Love in the time of Welding

I am welding away, grinding, cutting.  Things are progressing on the steel frame.  But I keep catching on fire.

Except for a few minor burns on the tummy, it doesn’t amount to much more than the odorous destruction of my clothes and a bit of skin discoloration where a hot sliver has lodged on me.  I just flap my hands and put out the burning round hole in my outer and inner shirts (or skin) and carry on.  I have a lot of holes in what has become my main ‘sacrificial’ shirt.  I just hope I don’t have to throw another shirt of homage to the Angel of Hell (welding) before my leather apron comes.  And I hope it comes soon.  I have more than a few minor black spots on my stomach and they do nothing to make me more appealing.  In fact, Sal tends to recoil in horror.

More than usual, I mean.. 

And it is horrible.  She is right.  Once again I have a greater appreciation for a trade.  Fabrication ain’t easy.  Especially not if you want clean nostrils.   And I do.  At the end of the day, when you begin to clean up, I advise blowing your nose first.  Then get a vacuum and suck deeper.  The Kleenex is black.  The second Kleenex is black. The third Kleenex is black.  It is hell in there!  And that is just my nose.  Everything gets dirty.  Hair, skin, clothes….all blackened in some sort of way.  Plus the tummy scars.  I’m telling ya….welding ain’t a pleasant hobby.

Mind you, I am not doing it right.  I am just a backyard goof trying to cobble up a weird thing from scrap metal.  Lots of room for error and I am taking all the room I have.  Lots of errors.  I asked a more experienced friend of mine, “How do I know if I have a good weld?”  “Well, if you hammer the snot out of it for a minute or so and it holds, ya did good!”

“Is that the technical, official, by-the-book-way…?”

“Who reads about welding?”

“Right.  Of course.  What was I thinking.  So, we employ the beat-the-snot method?”

“Yeah.  keep it simple, Dave.  Kiss.”

“Get away from me!  I’m disgusting.  You should see my nostrils.”

“KISS means ‘keep it simple, stupid!”

“I knew that.  But you got a bit too close there, ya know. Looming.   Personal space – thing.  Now just move along, will ya?”

“You’re crazy, you know that?  And, at our age, we only just cuddle anyway.”

“Oh, that makes me feel a lot better!”

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