rum

I have this coffee maker that makes perfectly fine coffee. Really. It has a couple of issues but we’ve worked around them. I’m married to the all time world record holder of jury-rigging. The 1980s television show, MacGyver, was based on his autobiography. You didn’t know about his book? Well, now you do.

I’ve grown accustomed to seeing broken appliances, fixtures, computers, toilets (you name it) attached to strange wires, encased in duct tape, held together with rubber bands, or connected by paper clips. His application of these solutions is broad in scope and limitless in imagination. There is nothing that he can not jury-rig. There is no crises that can not be resolved with a roll of chicken wire and his Leatherman. One of the nobs on my stove top only works because he broke the tip off a toothpick and stuck it somewhere crucial.

Now let’s not get into appearances. I’ve long given up on grading the success of any of his repairs by appearance. Aesthetics is not his long suit. He worships at the altar of functionality. Yes! My man will make it work. That’s all he promises and he delivers.

Now, back to my coffee maker. I don’t want to seem ungrateful, but for almost two years I’ve been using a coffee maker that’s held together with a rubber band. The cage that holds the filter will not stay shut. It flops open and coffee goes everywhere if the rubber band isn’t in place. You drag yourself in there for that first taste of java in the morning, and the River Nile is all over the kitchen floor. The ants are floating around on scraps of potato chips and using pretzels for oars.

The rubber band works just fine as long as you remember to do it, but C found it a little disconcerting (can’t imagine why) when we were still living with Dad. I’m sure she wondered why we didn’t buy a new one because she’s a NORMAL person. Finally, just before we left and she moved in, she ordered a new coffee maker and had it sent to Dad’s house. She implored us to open the box and use it till she moved in.

If the rubber band solution was the only issue, I could deal, but the tiny hole where the coffee drips into the carafe gets stopped up sometimes. When this happens, the coffee (once again) pours over the filter, on the counter, and down the cabinets, but since this only happens occasionally, H doesn’t see the problem. I know. You can’t believe it either, can you?

Here’s another thing. I don’t want to go downstairs to make the coffee in the morning, but our coffee maker doesn’t have a timer. We can’t set it up the night before and expect to smell the aroma of coffee when we wake. I really want to smell the aroma of coffee when I wake. I really want my coffee ready when I wake. Yeees, I do.

A new coffee maker is in my future and this one will have a timer. It may not have the charm or character of a rubber-band-ed beauty like I have now, but I’m a pragmatist. I want my coffee maker to make my coffee for me while I sleep and not burn the house down. Oh, now see. I had to go there. My cousin’s kitchen was destroyed by her coffee maker. Fire consumed half the kitchen while they slept. H could have made the whole kitchen brand new again with a box of Legos and some Silly Putty.