My Lack of Craftsmanship Stops a Thief

When I went to college, I bought a mini-fridge. We went through a lot together, Stinky Pete and I, like the time I left Bagel Bites in him over winter break and had to carry him down three flights of stairs so I could hose out the large, circular clumps of mold that were assaulting my nostrils with their pungent death spores and, more importantly, trying to steal my friend from me.

Every summer apart from Stinky was a hardship. After I’d said a quick goodbye to my roommate and girlfriend, I’d spend the evening with my fridge, trying to sneak in just a few more hours before the inevitable. I knew how lonely he’d be, unplugged and unused, and I did my best to comfort him.

Then, one fall, I got back to school, pulled Stinky Pete out of storage, and opened him up, only to discover that all his shelves were missing!

What could have happened to them? I racked my brain, but could find no answer. Before long, the lost shelves began to haunt my every waking moment, and when I slept, I dreamt of those perfectly sculpted pieces of glass. I forgot to shower, to eat, to hope, and my life became one downward spiral of shelfless horror. Do you know how inconvenient a fridge without shelves is? Food storage quickly became nothing more than a twisted, unending game of perishable Jenga, and I was too scared to try to actually remove anything from the precarious fortress.

When you find yourself in this sort of situation, there’s only one thing to do. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never picked up a hammer before, it doesn’t matter if every time your dad tried to make you help with home projects you ran screaming, and who cares if you aren’t even aware that a hammer probably isn’t a relevant tool for constructing a glass shelf. My fridge needed me, and I couldn’t turn my back anymore.

I went to the local shelving store and asked for their finest piece of shelvery, but they didn’t really have any of that because they were a Home Depot and those places scare me, so I bought a piece of shelf-looking glass and invested in a glass cutter, which is about as safe in my hands as two putty knives in the hands of a child.

I combined the glass cutter and glass in the only way I knew how, namely in the middle of my floor and with a great deal of trepidation. Turns out you’re supposed to be pretty sure of yourself and make one clean stroke, but like a first-time headsman, it took me quite a few tries to hack my way through, which led to a lot of thin lines of glass on my floor and an edge that was as jagged as the shoreline of my love life.

I had no reasonable way to sand the death trap, so I took it outside and just rubbed it on the cement for a long time, pouring water on it as I went because I know water has something to do with erosion, and I figured erosion was like slow-paced sanding. Pieces kept chipping off and making it worse, but eventually there was a pretty long period without chipping, and I figured that was about as smooth as I’d get it, so with great ceremony, I put it in the fridge.

Flash forward: it’s 2011 and Stinky Pete has been enjoying his new shelf. We have some friends over, including this guy Nick. He’s the kind of badass who’ll punch a bear just cause “it was asking for it,” but I guess he’s not particularly shelf savvy, so when he reaches into the fridge to grab a beer, he jabs his hand right into the thing, and suddenly he’s bleeding all over the fridge and the floor and just staring at his hand in shock.

He was pretty tough about it. In fact, this was another one of those utterly emasculating moments. He just walked to my closet, grabbed a hot glue gun, and sprayed the burning stuff all over the wound, wrapped it up in duct tape, continued playing beer pong…and won. But at some point, the wound opened back up and became a mini Niagara Falls of bleediness. I’m on the verge of fainting because I hate things that remind me of Niagara Falls, but some other people who have fewer negative associations take Nick over to our neighbor’s house who’s more medically prepared and less faint-y, and while we’re all out of the apartment…

A thief sneaks in!

Since we’re a trusting, naive bunch of blokes, we’d left a brand new Macbook Pro, the Holy Grail of opportunistic temptation, sitting just inside the door. The thief promptly scoops it up and high-tails it out of there.

We’re all too busy trying to staunch my fridge’s handiwork to notice, but somehow Nick sees the guy, jumps up, and sprints outside, hurtling toward the thief like a gigantic boulder of fury. We think he’s just in the throes of a blood frenzy, but before we can even give each other accurately confused looks, he’s out of sight.

Apparently, Nick chases this guy through the entire apartment complex and out into the street. He’s gibbering like a madman and waving his bloody hand everywhere, and it’s spraying like crazy. The thief takes one look behind him and freaks the hell out, so the guy, in an attempt to save himself with a well-timed distraction, hurls the laptop through the air. Nick’s split-second-animal-instinct brain determines that saving the laptop is the highest priority and makes this epic dive for the thing, soon-to-be hand-stump stretched to its absolute limits—

And falls a couple inches short.

