Why Fix It When a Good Patch Job Will Do?
By: Mary Fran Bontempo

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In these turbulent times, there are plenty of words around to inspire fear.

The list includes things like nuclear arms, biological warfare, terrorism, etc. No need to further elaborate; given the world’s almost constant state of mayhem, you can use your imagination to come up with a tally as long as your arm. (I would suggest the addition of the term “gas prices,” though, if we’re going to be current.)

The “worry words” list knows no geographical or other boundaries and most of the terms involve some form of large scale destruction.

There are, however, a few words which would likely not make such a tabulation, at least not at first glance. But the expressions strike fear into the heart of every woman in the world.

I give you “patch,” “tape” and “rig.”

Upon hearing any one of these words, women throughout the planet begin hyperventilating and break out into a cold sweat. The three loathsome terms are enough to send us running for a bottle and the hills simultaneously.

Oddly enough, the men in our lives, who are generally uttering the words, say them with a reverence reserved for a favored son. If they could reach out and hug a verb, they would.

For these words are verbs to our guys, and they surface at the most terrible of times for women. Worse, we can see them coming a mile away. They rear their ugly heads when something in the house is broken and we can’t fix it, forcing us to turn to our fellas for assistance.

Enter the domicile of any woman and ask to see something patched, taped or rigged. She will undoubtedly show you a shelf, a window, a heater, a deck, a ceiling fan, a light fixture, plumbing….Just about any household item which could break has the potential to be the recipient of the half-assed fix.

In my youth, my father famously taped pipes when dealing with a plumbing issue, after, of course, he shut off the water for seven hours, eliciting much wailing and gnashing of teeth from my sister and me. Duct tape was my dad’s go to tool of choice and whenever we saw it in his hands we all but started to cry.

Fast forward to my married life and I’ve endured patched drywall, the requisite taped plumbing, and most famously, a rigged heater fan which decided to de-rig itself at 6 AM one Christmas morning.

With spring cleaning now upon us, and folks everywhere getting their homes into shape after a long, miserable winter, I’d like to propose that our men permanently add a new word to their vocabularies. It’s only three letters but it packs a heck of a punch: FIX. As in, FIX THE DAMN PROBLEM, ALREADY! FIX IT RIGHT, AND FIX IT ONCE, SO I CAN STOP OBSESSING ABOUT IT, FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!

Whew. Well I feel better. Of course, I’m not holding out much hope that I can eradicate patch, tape and rig from the world or even from my own house.

But I can hide the duct tape. Happy spring, everyone.

Have any “patch, tape or rig” horror stories of your own? Click “comments” below and share!