Laughter really is the best medicine
Have you ever had an experience that was so hysterically funny that you just weren’t sure you could ever explain it to someone else?
Picture me now sitting at the keyboard trying to figure out how to explain the side-splitting pandemonium that ensued when the dog and I decided to install some new mini blinds this past week.
It all started innocently enough when I interrupted a spider in the bathroom busy doing her hair and watched in horror as she sprang through the open doorway to take refuge between the slats of a mini blind covering a window in the hallway.
Intent on seeking revenge for having been startled I swatted at the blind with vigour in an effort to dislodge this unwanted visitor only to have several of the plastic slats disintegrate into a handful of small pieces.
Who knew plastic crumpled like potato chips after years of baking in the hot sun?
Solution-oriented problem solver that I am, I scooped the mess into the trash bin and carefully measured the window dimensions before heading off to the store to buy a replacement.
Sounds simple enough right?
I was going to pop the old blind out and snap in a replacement in less time than it takes to brew a pot of coffee.
Or so I thought.
To be fair, there was a reference on the label to the fact that the replacement was a “cordless” mini blind, and I do remember naively thinking, “What a good idea. I wonder how that works?”
The trouble started when I opened the box to discover mounting brackets unlike any I had seen before.
Looking at the written directions (which were no help at all and in no way matched the accompanying illustrations) I just got more confused.
The manufacturer had provided six screws for the metal brackets that only appeared to have two holes as well as two plastic bits that were not mentioned in either the text or the drawings – which I never did manage to fathom a use for.
The only thing that really was clear was that before I could install new brackets, I had to figure out how to remove the old ones from the wall.
The comedy of errors that then ensued loosely included: searching for and failing to find a screwdriver that would fit the screws in the wall, hunting for the power drill and taking five tries to attach the rechargeable battery pack – which refused to snap into place; discovering that one of the old screw heads was so damaged that even the drill wouldn’t budge it which gave me no choice but to painstakingly grip it with a pair of pliers and gradually unscrew it bit by bit in the sweltering heat.
Eventually I prevailed and finally managed to remove the last screw which, naturally was not just damaged; it was also twice as long as all the others.
Finally embarking on to the installation of the new brackets, I next discovered that although I own at least 18 drill bits of various sizes I apparently do not possess one that will drill through the metal of a window frame (and I now have more than one bent drill bit to prove this).
At this point a sane person would probably have admitted defeat and called for reinforcements.
But not me. Oh no. This blind was going up and that was that.
Eventually I worked out that by placing the brackets in a slightly less ideal location I could reuse some of the holes from the previous brackets.
Thinking how clever I was to have come up with this, I confidently remounted my little utility stool for about the tenth time and commenced installing the new bracket with my trusty cordless drill only to somehow break the screw in half, embedding half of it in the window frame and sending the other half of it bouncing across the tile floor never to be seen again.
Meanwhile back at Chaos Headquarters, Sunny the dog (aka Captain Chaos) picked this moment to sneak downstairs and amuse himself by prying open the cabinet door under the kitchen sink. Successfully managing to remove the gooey wrapper from a package of bacon from the trash, he then trotted off to the dining room clutching his prize and shred it into about 20 pieces all over the carpet.
You know, I’m seldom at a loss for words but at that moment all I could do was giggle, every other emotion that I possess had already been dunked onto the hallway floor.
And after all of that, I have realised two very important things: firstly, installing mini blinds requires a degree in mechanical engineering; secondly (and most importantly), laughter really is the best medicine.
Robin Trimingham is the chief operating officer of The Olderhood Group Ltd and a virtual presenter, journalist, podcaster and thought leader in the fields of life transition and change management. Connect with Robin at https://bit.ly/3nSMlvc or firstname.lastname@example.org