SOUR GRAPES: Shady deal

By Jim Magdefrau

I pulled the instructions out of the box. I unfolded the instructions. It made for a long sheet of pictures, steps and numbers that instantly confused me. I’m a dude. I don’t do instructions.

But something had to be done.

Yes. I took the big step of replacing the window shade in the bathroom. For months, after some tiny thread broke, I’d been holding up the old shade by an old dress belt. It looked weird, but it worked. But surely, I was made of sterner stuff. And an open window in the bathroom is not good for the neighbors.

I ordered the shade. The first time I had the proper width needed, but changed the length, and did not realize that by changing the length I had changed the width. It was a narrow shade, and a shade that is not the width of the window is no longer a shade.

Order No. 2 was sent off. Opened the box. Same instructions. Blah blah blah. I studied it. How does this thing work? No cords. So I followed the instructions. Up to a point. I measured. I marked. I had a flathead and a Phillips head screwdriver. I also had a drill, but did not trust myself with it. You could put your eye out.

The instructions mentioned pilot drilling. Gears. Springs. It was becoming Chinese Algebra to me.

But then, I realized that the holes left from the old shade might work to hold up the new shade. I took the bracket things, and used one of my pointy screwy things, and they fit right into the old holes. The shade latched right on to the brackets. It worked, and I skipped six of the instructions. As a dude, that means a lot.

No cords. The shade goes up and down. Another stick latches on to turn the blinders. If I had a football, I’d spike it. Like an old late night movie commercial. It really, really works.

But no over confidence here. Did I mention I have a light bulb I’ve been trying to change? For a month?

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