The DIY Disaster Scale

I’ve been spending a lot of time at my mother’s lately – something I usually do anyway, but have been especially the past few days due to feeling exceedingly sorry for myself and wanting someone to look after me while the Boyfriend is at work.

It’s been very good for my productivity. I didn’t just watch the episode of Supernatural that my Sky+ conveniently failed to record – I wrote a song, played guitar, discovered some more things about maths (research for an upcoming novel) and introduced my family to Look Around You, a bizarre comedy take on 70s After School Specials I discovered while browsing the internet.

The other day my family were fairly occupied doing the DIY – which is fine by me, I’m not there to be waited on hand and foot, just for a bit of company while the Boyfriend is out – so I spent most of the morning with Taylor keeping half an eye on the babies while Mum and her Husband cleaned and drilled and took down doors and other random things. While we were talking about music and guitars, we got onto the conversation about the DIY Disaster Scale.

You see, the Step-Dad is good at DIY, really. He used to build boats, and knows how to cobble things together, and will always have a go at fixing things himself before resorting to calling in the experts. And usually he gets it right. But sometimes there are mishaps…

I think he’s got a bit of a ‘shoot first, ask questions later’ attitude to DIY. I’ll just stick this drill bit through here and see what happens… and generally it doesn’t serve him too badly. But we have learned from many (amusing) experiences, that when things go wrong, you can always tell how bad it is, and whether or not to offer assistance, from what he shouts out.

The DIY Disaster Scale

‘Oh’ – small scale mishap, probably tried to hammer in a nail with a chisel or something. No real damage to anything other than perhaps pride. Don’t even bother to investigate, it probably doesn’t even have comedy value.

‘Oh God’ – a slightly larger mishap, but nothing terminal. Point and laugh is usually the best response here.

‘Oh sh*t’ – something has gone extremely wrong. Approach with caution and tentatively call out from a safe distance if there’s anything you can do to help. Hope he says it’s all under control.

‘Oh f*ck’ – evacuate the house immediately.

The last time we hit the last stage, he’d put a nail gun through the hot water pipe in the living room while trying to fix the wooden flooring. We had an impromptu swimming pool and he had to run to Homebase (fortunately just over the road) dripping wet to get some emergency pipe sealer, while Mum tried to stem the flow with a tea towel and my siblings ran through the house turning on every hot tap to try and drain the system.

I went home before anything major happened this time, but later my mother posted on her blog that all had not gone entirely smoothly. I’m just glad they only hit ‘Oh God’ on the DIY Disaster Scale!


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