The Fury of a Patient Man

"Beware the fury of a patient man." - John Dryden

"Rage is caused by a conviction, almost comic in its optimistic origins, however tragic in its effects, that a given frustration has not been written into the contract of life." - Alain De Botton

"Sometimes, you have to get angry to get things done." - Ang Lee

It started innocently enough.  I was set to begin construction on the deck furniture.  I had been looking forward to the day for quite some time, simply because the heaviest thing I would have to lift for the next several days was a 25 lb. board.  Compared to the heavy things involved in the pool construction, this was basically going to be a week's vacation.  I was also looking forward to the furniture construction because it was something, out of the last dozen projects, that I actually knew how to do.

As I walked out of the hut in the morning, stretching and ready to take on the day, Amy tells me that the water to the outside water tap is not running.  She tells me we need a new ball valve, because the handle is broken.  (Pains in the Ass: 1).  I dutifully head over to my local plumbing supply store and buy the 1 1/2" ball valve.  I return and install the ball valve, and I start to shake off the effects of this first obstacle.

I head toward the kitchen, and as I approach the door, I know something is amiss.  I've told the story before about the installation of a replacement kitchen door, and the door I am approaching is the one I installed several months ago.  When I see the door, I notice that the bottom 10" of the door has fallen off.  Now normally I would think that this was part of Amy's "door replacement strategy," but I had seen the slow disintegration of the door over some time.

"O.K."  I say.  I'm in such a good mood that I say, "Well this will give me an opportunity to hang one of the new doors."  A day of learning a new skill that I would have to perform nine more times was a passable substitute for making my furniture.  Plus, I have hung a couple (interior, non-fiberglass) doors in my time, so I thought I had a fighter's chance to pull it off.

I go and grab the new commercial fiberglass door from our storage.  I immediately notice that the frame of the pre-hung door has been bent during shipment.  As a result, the door is not hanging properly within the frame.  (Pains in the Ass: 2).  "No problem," I say.  "I'm in a great mood and I'm sure I can deal with the issue."

Thus begins my descent into madness.

To set the stage, it happens to be a 90 degree day with absolutely no wind.  Yes, I am out of the sun, but it is hot as shit.  Sweat dripping from your face hot.  This makes the kitchen, the room into which the door opens, sweltering.

I remove the remains of the old door and set the new door into place.  Of course, when the door was set, the bent frame was presenting problems on how to make the door plumb.  In addition, the bent frame caused the door itself to swing out of the frame, which required constant attention.  I thus began a four-hour quest on trying to hang this fucking door.  I tried with the usual tricks of using shims and levels;  I built a custom header to fit the door within the concrete opening (twice).  I used hammers, pry bars, rubber mallets.  I used a fucking protractor for God's sake.  All the while, dripping with sweat, I feel the ribbons of sanity stretching thin.

I went and watched three or four YouTube videos on how to hang doors.  Of course none of them dealt with hanging my type of door in my type of opening.  I came back, and in about another hour, shaking, sweating, and with fraying nerves, got the door in place.  I sat back and surveyed my work, my nerves calming somewhat because I had at least placed the door.  Here's where it went wrong.  I noticed that the lower right corner of the door was about 1/8" higher than the left.  "Let me just take this hammer and knock this shim in just a tap or two, and it will be perfect."  I take the hammer and make the fateful tap on the shim.  I think my mind is deceiving me when the door slowly starts to move.  I don't think anything of it as it continues to fall outward, frame and all.

When I realize that my perfectly-placed door is falling out of the opening, I scream for my beautiful assistant, but then realize she went to the store.  As I see and hear the door crashing to the ground, a mist of red starts filling my mind.  In my hand is a hammer.  I immediately start looking around for something to smash.  I realize there is only the new door and tile around me so I leap over the fallen door onto the porch.  I see the object of my rage: the old door that fell apart and caused this whole mess- this good-for-nothing, motherfucking piece-of-shit door!  As the haze of red clouds my mind, I remember screaming at the top of my lungs, cursing God, using every curse word known to man, and smashing my hammer into the old door.  My consciousness fades.

When I come to, I'm standing over the old door which is smashed to bits.  Sweating and panting, I look around to see that no one witnessed my break with reality.  I slump to the ground and sit, as Amy arrives back from the store.

"How's it goin'?" Amy asks.  I simply look at the fallen new door, daggers in my eyes.  Amy gets the idea and steps over the fallen door to put her groceries in the kitchen.  A few minutes later I hear, "Maybe you should watch some YouTube videos on it."  "I DID WATCH SOME FUCKING YOUTUBE VIDEOS," I scream.  In my head I'm like, "Yeah.  Because if you enter the following query into Google: 'how do you hang a fiberglass commercial door in concrete (which you have never done) on a 90 degree day when, after having given up your home, career, family, and friends to move to a Caribbean island (which you have never gone to), and start a hotel and restaurant (which you have never done), where you have tried shims, levels, hammers, blood, sweat and tears,' would give any results other than directions to your local psychiatric hospital."  I remained quiet.

In any event, I pick myself up, and in about 30 minutes, put the new door back in place.  I secure the door, and it works perfectly.  I then go to Amy and say "Where are the latches?"  She says, "These doors don't have latches, only locks."  (Pains in the Ass: 3).  I'm like, "Whoever has heard of a door with only locks and no latches?"  She explains that it is a security feature, so that the door has to be locked all the time.  Right.  You know what other places have doors with locks but no latches?  Prisons and kidnappers' houses.  I could just see it now: "Welcome to the Banyan Inn.  Here is your room."  "Why doesn't it have any latches?"  "Security purposes..."<<insert evil laugh here>>  By this time in the day, I'm so broken that I don't take this discussion any further.  Rather, I install the lock.  (It should be noted that at this time, Amy and I discover that the locks we received, (1) did not have any keys, and (2) were shiny, rather than the brushed finish that we had ordered.  Thus, we had to re-order and re-ship them all.  (Pains in the Ass: 5 and 6.))  While I am installing the lock, I find out that I have to re-route the frame because the latch plates did not match the doors.  (Pains in the Ass: 7).

The remainder of the door installation goes without incident.  I finish insulating and caulking the door, hang the door handles, and it turns out perfectly.

All that is left is the carcass of the old door, on which I had taken out my furious anger.  My friend Christa once sent me a picture with the caption: "The problem with society today is that no one drinks from the skulls of their enemies anymore."  I couldn't agree more.  So, on my day off, I took the bones of my enemy the door, sanded off the hammer-strike marks, and made it into a lovely spice rack for my wife.  (A picture of an exemplar door is supplied to show the transformation.)

Thus, every morning when I get my pepper to put on my eggs, I can look at this spice rack and be reminded that I will NEVER be beaten by a fucking DOOR!  I will SHAPE the BANYAN INN to my WILL with my MIGHTY HAMMER!  I will CONQUER you and use your BONES to hold my PAPRIKA!!  And, my wife is happy.

So know this, future Banyan Inn  guests:  We will use all of the emotions at our disposal to make sure you have a fantastic stay, your spices will be organized, and … your doors will be . . . secure. <<insert evil laugh here>>.


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