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Channeling my inner MacGyver

DuctTape Hangar and Grips

Quick background on what happened and then I’ll get to the fun stuff.

Before we left for a 5 day vacation in central PA over the new year I placed an order online at USPS for our mail to be held until Jan 2 and I would pick it up. When we came home on Jan 1 our box was heaping from mail that was never held back. (side note: the local post office emailed me claiming they did save it and delivered it on Jan 2 even though my auto confirm states I would pick it up. Meanwhile we got the mail on the day we left and returned to a full mailbox *sigh*)

I walked outside to get the mail and, as if the universe decided to have some fun, a letter dropped straight down and through the tightest slot in between boards on my porch. Most times I’d expected mail to flutter down like a feather, zigzag like a Plinko chip or flip around like this propeller things in the fall, but that didn’t happen. It went perfectly straight and down into the abyss but I could see the letter and it looked official which was not good considering I’m waiting on unemployment paperwork.

My porch has sucked mail before. Once my wife lost a $50 gift card to the black hole and I was able to snag it with a metal hangar. Even though I consider myself to be an accomplished retrieval expert this was a different beast. The gift card had a hole at the top and it was spring time, this a letter and it was the dead of winter.

Like any social media (insert some buzzword describing my profession that makes me stabby) I consulted the white noise of Twitter and Facebook for suggestions while looking on the Google. I was told to rip the board out, cut the board, use a hangar, set the porch on fire and use a sledgehammer to break out the blocks.  Seriously, I love you guys.

I tried the hangar with duct tape on the end and that failed. First I didn’t have enough room to get the hangar through and then the tape didn’t have enough adhesive. Maybe it was a design issue? While the kids watched Scooby Doo, I sat in the living room with my fingers spaced apart and worked a bent hangar to simulate how the letter would come up. The letter was flat so I would have to turn and pray it wouldn’t fall down deeper.

I grabbed my favorite grips from the basement and went to town on squeezing the hangar just right, wrapping in duct tape and repeating. Simulation worked and now it was show time. I jammed the hangar down the crack, made contact and after some clever maneuvering I had the prize! Praying it wasn’t a piece of junk mail I opened it to find out it was indeed the unemployment papers I needed.

Sometime this spring I plan on staining my porch and fixing the things Captain Obvious did before we bought the house. Possible enhancement might be to install a net but not the trap door I wanted. My wife said something about one of our boys locking the other under the porch. Question is, would it be the 3 yr old or the 5 yr old putting the other in.

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Categories: Fatherhood, homeowner
  1. Pittsburgh Jagoff Catcher
    January 5th, 2014 at 10:52 | #1

    LOL….maybe you can use an old trampoline under the porch so that, when the mail falls through the cracks, it bounces back up at ya. Then you can entertain yourself with lots of mail as if you were in one of those cash machines. On another note, hopefully your unemployment doesn’t last too long.

  2. January 5th, 2014 at 10:59 | #2

    I’m just glad I was able to get it out. I was seriously going to leave it thinking it was another mortgage refinance to look like a legal doc.

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