Big Billy – Hang ‘em high

God love my wife Minnie, she’s always tryin’ to make things easier for us, even though I usually find a way of makin’ things harder.

She went to a wedding shower last weekend because one of her friends got a Big BIllydaughter who’s gettin’ married, I’m not even sure whose kid it was, and anyways, she comes home with this great big wall organizer like you’d probably see on the wall at the pogey office.

Look at this! she says, when her and Joan got back from the shower. She had it standin’ on end and I swear it was almost as long as she was.

What is it? I says.

It’s an organizer! she said, right excited. Look – it got a big white board, and a built-in calendar, and three slots for holdin’ mail, and a cork board for stickin’ things in, and a note pad for phone messages and it even got hooks on the bottom to hang your keys on!

Certainly beats my friggin’ stapler, Joan said. Who ever heard of givin’ away nothin’ but office supplies at a shower, for cripessake?

Better than Evelyn made out, Minnie said. She got a box of red pens.

(I found out later the the groom works for a company that sells office supplies to all the big stores, so all the door prizes at the shower were office supplies. What in the hell is anybody gonna do with a case of twelve little bottles of liquid paper? Joan said.)

This’ll keep us right organized! Minnie said, still admirin’ the monstrosity.

Where are ya gonna put it? I asked, which sounds ridiculous, now that I think about it, since that makes it seem like Minnie would be the one puttin’ it up, and not me.

I wanna hang it right here in the kitchen! she says.

Now, if your your house is anything like ours, chances are it’s just a nice little house or even a regular sized house. It’s probably not big mansion or anything with a huge kitchen with acres of empty walls where you can just go and hang up a four foot wide fancy office organizer with no problem at all.

The kitchen? I says. All right, I guess I’ll get Cyril to come over tomorrow and help me take down the cupboards so we can make room for it.
Oh, you’re hilarious, she said. I think it’ll fit riiiiiight there, she said, pointin’ at the space between the back door and the window behind the kitchen table. That’ll fit there nice, won’t it?

Now, Minnie has many talents. She make the best chili you ever tasted, she can make a dollar stretch like nobody else, and she’s great at doin’ crossword puzzles and yellin’ out the answers when Jeopardy’s on. But she’s so bad at judgin’ whether somethin’ will fit in a certain space, it’s always hilarious.

A few years ago when her cousins from Ontario came down in their Winnebago, she was givin’ them directions as they backed into Cyril and Joan’s yard and the top of it tore the eave right off Cyril’s barn. And it wasn’t even close. It was about two feet too tall to fit under it.

So, same thing with the wall organizer. I realize she’s pointin’ at the space between the back door and the window by the table, and it’s probably only a little more than half the space you’d need to fit this great big organizer in.

Of course, after catchin’ hell for makin’ fun of her for the Winnebago thing, I know better than to point out this obvious miscalculation.

It’ll be awful close, I say, but I think it might be a bit too big.

And of course, when I held it up to see, the organizer was so big, it pretty much covered the whole window.

Close but no cigar, I said. And after a few minutes of lettin’ her think about it, I pointed out that the only spot it could go if she really wanted it in the kitchen, was on the wall between the basement door and the window on the driveway side. I held it up to eyeball it and we seen it would fit right in with an inch or two on each side.

Here’s somethin’ you might not know about me – I hate hangin’ stuff. I know from experience that where Minnie wants somethin’ to hang on the wall will naturally be the spot farthest from any stud. So usually, I’ll poke a nail through the drywall and just hang the damn thing. Usually, if it’s just a picture or somethin’ it’ll stay like that just fine for a long time.

But I could tell this thing was way too heavy to just poke a nail through the drywall, so I went out to the baby barn and came back with a screw and a drywall anchor. Minnie and Joan were watchin’ me hang it, so I even got out the measurin’ tape and marked the exact middle of the wall between the door and the window.

I poked a little hole, tapped in the anchor, screwed the screw into the anchor, picked up the big organizer and started balancin’ the top of the frame on the screw.

Perfect! Minnie said, in a rare moment of praise. I should have known somethin’ was wrong.

Let’s see if it works! She fished her keys out of her purse, walked over to the organizer and slipped them on one of the hooks.

Works good! Joan said, and just as she did, the whole thing fell and landed on Minnie’s left foot. So if you heard a scream last Sunday night around 9 o’clock, that’s probably what it was.

Turns out it had two hooks, one on each side, which makes more sense, really. If you just balance the frame on one little screw somebody could get hurt.

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