Death By Children is about more than the nefarious and deadly machinations of our spawn or their efforts to render us twitching and pale from their ongoing appropriation of internet porn slang. It’s about a lifestyle, a way of going about your day with a ruthless Zen focus, a way of being ever more self sufficient and capable. To that end, we present our ongoing series of Do It Yourself projects.
1. Look at son. Liberally apply hairy eyeball. Say “This is going to come out of your allowance.”
2. Assuming the glass is severely cracked, but not actually knocked out: liberally apply duct tape until the entire spidery shatter crack is covered. Say “I’ll get to it tomorrow.”
3. Three weeks later, respond to wife’s complaint that the excess masking tape looks like, as they say in France, merde, by carefully exacting the edges of the masking tape so not a shred of tape exceeds the edges of the window frame. This should take about five hours and you need to go to the hardware store twice to buy a really expensive multi-head exacto knife and more tape.
4. Six months later, think about replacing the glass. Say out loud, “You know, I really ought to replace that glass.”
5. Merry Christmas.
6. After the spring thaw, go to the hardware store and spend no less than $78 on a glazing tool, glazing compound, window points, drill bits (you never know) a new roll of masking tape, one of those cool drain clog snake things, 19 feet of textured step pads, gardening stakes, and a 4 watt light bulb for the stove. Leave it all in the trunk of your car for through summer vacation.
7. After the summer heat subsides, go and replace the materials you left in the trunk of your car. Ask Glenn at ACE hardware to cut you a piece of glass. When he asks for dimensions, spit them out like you memorized them after carefully measuring. Glenn knows you didn’t, but Glenn’s not going to say anything because he’s been telling stories about your masterpiece home-improvement purchases for years. He uses you in his stand-up routine instead of making fun of people from Alabama. If he knew you were actually from Alabama, he’d never stop laughing.
8. Remove the wood frame pieces holding the glass in. Marvel at your skill. Clean all the old glazing putty off the wood. Sweep up. Get the glass out of the car. Carefully unwrap this perfect crystal square cut to your specifications. What power. What casual tool using élan. What do you do about the one inch gap between the wood and the top edge of the glass? You move the window up and down, as if there’s some middle position where the glass fills the frame. How? What? How did? How the hell did you not realize the panes weren’t perfect squares? Ok. Measure it again—where’s the tape measure? Shit. Oh, look, there’s a wooden ruler you bought for the kids. Measure the window. Don’t worry about the fact that the ruler doesn’t bend into the space so you can get an actual measurement. Eyeball it. Reapply tape.
10. Get Glenn to cut a new piece of glass. Act casual.
11. When you get home, lay a half inch thick rope of glazing putty all around the frame. Try and fit the glass in. It won’t because you gave Glenn OUTSIDE measurements instead of INSIDE measurements. The glass is exactly the same size as the hole in your door. Yeah, go ahead, try to force it.
11. Call the hardware store and ask for Glenn. Do this at least once a day until he’s not there. Go in and get a 1/4 inch shaved off the glass.
12. Using jeweler’s pliers (because you left your channel locks in the vanity you threw away two months ago) peel the dried putty out of the window frame. This should take a good three hours.
13. Replace glass using tub caulk because you put the glazing putty and the glass points down somewhere and you can’t find them. Make sure to use an ungodly amount of caulk so that when you press the glass into its new home, bright white silicon paste oozes out all over your door on the side you aren’t paying attention to. Also, since you don’t have the points, hold the glass in place with the bright blue electrical tape you bought as a joke three years ago (because you can’t find the duct tape (it’s in the trunk)). Replace the wooden slats of the frame. Buy another multi-head exacto knife (it’s in your trunk) and trim that blue tape.
Time: one year, four months, and nine days. Cost: $113.56.
Today, you are a man.