03 September 2007

Collapsing a Tent OR Me Flailing Around Like an Idiot

As I've mentioned before, we finally have a backyard. After nearly seven years of a steep, sloping backyard with more dirt than grass and absolutely nowhere for our kids to play, we now have something beautiful, level, covered in grass, with a fence and a play area. Part of this home improvement plan included painting the house and re-staining the lower and upper decks. Once covered in dust and pollen, dirty with cobwebs and not used the entire time we've lived here, the lower deck, with easy access to the yard, is now freshly stained and clean. Yippee!!!

As part of this clean-up, freshening process, I wanted a place to store the kids' outdoor toys. Just as I hate a cluttered house, I can't stand a cluttered yard. So, with my wonderful mom-in-law on kid duty, I went down to put together a plastic deck box for toy storage. "Easily assembled in five minutes," it boasted on the box. Yeah, right. It's me you're talking to. I make everything more difficult than it should be. Box opened, six sides laid out on the deck, the work begins. Three minutes later, I have a deck box. Wow, that was easy.

Now, to put it to use. Out to the back yard to gather up the toys and store them. One of those toys is a Dora tent. A collapsible tent. Riiiiight. The directions say to fold corner A into corner D. A to D. I don't see an A or a D. I'm looking all over this tent and there is no A or D and there aren't any labels. Look at the diagram. OK, according to the picture, this lower right corner is A and the upper left is D. Five minutes later, the first fold is done. I could have built one and a half more deck boxes by now. OK, now it's corner B to C. Wait, why isn't this working? I'm looking at the friggin' diagram.... oh, OK, it's not folding because I didn't remove the rod that keeps the roof up. So, I have to unfold corner A from D and go into the tent to remove the rod.

Now, I'm inside the tent, I'm taking the rod out of the back tab... what the hell was that? Number 3! Number 3! Number 6! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, refer to my Sailor post.) Son of a female dog! Some more of numbers 3 and 6, several ouches, flailing out of the tent, swinging my arms, because a flying, stinging, ant-thingee (its technical name, of course) has just stung the HECK out of my arm. Joy. Now I have to chase it out of the tent, check for any other creepy-crawlies, remove the rod, and collapse this thing before something else decides to sting me.

Finally, 15 minutes later (yes, 15) the tent is somewhat collapsed and I'm done. I've determined that the directions must have been written by a Chinese technical writer and translated into English by a native French-speaker. I could have started a deck box construction business in the time it took me to collapse the Dora tent. Plus, the darned thing probably has excess amounts of lead in it, anyway. This brings me to the conclusion that I'm a screw-up when it comes to directions and that if anyone had seen me during that 15 minutes, they would have cracked up laughing.


1 comment:

Unknown said...

I would have paid money to see that!!!