Friday, January 21, 2011

Husky Tools Rules. Putting Together Toys Does Not.

It was supposed to be easy to put together.

I mean, it’s a tiny shopping cart.

Honestly, I thought it was basically already put together and that all I’d have to do was put the wheels on.


What the HELL, Little Tikes? I love the brand but what was with all the tiny pieces in the bag?

But okay. I could manage it. I was a capable adult and it probably wasn’t as hard as I was making it out to be. I flipped through the instructions and was baffled. Why wasn’t it making any sense? I know I have problems putting things together but holy crap, why wasn’t I comprehending—oh...I was reading the Spanish side. Duh.

I focused on the English instructions and almost fell over. Why were there 23 steps for a TINY shopping cart?

I sighed and stared at the tool set that Husky Tools had graciously sent to me to review. I figured building the shopping cart would be a perfect chance to try them out. (If you want your own, check out their site here. A bunch of tools are $20 of less! And, added bonus, they are guaranteed forever! Plus the handles are really smooth, and I liked touching them. That’s probably weird, so disregard that part of the review.)

Look at all these tools:

I mean, okay, some of them I’ve never heard of before. Like, what is a Pozi? Still, all I had to do was follow the instructions and everything would be okay. Just because Tom is in Korea, it doesn’t mean that I can’t build stuff myself. True, he always did it. But screwing things together was easy enough. (Ha, screw.) Ahem. Focus, Amber.

I cleared my throat and stared at the instructions in a businesslike manner.

“So,” I began. “First I take the screwdriver and...and...screw?” I swallowed back my laugher. Who can say the word screw and not laugh? I’d like to know. “So I begin like this,” I grabbed some pieces. “And I screw them together, like so.” I grabbed a screw (HA) and then poised the screwdriver over it. I thought I was screwing it in, but when I moved away, the pieces fell into a heap. NOT SCREWED IN TOGETHER. (HAHA)

“I screwed you in! I did what the instructions told me to do!”

A sound filled the room. I thought it was my tools telling me off because who knows, maybe they were fancy tools?

Then I realized it was Skype. Tom was calling me. TOM! He could help me. He could—but wait, I wanted to do this on my own. I hate being one of those women who need the help of a man. I want to be all, “I don’t need a man, I know how the insides of my car work, I can put anything together, and I don’t need the rules of football explained to me.” But here’s the truth: the only thing I can identify in my car is the engine (on a good day), most things that I attempt to put together fall apart, and the rules of football baffle me. I base what team I want to win based on the color of their uniforms. Like I rooted for the Minnesota Vikings, because I was digging the purple they sported. I am not proud of this. I’m not one of those women who think it’s cute to act all helpless.

I clicked the button to accept Tom’s call, planning to play it cool. But when his face appeared on the screen, he found me sitting there, gripping my new Husky Tools frantically.

“Um. Is there a problem?” Tom was probably confused as to why his wife was sitting there holding a bunch of tools.

“I’m…putting together a shopping cart for Natalie.” I forced a smile, making it seem like I knew exactly what I was doing.

“How is that going?” Tom knows how I get when I try to put something together. I usually curse, scream, or kick the box across the room. Sometimes all three, if I’m particularly pissed.

“Well. It’s going well.” I gave a sharp nod.

“You’re acting weird. Why are you holding the tools in a death grip?”

“I’m not…”

“You can put them down. They won’t run away,” Tom joked. I wanted to toss a screwdriver at his head.

“This is frustrating, Tom. I’m to the point where I don’t even find the word screw funny anymore,” I sniffled.

“Gosh, then it is serious,” Tom said, tilting a bag of M&Ms in his mouth. He’s obsessed with M&Ms. It’s irritating how he just chomps and chomps on them like a cow.

“I will put it together,” I said firmly. “True, I had problems in the past but I was young then.”

Tom chewed the M&Ms before he went, “Amber, it was less than a year ago when you tried to put together that—”

“Shhhh. You just shhhh. I’m older now and wiser and…” I held the tools up. “We can do this.”

Tom raised an eyebrow. “We?”

“Yes, we. Me and my new tools.”

“Good luck,” Tom said. “Come back on Skype and show me when you’re finished.”

I clicked off with Tom and walked determinedly back to the scattered toy pieces. Then I walked back to the computer and typed the toy name in. Maybe other people had good advice on ways to put it together easier.

All I found were reviews from people saying that it wasn’t difficult to put together at all, that they had it up and running in ten minutes flat.

I gave the computer screen the finger and returned to the pieces.

Then I got to screwing (ha), and hammering (yes, weirdly, the instructions called for a hammer), and more screwing and...

Well, that’s how it was supposed to look. (Natalie has turned brunette!)

This is how mine still looked.

This is how I reacted when I realized that the toy wasn’t coming together as I’d hoped:

Yes. I stuck a screwdriver in the box.

Look, I’ll put it together. One day. Or I’ll stuff all the pieces back in the box, walk over to the neighbor and be like, “Hello. I once loaned you some milk and an egg. I believe if you put this together for me that we’ll be on equal footing. And don’t mind the screwdriver that I’ve stuck in the box, I have anger issues. I’m working on it.”

Or maybe one day I’ll wake up and just understand how to put things together.

