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Papas, don't let your daughters grow up to be useless - Off the Cliff

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Sun Nov 8th, 2015


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06:47 pm - Papas, don't let your daughters grow up to be useless
Gas company is coming to replace water heater tomorrow, one hopes. I dutifully clean the basement stairs of accumulated leaf mould and broken glass, then go inside to see how stiff the door is. Door won't budge. No doubt this jerry-rigged addition to my house has been settling and now everything is jammed. When next door comes back from their walk I go and weep on my brother's shoulder. He comes over with a flashlight and brute-forces the door open. Yay hurray.

Then he starts poking about near the furnace, inquiring about the furnace humidifier. I know nothing about humidifiers except that they rarely work, is why I have bedroom ones. He evinces a desire to clean the thing but says he'll wait till he can locate the model online and find where the power switch is supposed to be. Then he starts looking for gas shutoffs and water shutoffs and tracing overhead pipes. Locates gas shutoffs for furnace and heater, locates two shutoffs for water besides the main one, tells me to point this out to the guys tomorrow.

'How do guys know all this?' I ask, in real curiosity. 'One day Dad took me down to the cellar and showed me how to find where everything is. I mean, you need to know these things in case of emergencies.' Yeah well, he didn't think *I* needed to know these things in case of an emergency, grump, and I'm not the kind who'd study where pipes and wires go from personal interest. I trust they order this aspect of child-rearing better these days.
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[User Picture]
From:incandescens
Date:November 9th, 2015 03:23 am (UTC)
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I remember my father showing me how to change the fuse in a plug... Not that you need to do that as much nowadays.
[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:November 9th, 2015 06:32 pm (UTC)
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I think we're having an instance of 'two nations separated by a common language' here. A plug to me is an electrical outlet, or rather, the thing that goes into an electrical outlet from an appliance; and they don't have fuses. Only fuse boxes have fuses, and increasingly these days they have over-rise switches. So what did your father teach you?
[User Picture]
From:incandescens
Date:November 9th, 2015 07:50 pm (UTC)
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Well, a plug is the thing at the end of the cable which gets plugged into the socket in the wal, for me. And they used to have fuses in them, in the UK. To be honest, I haven't tried unscrewing one to look at the interior for decades...
[User Picture]
From:mvrdrk
Date:November 9th, 2015 03:54 am (UTC)
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LOL! Yeah, I got yelled at as a teen for not knowing the names of basic tools, which was totally unfair because every time dad taught stuff, he taught my brother and not me. I've got one practical one and one who knows to call her dad and send him a picture... Close enough.
[User Picture]
From:flemmings
Date:November 9th, 2015 06:35 pm (UTC)
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I knew the names of tools somehow: not from using but from reading. And this is why I think there are sensitivities at work. I was perplexed at age 20 as to how one arranged to get from Toronto to New York and what one did there for accommodation- not because I'd never travelled, but because I'd never made the arrangements myself and never read about people doing it. Everyone else picked it up from the atmosphere somehow.

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