[Top] [All Lists]

Tool purchase advice

Subject: Tool purchase advice
From: Andy Banta <Andy.Banta@Eng.Sun.COM>
Date: Wed, 17 Apr 1996 10:37:54 -0700
This is long and entertaining with almost no relevant content.  I
pulled it off the 'net.  Original attributions are at the bottom.



Big Jim was the type of neighbor that every person wants to have.  He was
the kind of fellow who would come to your house at 4:00 in the morning, if
you needed help, would loan you any tool that he had in his shop, would go
out with you to help cut firewood and would help you stack it when you got
home.  His wife, Joan, and my wife were also the best of friends. . . with
coffee in the mornings or shopping in the afternoon.  On weekends, if Big
Jim wasn't down at my house helping me do something, I could usually be
found up at his house, returning the favor.  After ten years of being
friends and neighbors, you get to know folks really well- you think! 

Big Jim was 6 years older than I was, and was approaching his late 40's. 
He had married Joan, his high school sweetheart, following their high
school graduation, and had enjoyed almost 31 years of marriage.  The
marriage had produced a beautiful daughter, who had just graduated from
high school herself, and was still living at home.  Joan and Big Jim had
even made a home on the second floor of their house for Joan's mother, who
had lived with them for many, many years.  Being a kind and good-hearted
man, Big Jim thought of Joan's mother as an inseparable part of his own
family.  Big Jim's own mother still lived on a farm just a few miles
outside of town, and we were always driving out to spend an afternoon at
her place. 

My wife and I never saw any change in Big Jim, but the onset of middle age
had apparently been taking its toll.  Big Jim must have thought he was
slowing down a little in his love life at home, and I later heard that Joan
had confided to my wife that Big Jim just wasn't the man had had been ten
years earlier.  Big Jim wasn't the kind of fellow who would give up anything
easily, and apparently had decided that he could regenerate things a bit by
having some extracurricular activity and excitement in his life.  He 
simply misjudged HOW MUCH excitement he'd be adding.  

Working at a large factory in town, Big Jim and one of the ladies at the
plant decided that they'd meet for a "few drinks" one Saturday afternoon. I
honestly don't think that Big Jim had done anything like this in his 31
years of marrige, but he and the "new sweetheart" decided that they'd have
an affair that fateful Saturday afternoon.

The fateful Saturday arrived, and Big Jim told Joan that he had to go into
work that aftrnoon to clean up some paperwork- not at all unusual activity
for him.  Instead, this time Big Jim drove to the appointed motel, where
he met "Susy" in the bar.  They had 3-4 drinks and then Big Jim walked to 
the lobby of the motel and checked into a room. I would like to blame the 
incident on alcohol, but this is where Big Jim made the biggest mistake 
any man ever made in his life. . . drunk or sober! 

Do you remember me mentioning earlier that Big Jim and Joan had a
beautiful daughter who had just graduated from high school?  Well, Big Jim
had overlooked one tiny little fact in his selection of motels: his
daughter was starting her new job that very same day. . . SHE WAS THE NEW

Here is where the tale gets a bit busy. 

Big Jim and "Susy" had retired to the room just moments before his
daughter came on duty.  The daughter looked over the check-ins and saw
that a person with her own father's name had checked into the motel about
a fifteen minutes earlier.  As a matter of fact, the person had used the
same address as her father, had signed the register in the same
handwriting as her father and had paid with a credit card having the same
number as the one she had in her own purse! 

She caught up with the clerk from the previous shift in the parking lot.  
The clerk described the man checking in with his wife. . . but only HALF 
of the description matched up to her parents, so to speak.

Big Jim was "relaxing" in the room with Susy when there was a knock on the
door at about 4:00.  The poor guy walked to the door with a towel wrapped
around him and opened it part way.  There, standing in the hallway, was
his daughter, his wife, his mother and his mother-in-law.  The four ladies
then pushed the door all the way open and entered the room to discuss what
they perceived to be Big Jim's indescretions.  There is a saying that,
"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned," and I guess that Big Jim learned
that applied to ALL the women in his life and not just his wife. 

The sweetheart sharing the room with Big Jim ran out the patio door
wearing no clothes, but grabbing her purse.  Buck naked, she got in her
own car and drove away- unharmed- but leaving poor Big Jim to try to
explain to these four women what he had been doing at the motel. 

Whenever I hear the old joke; "Who are you going to believe- me, or your
lying eyes?" I think of Big Jim.  There was simply no way he could lie his
way out of it. 

The police were never called, but it was almost an hour before the four
primary women in Big Jim's life paused long enough for him to even get
dressed.  Later, my wife told me some of the things Joan said had
happened, such as Big Jim's own mother ripping away even his towel, so
that, "he had nothing to hide behind,"  and the four women tossing him
into the shower to "wash the filth and sin off him," . . .  you get the
picture.  I doubt if even our imaginations can conjur up all that was 
said and done to the poor guy during that hour. 
That evening, Joan called my wife to tell her what happened, and that she
was throwing Big Jim out.  As they were talking, here came Big Jim
chuffing into my garage on his Cub Cadet, towing his trailer.  Big Jim's
eyes were puffy, he had a long scrape on his face and he looked like hell. 
The trailer was absolutely loaded with every power and hand tool that Big
Jim could put in it; he wanted to know if it'd be OK to store his tools in
my garage for a couple of days.  We ended up making 5 more trips up to Big
Jim's house that night with both of our tractors/trailers to clean out his
closet and workshop of power tools, guns and golf clubs.  All the time,
the four women in Big Jim's life were there and freely expressing their
dissatisfaction with his indescretion of that afternoon.  I was even
verbally attacked by them because, "I was his best friend and should have
known what he was going to do." When the poor devil was down at my house
unloading the trailer, my own good wife would berate him for what he'd

For any of you who might be wondering, that was 15 years ago.  Big Jim did
the appropriate amount of crying, begging and pleading during the
following days, and by the next weekend, he had moved himself and his
tools back into his own house.  I'm happy to say that while the incident
was never forgotten, the pain and anguish eventually diminished. My wife 
still uses Big Jim's predicament as an example of what would happen to me 
if I should attempt to follow the same path.   

>From the incident, there are a couple of lessons that I believe to be 
universally true and that should be shared with the readers: 

1) If you plan on having extracurricular marital activity, consider portable
tools, such as the Delta Contractor's saw and not a Unisaw. It is easier to
move them if you get caught.

2) Always remember where your daughter is working.

Respectfully submitted,

Tom Gauldin
Thomas A. Gauldin      Here's to the land of the longleaf pine,
Raleigh, NC            The summerland where the sun doth shine,     Where the weak grow strong and the strong grow great,
FAX (919) 676-1404     Here's to Downhome, the Old North State.

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>