Some things are crystal clear


Most men are proud of their power tools. Last week, I tried putting up a mailbox but ran into all sorts of issues. My drill just wasn’t getting the job done. I couldn’t get the wood screws to screw all the way into the wood. I was bummed. I felt defeated. Then it all came crashing down when my stepfather gave the ultimate insult. “That drill’s good for hanging curtains,” he said.

The fork was in me. I was done. I quit. I hate quitting.

Earlier, my mother-in-law cleaned out our old stove and painted it. It looks like it may have been won on a gameshow in the seventies, but she made it good as new. The only blemishes were a couple of streaks on the inside glass of the oven door. I vowed to get it cleaned. It looked easy enough. All had to do was pop the screws out, lift up the panel, and remove the glass. Besides, I had a drill. It’s not like I was putting up a mailbox.

If I’d only known what I was getting myself into.

The screws came out easy enough. The panel lifted up just fine. I removed the glass with little effort. I put it in the sink, washed it, and dried it. The glass was crystal clear. All I had to do was put everything back together. Yep, that’s all I had to do. Too easy.

When I unscrewed everything, the door and panel were all the way open and parallel to the floor. For some reason, I tried to insert the glass and screw everything back into place with the panel open at a 45-degree angle. I’m not sure what I was thinking. Perhaps I was all jacked up on cleaning solution. It took me an hour to figure out I needed to lay the panel all the way down.

Next, I had to screw the panel back on the door. I had two of three screws in place but couldn’t get the panel to set in properly. I realized that I had the hinges screwed in too tight, therefore not allowing any flexibility with the panel. I unscrewed the middle screw on the door, but when I did, it fell back down into the door right next to the stupid freshly cleaned, crystal clear glass.

After taking a break, I returned to complete the job. What would’ve taken others 10 minutes, literally took me over two hours, but at least I didn’t quit, and we now have a clean oven.

There’s a lesson learned in everything we do, and I learned a lesson in cleaning the inside glass on the oven door, and it’s crystal clear. It’s crystal clear that I will never again clean the inside glass on the oven door. It’s not going to happen. I’ll take a road trip with a cat before I do that again. I likely won’t be putting up any more mailboxes, either, although you might catch me hanging curtains. Stay tuned.

Jody Fuller is from Opelika, Ala. He is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at For more information, please visit