Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I am a Hammer

I am a hammer. All of my friends are hammers too, and we live in a community of hammers. In fact, I think that within my whole family lineage, every one of them has been a hammer, at least as far as you can trace back.

Being a hammer is great! Simply put, we are the right tool for the job. Nobody else can nail things down or build things up like us hammers.

Sure, there are all sorts of other tools, but they are mostly impractical for anything you would want to do on the job. That's why we know that we are the right tools.

I mean, seriously, think about it. Take the second most popular tool, the drills, for example. Sure, they can make things holey, but that's about it. And if you drill too many holes, everything could come falling down on you. (I think we've all heard the story of how a handful of wayward drills brought a couple of buildings crashing to the ground.) If you ask me, drills are just disasters waiting to happen. Unlike us hammers. We build things up.

Besides that, those drills are just trying to cash in on our popularity. They have no respect that we were here first. I mean, just look at their instruction manual. Those parts about working safely and wearing proper gloves and eye protection are almost copied word for word from our manual. It's pitiful, really.

Then there's that other group of loathsome tools, the vise grip. Ha! How aptly named they are, because they sure do have a grip on vises, and yet for some reason they think that they are the only ones with a grip on reality. They think they can do anything they set their minds to: turn a screw, hold pieces together; I mean, you name it, they will try it. Why, I even saw one of them try to drive a nail one time. Well, just because they are made from the same steel that we are, doesn't make them able to hammer. That is most definitely not right according to the manual.

Anything that vise grips do is temporary. Anything! Not like us hammers. When we build things up, those things will last forever. But do you know what's really whack? (Pardon the hammer pun.) The vise grips know that their work is temporary, and they don't care! They are even so bold as to say that all work is temporary, regardless of the tools used.

Silly, silly vise grips. They just can't see that hammers are the right tools because we build things which actually do last. They will not fall apart if we move on to work somewhere else, which is more than you can say about vise grips. But, what can you do? You have to be chosen to be forged into a hammer, so naturally there are going to be a lot of, well, non-hammers out there.

Yes, being a hammer is truly the best tool you can be. Who wouldn't want to build up? And integrated with building up is nailing down. We can nail down the walls, so square and true, that they can withstand any storm. That is security. That is safety. Hammers are the way to do it right.

Our community is so uplifting too, you would love it. We all meet once a week, or sometimes more often, to read from the manual to help ensure that we all do good on the job. We also discuss challenging work requests, considering how we need to get those tasks done as hammers. As hammers, how do we flatten this warped plank? As hammers, how should we assemble this railing? Mostly, the solutions involve nailing things down. If they can't be liberated, then they are secure, and security is good according to the manual.

Now, to be honest, there are differences in some of the hammers. Some think that we should all have red paint, and other think that blue is the best color. Some think that a wooden handle is best, while others think that fiberglass is the way to go. And, I must admit, that some hammers have been involved in prying out nails. I have even heard (although it's hard to believe) that some hammers are used primarily in demolition. But that's not what hammers are really about. True hammers follow the manual. True hammers build up. And, I think it can be said irrefutably, that the hammer manual and the hammers have truly made this job everything it is today, in all the ways in which it is most successful.

Yet the best thing, the very best thing about being a hammer is what is revealed in the manual. Someday this job is going to end. Everybody knows it. And then what? Hmm?

Well, according to the manual, there is more in store for us hammers. What is in store for us is not exactly clear, but we know that it's good.

There are large sections in the manual describing what the next job will be like; all hammers will get a coating of a super enamel paint which will never chip and the finest hardwood shaft which will never splinter, there will be a bigger, cleaner tool box with a durable but comfortable handle, and the next job will be so big that it will never end. We will just keep building up, and up, and up; just doing what hammers do best. It would be so wonderful!

Yet there are smaller inserts within the manual which suggest something different; an entirely different kind of job known as design. It's a job of concepts; a job of thoughts realized in their ideal form. In design, there is no need to hammer. No need to hammer! Can you imagine such a job?!? Everything just comes into being, pure, and true. No longer will we have to worry about the splitting headaches from pounding our heads against a wall. Everything will just be!

Most of the hammers nowadays subscribe to their destiny for design, and I tend to lean in that direction too. Although, I suppose it really doesn't matter which type of job comes next. Either outcome would be great. But, there is something really appealing about design. I mean, the next job is supposed to last a really, really long time. There's got to be more to that job than just hammering.

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