Illustration for article titled The Coronavirus Has Turned Me Into a Handyman. Temporarily, at Least
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You know what sound you don’t want to hear when you’re holed up in your house and you’re trying to avoid close contact with friends (humanity, really—and don’t even mention a whole-ass stranger in your house to fix shit because that’s entirely off the table)? No idea? Cool, I’ll tell you. You don’t want to hear your washing machine sound like it’s about to explode. But that was my reality this past weekend.

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On Sunday morning, I put a load of my chirrens’ clothes in the washing machine and the cycle started normally. But then, out of nowhere, it started making some kind of buzzing sound. You know that sound; it’s the kind that makes you stare in the direction of your washing machine, but not want to get too close in case some of the shit that happens in movies also happens in real life. Plus, this is the social media age; it would be just my luck that I’d walk to the machine, it would blow up, my wife would have been filming the whole thing and we’d win some money on America’s Funniest Home Videos, but I wouldn’t have any eyebrows or something. It seems like eyebrows never grow back. Save the eyebrows, yo.

Anyway, once my washing stopped making apocalyptic sounds and came to a full halt—with fully soaked clothes still inside the drum; mind you, we never got to the drain and rinse cycle—I attempted to open the door (it’s a front loader) and it was locked. More shenanigans. So I did what any other person in my predicament would do: I went straight to YouTube. I searched videos on how to get this damn washing machine door open and to help me figure out what the problem was with my washer. Luckily, there are YouTube videos for EVERY kind of repair.

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I managed to get the door open and then the flood of water happened.

Stop.

Large spills hit a little bit differently during this pandemic; you can’t just go grab a roll of paper towels whenever water goes everywhere, even if God sends 40 days and 40 nights of rain. I know I stared off into the kitchen towards the 6 pack of brand new unopened paper towels, but I executively-decided to run up my stairs and grab all of the towels I could get. And even THAT was a huge gamble; remember, my washing machine is on the fritz. If I don’t fix it, I will be down several clean towels now, too. Then, I’d have to really think hard about calling somebody in to fix my machine. I have a daughter who is immuno-compromised; I can’t just be risking it all for clean clothes at laundromats or randomly calling a dude from Sears to come into my house and charge me $95 bucks to turn the shit off and turn it back on again and say, “it’s fixed; we don’t take American Express.”

But I believe in YouTube and my abilities—and prayerfully, the tools and random shit I’ve purchased over time as being something I can use to fix my washing machine. Once I got the door open and got what felt like 50 pounds of dripping wet clothes out of the machine, there was STILL a pool of water inside the washing machine. I knew if I was about to have to check some wiring or do some shit that water was probably not the best thing to have present. Then, I remembered two words: wet/dry vac.

I grabbed the wet/dry vac, vacuumed out all the water and let YouTube explain to me how to fix my washing machine. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Apparently, the drain pipes had become clogged so I really needed my wet/dry vac the most to get all the water out of the pipes that had backed up before I could clean it. But I managed to get it done and win some “oh, my husband can fix a washing machine?!?!” points in the process. I’ll take the big-piece-of-chicken points all day, every day.

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Interestingly, successfully fixing (or at least clearing an error message) got me all kinds of motivated to tend to everything else in the house. My icemaker is trippin’. Maybe I’ll fix that, too. Being stuck in the house may be difficult, but at least it’s forcing me to become the Terrius “The Toolman” Taylor.

I just hope nothing else breaks. Let us pray.

Panama Jackson is the Senior Editor of Very Smart Brothas. He's pretty fly for a light guy. You can find him at your mama's mama's house drinking all her brown liquors.

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