The laptop shattered, but it’s ok, cause Apple gave us a new one for free! All thanks to my fridge, because who knows if the thief would’ve chucked the laptop if he hadn’t been so terrified of Nick’s gruesome hand, which was only as frightening as it was because of my shelf-building skills…but then again, I guess we wouldn’t have been out of the apartment if the fridge hadn’t sliced him up, and then he wouldn’t’ve had to go the emergency room, and he wouldn’t have that hideous scar, and I wouldn’t’ve had to spend the night bleaching blood out of my carpet like a serial killer, and I wouldn’t need to keep going to therapy because I no longer feel safe in my home…

Maybe I should try to improve my craftsmanship skills.


Filed under Stories

56 responses to “My Lack of Craftsmanship Stops a Thief

  1. oxwivi

    I feel sorry for the Nick dude. His epic manliness is epic enough to trump the wild bear’s ‘beariness’, if you know what I mean.

    • Oh, I know exactly what you mean, oxwivi. But I bet the bear’s beariness still beats Jamba Juice’s berriness and a gravedigger’s buriness and a nudist’s bareiness, so the bear shouldn’t feel too bad.

  2. Superglue I understand, that stuff was made to patch up soldiers in the field, but hot glue. That stuff is hot. Not like coffee hot but volcano hot. Nick truly deserves his man card for that.

  3. dekeboo

    Yes, definitely improve your craftmanship skills. Poor craftmanship skills are the root of all evil and stinky Pete is the only winner!

  4. As a former RA, I am truly happy this never happened on my floor (waaaay too much paperwork). But this is a great story and you are a fabulous writer with real knack for recognizing the hilariousness of life.

    • Omg, I’m also a former RA and I thought of this too! This would have taken PAGES to describe in an incident report!

      • You could have just put a link to the blog post and written underneath… “it is all on there, with colour illustrations to emphasize the important parts. Please note that everything is now digital and I will not be killing trees by completing paperwork any longer” hehehe.

  5. mirabiledictu2u

    OMG! Too funny!

  6. Niagra Falls scares me too! No place should be allowed that much rushing water. I blame the Canadians.

  7. calistanley

    Another awesome post.

  8. I had a mini-fridge many years ago. Gave it away 12 years, still workin’.Get These Fridge-Cleaning Reminders

  9. I am in love with this blog! You crack me up more with every post – keep it up! 🙂

  10. I love your writing style! I hope your friend’s hand recovers, and maybe you should look into a fridge shelving class to prevent future incidence haha.

  11. More awesomeness in words!

  12. Just another petit-bourgeois manchild slicing up his friends’ appendages. At least NDSU students graduate with some glass-cutting skills. Loser.

  13. There is no end to the funny… when you were describing your glass sanding on concrete with eroding water technique I giggled so hard there was actually a tangible tear… I think this is because it reminds me so much of my fiancee! He was once playing with the guts of a car wearing thongs and thought he had stepped in water – 30mins later he started feeling light headed and sat down to have a drink, the old lady next door ran over screaming about an ambulance… he looked down to discover that he had stepped on a sharp piece of metal that had gone through the thong and his foot – the “water” was actually a tonne of blood spewing forth from the new accidental piercing in his foot!

  14. am i correct in assuming that you draw all these cartoons yourself?

    • Unfortunately I can’t take credit. One of my best friends, the talented Sam Julian, is responsible for the artwork. But I am hoping to somehow steal his skills eventually, maybe by eating his vital organs. I’m not sure what the most successful method is.

  15. Stinky is the only winner here. And that’s only if Stinky is into Twilight.

  16. intrepidtraveller

    Another fantastic post man….wish I could write with such humour! Keep them coming! 🙂

  17. A tip for fellow not-very-crafty people – you can cover sharp edges with tape. Duct tape is good, electrical tape will sometimes do the job…

    Thanks for the post – it made me smile. Except for the bits about bleeding profusely…

    • Yeah…we covered it in tape AFTER the whole laptop-shattering, hand-slicing event. At least it can be said of us that we learn from our mistakes. Then again, we only had enough tape to cover about 70% of the edge, but I like the danger factor of knowing that 30% is still there to get me every time I reach into Stinky Pete. It makes me feel like–wait for it–I’m living on the edge!

  18. Ahh, that was freakin’ brilliant. Loved the awesome hover-text over your awesome pictures throughout your awesome story.

