On Tap

Tools. The things that separate men from beasts. Using ominous and shiny tools, dentists can hammer fresh incisors into your head after some miscreant uses a tire iron (auto tool) to smash in your porcelain caps (bite tools) because your wallet (money tool) contained only ....

Tools. The things that separate men from beasts.


Using ominous and shiny tools, dentists can hammer fresh incisors into your head after some miscreant uses a tire iron (auto tool) to smash in your porcelain caps (bite tools) because your wallet (money tool) contained only five bucks (a fiat U.S. Treasury tool) during the commission of a fairly straightforward mugging that disappointed both parties.

Tools make living easier.

Take getting a drink. Visit the waterhole, crouch and sip. Nothing to it.

Occasionally a predator devoured our forefathers so great-gramps came up with a tool:  a bucket, made from leaves crazy-glued together with pitch. You dipped the bucket into a stream and sprinted off with H2O before a salivating beast could consume your liver.

This eventually led to indoor cooking with all the attendant tools (from fancy forks to faucets) that Julia Child could dream of.

In our kitchen we installed a Price Pfister faucet. You can pull out the nozzle (like an elephant trunk) and drench your wife so she looks like Paris Hilton in that hamburger commercial. But she has to be in the right wet and wild mood or she might break your nose with any tool she can get her mitts on.

Tools also break. They fail based on laws. The First Law is that the more functions that the tool performs, the worse it performs.

Consider the humble toothpick:  a magnificent tool. If you employ it to clean your teeth it can be used for weeks. Make use of it to remove wax from your kid’s ear canal, and the wooden stick inevitable breaks inside the offspring’s skull and you have to deal with a 24-year-old forensic audiologist (addicted to Law and Order: SVU) from your city’s child protection division.

The other Tool Laws I forget.

You know what communication tool never broke until AT&T nerds replaced that circular dial thingy with buttons so now you tap instead of dial? A telephone. After a keyboard, redial was next. (It should really be re-tap.) Then voice mail with multiple choices. A camera was added. GPS was incorporated. Zillions of apps appeared. You could control a battleship halfway around the world with your keypad. (Dandy for playing chicken with a lighthouse on the high seas.)

Ah, if life were that simple.

Friday our latest replacement faucet exploded and flooded our kitchen cabinet (a ridiculously expensive storage tool). Maybe $500 to repair. $1,000 at the most.

A lady in Price Pfister customer service promised that she would provide yet another “free” replacement tap.

I begged her to send over a plumber to install the water tool. Nope. She claimed anyone could change the tap. She could. Did if for her own mother. Said it only required simple tools.

She hinted that her company might come up with $50 for a plumber. I said that for $100 a plumber wouldn’t even inspect Paris Hilton’s plumbing after she shot a hamburger commercial.

Some customer support supervisor Googled me and discovered I was a nut case who specialized in consumer complaints and had problems with all sorts of tools.

He dialed (I mean tapped) back and agreed to provide a plumber.

Since there is about as much spare room under our kitchen sink as there was in that Phoenix capsule that brought the miners to safety in Chile, I demanded a tiny toddler, such as Charles Dickens wrote about, that you lower down chimneys to sweep them out. And by God, that little fellow better have graduated summa cum laude from Harvard plumbing school.

On Saturday a 7 foot, 400 pound fellow named Thor presented his good self. Thor assured me he could change-out our tap in seconds. He attempted (for five hours) to wiggle under our sink but 75 percent of him did not fit into our kitchen.

Vowed he would be back Monday to finish the job with a small plumber, packing tiny tools.

Told you.

The problem is the insane design of the faucet tool. It should not be part elephant trunk. And, it should not make me so crazy that I want to Pfhone Price Pfister to go Pfuck itself.

I’ve run out of people to tap on the Pfucking Pfhone.

We await some kind of a munchkin with a miniature monkey wrench.

If no one shows we’ll revert to a water tool bucket, Pfastened with Pfucking pitch.

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Jaron Summers wrote dozens of primetime television and radio programs, including those for HBO, CBS, ACCESS TV and CBC. He conceived the TV and Film Institute of Canada. Funded by the University of Alberta and ITV, Jaron ran the Institute for 12 years, donating his services for a decade.

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