Monday, May 18, 2009

The Duck Tool

The task I was faced with: putting the new license plates on the car

That would be the new Honda Insight by the way. A hybrid. This totally makes up for the fact that I still use plastic bags. Sorry. I try to remember to bring my mesh bags but I forget since I usually have a screeching two year old at my side.

Anyhow, usually my husband changes the license plates. But my husband isn’t here. So I had to do it. Before he left he showed me the tool that I needed to use. For some reason it reminded me of a duck.

“So use the duck tool. Check,” I said.

Tom looked confused as he eyed the tool he was holding. “The duck tool?” He pulled a horrified expression because heaven forbid a woman refer to a man tool as an animal.

On Sunday I tucked the new license plates under my arm and headed out to the garage to find the duck tool. I thought Tom had left it in his tool chest.

But it wasn’t there and okay, I started to panic. I opened and re-opened the drawers and may have uttered some naughty words.

I marched back in the house and dialed Tom’s number.

“Where is the duck tool?” I boomed when he picked up.

“Do you ever say hello first?” came Tom’s response. “You can’t just call someone and---"


I’m sorry but it was hot that day and I was nervous about putting the plates on. I had very little patience.

“It’s not a duck tool. The WRENCH is in its case,” Tom replied.

“Thanks,” I said and hung up.

I went to the wrench case and found what I was looking for. Tom had even set it up with the correct size. Phew.

Then I headed for the car and took a deep breath. This is it. I can do this. The screws came off easily and I began to feel quite pleased with myself.

I am woman. Watch me change my own license plates. Oh and hear me roar.

I even emitted a roaring noise which made my neighbor raise an eyebrow at me. He was spraying his yard with weed killer and I guess he’s not used to women roaring in his presence.

I got the new license plate in place and started tightening the screws. Only nothing was happening. I’d twist and twist and the screws were not tightening.

I jumped to my feet, threw my hands in the air and muttered, "What the fuck?"

An amused grin played at the corner of my neighbor's lips as he sprayed a huge chunk of weeds.

Then my eye caught something. A black toggle on the back of the duck tool. Hrm.

I decided to press that down and guess what? After I did that, the tool tightened the screws.

Well, excuse me! I thought it was just there for decoration. There are always extra pieces of STUFF on purses and shoes. For decoration. But now that I think of it, I imagine tools don't have decorations because they're boring.

I was so thrilled with myself for figuring it out that I didn't even notice the buzzing sound beside me. I was happily tightening the screws and thinking to myself, "If I can do this, I can do anything! Lalala."

"There's a bee on your shoe," my neighbor called out.

How nice. A bee on my shoe, most likely praising me for--



I took off across the yard, waving my hands over my head wildly and screaming at the top of my lungs. In the process I also started kicking off my shoes and they flew across the driveway.


The neighorhood kids, including my son, were all clustered in the middle of the cul de sac. They all tossed me bewildered looks as I raced across the yard.

Then I realized that I probably looked like a complete wimp and forced myself to calm down.

But look, I've been stung before and it HURT. Of course I should be telling myself that since I was able to push two kids from my junk then surely I should be able to endure a bee sting.

But, see, with my kids I had a lovely thing called an epidural.

I pretended that I hadn't just made a complete fool of myself and calmly walked over to my abandoned shoes.

"Thank you for letting me know," I told the neighbor with a sharp nod of my head.

I pretended that I didn't hear the neighborhood kids (including my son!) laughing at me. I just went back to the task on hand and tried to forget that I had just streaked across my yard.

I moved to the back of the car and removed our temporary plates. This was a little difficult because of the trunk handle. I couldn't twist the wrench around because it bumped into the handle. So this took a little longer.

I refused to put the license plate holders back on though. I am NOT the dealerships free advertisement. Sorry. Last I checked, they weren't making a contribution to my car payments. So I will not display their name unless they want to send me a fee.