  19. Dude, only a few posts in and you still amuse me right out the gate! 😀
    This has instantly become among my all time favourite blogs of all time and I will enjoy it regularly for so long as you elect to post in it.

    (Oh and kudos to the manliness of Nick, he is truly “epic” – never thought Id actually use that word in a hurry.. first time for everything!)

  20. Well, the important thing is that everyone’s all right in the end! lol

    I’m pretty sure you could order new shelves if you called the company who made the fridge. Not sure how much replacement shelving would be though….or why anyone would steal fridge shelves……

  21. Once again, thank you for a very entertaining story. Did you ever encounter the thief again?

    • We gave the cops his description, and apparently they’d already been on the hunt for him cause he’d been drunkenly starting fights, but they never tracked him down. Then, when I was driving the next day, we saw him skateboarding by, so we flipped a ridiculously illegal u-turn, but there were some oncoming cars, so in the name of avoiding death, we had to wait a bit before we could give chase, and by then he’d disappeared. So ended the saga of the thief.

      • So then contrary to the title of this post the theif was never stopped?

      • You’ve got to stop being so perceptive, Jezzmindah! First the penis head, now this. I’ll never be able to stand up to such clever scrutiny. I guess the thief wasn’t stopped so much as counteracted, since we ended up with the laptop, and it was as if the thief had never stolen it in the first place.

        All the same, I’ll try to title things more accurately in the future 😉

  22. Hahahaha!!! What an adventure!!! Glad you got a new laptop. LOL! Hope your fridge will recover. 😛

  23. Stinky Pete sounds like quite the epic fridge! Would do the same if he was mine.

  24. Since I didn’t write it, I’ll have to settle for Tweeting it.

  25. Oh man, this post is awesome! I especially love your emotional attachment to your fridge. I had a simliar relationship with mine in college.

  26. msperfectpatty

    Entertaining as ever! lol I love how you talk about the bond you have with your refrigerator and the illustrations are so unique and original. This is why I keep coming back!

  27. I LOVE YOUR POSTS!! And the cartoons are definitely helpful in visualizing your adventure with Stinky Pete! 🙂

  28. I look forward to Tuesdays, the local brewpub sells growlers at half price, and your weekly post arrives! Thank you!

  29. I may not write as well as you do but I would bet Nick’s hand that my shelving skill is better than yours! hahaha…

  30. Goddamn man. You just hit another home run. This is why I subscribed to you and follow your blog: You’re a genius! I always thought my blogs were good- but they’re filled with angst and emotion… You just say things how they are and never, for an instant, let emotion in unless it adds to the humor of your post.

    Russ strikes again with a satirical representation of his life, leaving me chuckling for nearly the entire time. Great job.

    As far as your fridge goes, that’s awesome.

  31. Mehdi

    First, you have a good skill of writing. Congrats. I don’t usually go through long stories, due to the nature of my major; engineering, but your text kept me reading.
    The sequence of causes and effects are clearly seen in your story; since your shelves were stolen til you got a new MacbooK Pro. And Nick seems a strong guy to me and also determined. Although he didn’t save the computer, but he was brave and determined enough to chase the thief!
    I love your posts.

  32. Beer? At college? Really? 🙂

    Russ, I love the writing! You bring a smile to my day each time you post. Thank you!


  33. Perfection. And by the way, it’s only a matter of time until your artist friend is scooped up and taken away to a big time job offer. He should decorate children’s wards in the hospital. Just no demons and stuff 🙂

    Thanks for the laughs and the most beautiful adjectives and metaphors…

  34. Elizabeth

    I love your style of writing. I just lurk around your blog waiting for you to post new updates. Have you ever considered writing books?

  35. ♥…twisted, unending game of perishable Jenga…♥ Only circumstance can lead to such priceless literature!

  36. Any tinned fish, other than tuna, is the devil.

    I was on a scout camp once and the scout leader did us lunch. He unveiled it and on the plate was a whole load of… pilchard sandwiches. I was starving hungry but couldn’t stomach more than one of them.

    It was summer so the butter was all soft and sickly.

  37. Carl Mungazi

    You my friend, are a literary genius. Either that, or we share the same sense of humour.

  38. Derek Simon

    hahaha, i remember that night. i had no idea at the time that you made a shady shelf for that fridge and thats how it cut Nick. thats been bothering me for months, thanks for giving me closure Russ!

Leave a Reply to Ells Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s