It could happen. If a movie like From Justin to Kelly can get made, anything is possible.

**The kind folks at Husky Tools gave me a complimentary set to review. I received no other compensation for this post and the tools were in no way the ones that made it impossible to put together the shopping cart. That was me. The tools, however, did feel really good going into the box that continued to mock me with the finished product all nicely put together.**


  1. Still wondering how From Justin to Kelly actually did get made...

  2. The bigger question is this. With all those brand new clothes, does Natalie really need a grocery cart? You know she's gonna lose it outside on of those bathrooms in some giant Target or more likely the Costco.

    Return it. If they ask questions about the hole and the word evil, tell them it came like that.

  3. You crack me up. Ask a neighbor. Cry. That's what I usually do. It's surprisingly effective... ok and maybe a little humiliating but whatev all our toys are put together and my water heater makes hot water. Life is good.

  4. That's exactly how I get when I'm putting stuff together. Get out of my face!

  5. i totally hate putting things together. I make my sister do it. I always put stuff together wrong. and i think the neighbor idea is brilliant - take them some store bought cookies or something.

  6. I hate putting toys together. I feel like I should be able to do it but it is just not in the cards.

  7. I have ALWAYS thought that, in addition to those tiny little screws that they put in the box to assemble the toy, they should also include a tiny packet of Valium for whoever has to put it together! P.S. NEVER buy ANYTHING from Ikea. Trust.

  8. i am laughing SO HARD over how you liked how they felt... lol

    but yea! i woulda done the same thing... instructions like those, they just TOTALLY freak me out!!!

  9. You can do it Amber! Maybe Tommy can help you.

  10. At least there were none of those God foresaken twist ties. Just disassembling toys from their facken packages is work...

  11. Can't get over the fact that they make a Cozy Coupe/shopping cart combo. How freaking cute is that? Well, I guess not very if you have to assemble it, eh?

  12. Think you'd better get on over to the neighbours, because if you wait too long, Natalie will be no longer interested in tiny shopping carts.

    I get a kick out of how Tom is the straight man in this comedy duo--the Abbott to your Costello, and I mean this in the nicest possible way. (Not to be interpreted as I think you resemble a goofy fat man from the 40s.)

    Have a great weekend Amber.

  13. lol! Your blog posts always make me smile. I can't put anything together. Thank goodness I married a Mr Fix It.

  14. Oh - so sorry (for Natalie, not having that neet cart)

  15. I can't put anything together either. I dread when the kids drag the Legos or Playmobil out and need help. The result is usually tears. And the kids get upset, too.

  16. Lol, thanks for the funny post, I needed a smile!

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  18. i HATE instruction manuals. i try not to read them. however, you'll never believe how UTTERLY accomplished i felt when i set up the brand new Wii game console i could have cried!

  19. That's too funny. I know how you feel. I'm not handy at all. I wish you luck.

  20. Poor Amber. :(
    In our house, the roles are switched. My husband defers all things to be put together to me, as I enjoy it, and he either A)Keeps the kidlet out of my hair and/or B)Lifts heavy pieces for me to screw (HA!)in place.

    I have faith; you can do it!

  21. I'm the direction-reader in this house. Phin does the lifting, turning, reaching, and hiring of the handymen, but I generally put things together and read instruction manuals. Don't hate on me because computers and I are enemies AND I didn't tease you about the stroking of the tools. "Heh heh. She said tool."

  22. I'm breaking into a sweat just looking at all those tiny parts.

  23. 23 steps and 6 parts. Maybe just wait until Tom is back in the US. Or return it and get her a new dress. Can you return a package that you stabbed?? I dunno about that one . . .

  24. Your little girl is adorable. Toys are EVIL good call impaling the box with a "screw" driver, the implied threat should teach that assembled cart a lesson.

    Fun writing!

  25. LOL Well, you showed that box who's boss!

  26. I adore you! I can't put anything together either. But I can bake's amazing what a plate of cookies can get done.

    Good luck.

  27. 23 steps!?!? That is the definition of insanity.

    And now I'm wanting some M&Ms.

  28. Very funny. Don't take up engineering, will you?

  29. This is such a fun blog! BTW - I wouldv'e done the same thing - kick, call it names, throw things. yup!

  30. Chances are, most of those pieces are superfluous.

    Select half of them, throw them away and then try again.

    I'll bet you'll achieve the same result.

  31. Ugh! You're a trooper! I remember managing to put together a little grocery cart a couple years ago, but alas, mine was not the deluxe-let-your-baby-ride-in-the-front-car kind. ie: not tools required! :-)

  32. Haha I can see your point. I've put together many pieces of furniture together without issues, but this Christmas my nephew got a ton of toys that needed to be put together. For one of them? It took 4 adults brainstorming and fighting over the instructions to get it done. It still took over an hour.

  33. It seems like those put-together-at-home toys always either have mal-aligned holes or don't have a few holes prepunched and you need WAY more tools that it says, in order to get them together.

  34. I don't blame you for being discouraged by the instructions and ridiculous small pieces and weird tools.

    I put together my TV stand last year and it literally took me four hours. I will never get those four hours back! At least I have a TV stand, albeit slightly crooked, to show for it. :)

  35. I haaaaate trying to put stuff like that together. Maybe when she gets old enough she can just put it together herself.


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