MTM’s Guide to DIY

A blogger on another site I used to blog on highlighted a few points which every basic man, and I reckon girl should know (which I do too *beams proudly*, after the good old trial and error method):

1. How to Wire a Plug. 

There are three wires to a plug.  The blue one, the brown one and the green ‘n yellow one (that looks like those new fangled liquorice allsorts – without the actual liquorice).  These wires are called “neutral, live and earth” and are wired to the left, right and up respectively.  It does help to actually take the cover off the back of the plug and not to impale yourself with a screwdriver.  Also remember that if you buy an appliance with a two-prong plug, cutting it off and wiring a three-prong one on immediately voids the useless warranty anyway.

2.  How to Jump Start a Car.

This is done by actually opening the bonnet, not kicking the door and swearing like a raving loon.  If you can’t get the bonnet open, then you are going to need a man, who then might as well do the rest for you anyhow.  Be careful though of a stranger offering to help jump start your car, he could be offspring of the Boston Strangler and kill you with your own jumper cables.

If however, you don’t burn your fingers getting the bonnet open, attach the jumper cables (which every woman should have in her boot) to the dead battery (the red attachment goes on the positive (+) side and the black on the neutral (-) side.  If you actually put your glasses on, you will see that all car batteries are marked, so you have no excuse.)  You then attach the jumper cables to the other battery – in exactly the same way – but the engine must be running.  If you put the cables on wrong, then you will see lots of smoke and almost choke on the noxious odour of battery acid.

3.  How to Push a Car.

Easy.  Make sure there is always petrol in it and that it is regularly serviced.  And, don’t leave the lights or the radio on.  These are the three things every girl should remember.  Although if you really are forced to push your car for some reason, pray that you are driving something small, like a Corsa, or an Atos.  If you drive something big and heavy like a Volvo or a Merc, pray too, this time in thanks, that you won’t have to visit the gym for a while because all your muscles will have had their fair share of exercise.  You will know this the following morning.

It is also always a good idea to, if you drive an older model car, ie. Carburetor driven as opposed to fuel injected, that, if your car does die without petrol, it is sometimes easier to remove the air filter and pour some petrol directly into the carburetor than bleed it right through the system.  Be careful of static sparks though.  And, just because I feel like bragging…the standard firing order on a 4-cylinder engine is 1-3-2-4.

Ok, enough of that…

4. Broken Fanbelts

Fanbelts, from what I know, generally are not inclined to just break.   They actually tend to let you know when they’re a little worn because they make a noise, similar to a hamster being put through a pasta maker – a kind of “squeal”, only stretched. However, if your fanbelt does break, the pantyhose thing works.  I can’t fit it myself, but I’ve seen it done.  My favourite funky purple pair will never be the same again *sniff*

5.  Drilling

Involves sticking bits into the drill – masonry is for concrete and metal is well not for concrete.  It helps to actually mark the spot you want to drill, instead of having your fingers in the way.  Who cares anyhow about drilling concrete and metal? Drilling for oil is where the money is…but for that you are going to need a damn big drill, probably belonging on some obscure level to some company or someone affiliated to a certain former US president…

6.  Tiling

I don’t know much about this, but think if I was forced to do it, I would be able to. As it is a somewhat sticky ‘n messy job, my purple pantyhose would probably be suitable attire.  One thing I do know is if you don’t put enough tiling cement down, your tiles make a noise when you walk on them.  The sound resembles a hamster popping.  It is not a nice sound to wake up to when you are in the middle of a delicious dream of David Caruso.

7.  Making Furniture

I’ve only ever made scale model furniture – and then I cut my finger with the hacksaw.  If I am ever forced to make my own furniture, I will invest in a versatile beanbag.  If I’m feeling really feisty, I will rob a bank and buy lots of overpriced stuff from Wetherleys.

8.  Installing Sprinkler Systems

Girls, you really don’t need to do this.  There will inevitably be a man in your life, be it your dad, your brother, your boyfriend, or one of your boyfriend’s dodgy mates who will see your wilting plants and piss in your garden.  Don’t worry, they’re programmed to do this.

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