But the bottom line is that I did it! By myself! No man.



  1. This is my first visit here and Thank you for the smile. I learned a long time ago if I wanted anything done I had to learn to do it myself. Of couse the old adage of being with a musician is true (outside of their instrument they don't have a clue).

    Thankfully I passed on my own talent to my daughter. Her husband is currently serving in Iraq. With only a week home out of this past year, it's not likely her husband was going to be able to help her much.

    Once again this was a delightful visit. (Hugs)Indigo

  2. Woo hoo for duck tools, irrational fear of flying bugs and independence!! You are awesome.

    This is one of my favorites...

  3. Great Job! I could never do that. It does look like a duck doesnt it. I name my dads tools too.
    Bees! Ya hate them so much.

  4. there had got to be some award for that. totally. you rocked it girl!

  5. I am trying very hard to figure out why you think it looks like a duck, LOL I'm sorry but I don't see it, hehehee. Oh, do you mean like a duck hairdryer?

    I would've screamed like a banshee and streaked across the yard myself if a bee so much as came within 100 feet of me. Yuh huh. Don't blame you there.

    And congratulations on changing the license plates all by your own self!

  6. YAY FOR WOMEN! oh, and by the way... totally jealous. I so badly want an insight!

  7. This is so funny! I am so sorry, but this is so funny! I couldn't even begin to put on a plate! LOL

  8. favorite blog quote: "i was able to push two kids from my junk." i believe it's been mentioned in my own blog how much i enjoy a good epidural. it's a shame you can't get an epidural for doing things like housework or physical labor. that way, you could get all the hard stuff done, you just wouldn't feel any of it. yay for you and your license plate!

  9. Did I ever tell you that I'm your biggest stalker/fan?!?! So freakin' hilarious!! You could SO sell me a book full of this stuff. Love the handy dandy artwork and of course about pee'd my pants when I saw the "duck tool"...was thinking what the heck is she talking about..."duck tool" OMG so funny--but I can see it. Glad to know I'm not the only mama out there with the foul language.

  10. What a great story and told masterfully! Women can do anything:)

  11. So that's the duck tool! My husband had one of those out yesterday! Interesting name you picked for it. ; )

    Congratulations on changing your own license plate!

  12. Seriously, there is nothing as satifying as doing a "man job" all by yourself. Nothing. Well, I'm sure there are somethings.

  13. Just stopped by to say HI, say you on SITS.

  14. Whooohoooo - GOOD FOR YOU!!! Gotta love those I don't need you men moments!!!

    I just wanted to let you know that I awarded you something in my blog!

    Check it out!

  15. You rock. I am not sure I could change my plates...and if I did I could probably be sure to have them fall off in a parking lot somewhere...

  16. Way to go! Believe it or not, I know exactly how you feel. I had to change the plates on my own car when I was newly divorced, and I remember feeling quite a sense of accomplishment.

    On the bee front, I've got to be honest--bees freak me out. I'm pretty sure there was an incident in the high-volume-hairspray 80s (I was in high school then) when a bee actually GOT STUCK in the hairspray in my hair. He was maddeningly buzzing somewhere in the net of my hair behind my ear, and I was screaming and flailing about like a wild woman. Bees and I exist much more peacefully when they ARE NOWHERE NEAR ME. I'm getting the shivers even now just thinking about it.

  17. I am so asking my husband where his Duck Tool is! I cracked up, funny funny!

  18. Duck it.

    Congrats on doing it all by yourself.

    And, I've asked the dealerships to take those bad boys off...offering to leave them on only if they pay me for advertising. I've already helped them out. No more for me!

  19. don't men understand that when the motivation is in motion to accomplish an avoided task that time is of the essence. hellos are uncalled for, answer the question please!

    and the bee incident... totally uncalled for in the "dude looks like a lady" department, but i applaud your recovery.

  20. you rock sister...I will officially start calling that thing a duck tool too!


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