Tuesday, June 09, 2009

I can relate...

Here is a hilarious blog post by Daniel Hannan.

He is a "Euro-Skeptic" (i.e. defender of his nation's sovereignty against those seeking to turn Europe into a superstate) member of the European Parliament from England who has recently become quite a YouTube star. The opening line of this piece is:
" I have always been physically maladroit. Once, when hammering in a nail, I managed to bash, not my thumb, but my face."
At the end, there is a hilarious and priceless punchline delivered by Mr. Hannan's three-year old daughter.

It is a really funny piece. I'm in a very similar situation, though in my case, it's my father that I'm in awe of for his ability to do anything with his hands (my father-in-law is more of a bookworm like myself, only ten times smarter). As inept as I am at anything involving tools, my dad is the opposite.

I once came home to see an entire automatic transmission taken apart on the driveway - down to the o-rings. On another occasion, my dad designed an addition to our home, and began the project by cutting a hole in the house with a chainsaw (which even managed to shock my mom). Pop can also diagnose and fix any (and I mean any) piece of electronic equipment with a schematic diagram, a volt-ohm meter, and a soldering iron (though I think he does enjoy using an oscilloscope because it's just plain cool).

Back in the late 1970s, he turned an ordinary conversion van into a camper - complete with couch-bed (designed and made by hand), removable table (also designed and built by hand), insulation, wood paneling, a portable toilet in a closet, TV and VCR, stereo system, on-board ham radio shack, and a small fridge - all powered by either batteries or an external electrical system to be used at campsites. It even had a primitive (by today's standards) on-board computer that tracked various details including gas mileage, as well as cruise control and an aftermarket air conditioner.

Somehow, I missed out on every one of those "imagine it, calculate it, and build it" genes. If I can't fix something with duct tape and a stapler (I once mended the pocket of a pair of pants with the latter), I can't do it. My dad, by contrast, is like Archimedes, who upon discovering the principle of leverage, quipped: "Give me a place to stand, and I can move the world."

So, Like Daniel Hannan, I am simply awestruck.

And also like Mr. Hannan, I have a little one (a four year old boy in my case). So far, he takes after me. We were walking home from church Sunday, and he was reading a children's Bible as we walked - a dangerous practice (considering all the drivers who are on their phones and texting) that I engage in as well. Leo does like to roughhouse more than I did as a child, so maybe there is hope that he won't be quite as uncoordinated and bookish as me. When I ask him if he wants to be a pastor like daddy, he retorts that he would rather be a "yellow jumping spider."

And, for your Daniel Hannan viewing pleasure, check out this video (HT:Campaign for Liberty) in which Mr. Hannan manages to give a political speech that quotes both the film Terminator and Dr. Seuss - prompting a laughing Mrs. Hollywood to declare: "Dan Han is the Man!"


Rev. Paul Beisel said...

Are you sure your dad wasn't working for the CIA?

Paul said...

Mr. Hannan needs to give a talk to both Houses of Congress asap!

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Paul:

I think the closest he got to that was the Marine Corps. But then again, hmmm.

Would that explain my dad mounting a record player to the floor of his '57 Chevy? That one really impressed my mom.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Paul:

I hear ya! The closest thing to that that we've had is having Dan Hannan as a fairly frequent guest of Judge Napolitano's Freedom Watch (you can click on the widget in the margin of my blog for more info).