Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Satan's Heat Gun

Monday was the most depressing day of the year. It wasn’t my personal most depressing day, rather it was the day of the year when most people are feeling the post-Holiday letdown, abandoning their New Year’s resolutions, and receiving the Christmas credit card bills. I was on the phone with my mom on Monday night, lamenting my lack of motivation for home improvement projects, when she told me not to feel bad, it’s the most depressing day of the year! Well, the Pollyanna in me figured, it can only get better from here.

In the spirit of Tuesday being the day after the most depressing day of the year, I decided to TURN ON THE HEAT GUN. I bought a bright orange, heavy duty, 3-pronged extension cord over a week ago, but then was so overcome by the downward slide into the most depressing day of the year that I hadn’t used it to plug in the heat gun. Last night, I climbed out of the pit of despair, donned leather gloves, and went to work.

The heat gun wasn’t scary at all. On low, it so reminded me of a hair dryer that I was tempted to use it as one. However, I remembered the admonition against such practices in the instruction manual. On high, it was a little frightening, emitting a red glow like the fires of Hell. Actually, that part was kind of fun. The scariest thing that happened was the heat, or the fumes, or both, set off the fire alarm at the top of the stairs. I disconnected the alarm battery and was not startled again.

While the heat gun works (i.e. it softens the glue enough to scrape it from the stairs), the scraping process will take a while. It takes repeated passes of the heat gun and quite a bit of force on the scraper, to remove the glue. My hands tire quickly. At an hour a day, though, I should be done in a week or so.

After I finished last night’s scraping session, I found myself in a conundrum. The instruction manual, which I pored over, states that the heat gun must remain upright until it cools. If it is set on its side while still hot, the entire thing will dissolve into a puddle of plastic and wires. So, I stood there, like a dumb-dumb, holding the heat gun, waiting for it to cool. Five minutes later, I started to really feel stupid. After all, something that heats up to 1000 F takes a while to cool. The heat gun came with a handy-dandy loop on the top of the barrel, for hanging it upright while cooling. I just didn’t have anywhere to hang it. I finally put my ingenuity to work and looped some chain over a pipe on the basement ceiling, attached an s-hook through the bottom links, and hung the heat gun up. I think that was my proudest moment of the night. I could tell we were rapidly leaving the most depressing day of the year behind.


Blogger Scott in Washington said...

I just have to ask; After using the heat gun, did you de-contaminate your footwear? Once or twice?

8:40 PM  
Blogger Kasmira said...

As a part of my plot to kill my husband and take his money, I did not decontaminate. I was sure to rub my socks (didn't wear shoes), all over his favorite chair before stashing them in his bookbag.

12:05 PM  
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8:22 AM  

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