Last night, my wife asked me...

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Blog entry by KnickKnack posted 01-25-2012 08:53 PM 7208 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

...”Why do you always make things we don’t need?”

We were looking at my latest design.

I could have taken issue with the word “always” – I was, after all, sitting in the study on a chair that I made, using a pencil from a pencil holder I made, to be followed by watching a TV sitting on a media centre I made, whilst sitting on a settee I made, drinking wine from glasses sitting on tables I made, eating dinner with cutlery from a box I made, in the light shone by a lamp I made, to be followed by sleeping in a bed that I made.

But I didn’t.
Since I actually know the answer.
Well, I don’t, but I do know the answer to the question she actually meant – which was ”Why don’t you make the things that we do need”?

The reason is actually fairly simple – you only get one chance to make something you need, but you get lots of chances to make lots of things you do not need.

We need a “cat proof” bedside table.
Really – we need this.
One of our cats, we’ll call him “Blackie”, since that’s his name, is fat.
Very fat.
And, of a night, just after sleep has finally cast its darkness upon us, Blackie invariably decides he wants to sleep with us. I say “with us” loosely – we end up sleeping with him.
But I digress.
Now, we’ve seen him leap tall buildings at a single bound – a large dog was after him. And we regularly see him scaling chain link fences to get onto, and off, the garage roof which leads to the cat flap, which leads to the dressing room, which leads to our bedroom, in which is – our bed.
At night though, does he make the very small, non-supercat-requiring step (I’d say jump, but it’s more of a step) to enter the bed at the bottom? No. At the side? No. Always, but always he hops onto the bedside table in order to make the final 6” step up onto the bed.
Now, bedside tables being what they are, they are, well, beside the bed, and, generally speaking in order to be useful, they are deployed at the head end of the bed.
Ours certainly are.
And that’s the problem.
Our heads are there.
So he walks about looking for a nice comfy place to park, sounding, as my wife informs me she found out on the web (so it must be true), like a land rover. (Aside – the frequency may be the same, but my land rover sounds scary, and Blackie purring does not).
All that would be ok, were it not, of course, for the fact that our heads are there.
I jest not, it’s like an elephant doing the tango, out of time, in a wind tunnel.
We need a “cat proof” bedside table.

This is Blackie…

...he’s a lovery cat…

And here’s the big but, which is why I put it in all capitals and bold too.
Once I’ve made it, well use it, it’ll probably work, and I will never ever get a chance to make another one.
So it has to be just right. Just so. And my woodworkering is changing so rapidly right now that anything I make today may well be regarded as “could have done so much better” in the space of a few short months.

None of this is true of a tray, or a box, or a stool, or a lamp.
That is, with things you don’t need.

I swear by all that is sacred that it’s not because Blackie never, ever, jumps on my head!

-- "Do not speak – unless it improves on silence." --- "Following the rules and protecting the regulations is binding oneself without rope."

6 comments so far

View Brit's profile


7800 posts in 3351 days

#1 posted 01-25-2012 09:21 PM

Fabulous post. Thanks for the laugh. That is a great picture of blackie sitting on the ginger cat.

I totally get what you mean as well. Like me, you are probably a bit of a perfectionist. It is too easy to say I could make this, that and the other now or I could wait another year by which time I will have that new tool that will allow me to make it so much better, my design skills will have improved, I’ll have more experience etc, etc.

I also often think that I’ve spent most of my married life making things that my wife thinks we need and working to designs that she has dictated to me. I can’t wait to make something just because I want to make it. So when I build my tool cabinet, it will be so over the top and incorporate so many different facets of woodworking and the dearly beloved WON’T BE ALLOWED TO CRITICISE IT AT ALL because it is for ME.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 3010 days

#2 posted 01-26-2012 03:15 AM

What a great wy to tell the story! I had a good chuckle all the way through.

I’d go ahead and make the cat proof bedside table. It might not be sufficiently cat proof meaning you do get another chance to make one. Or it might be so successful, you could create a whole new niche for yourself to consult on how to make such tables, and occasionally maybe even make a few more.

Of course, even if the table is successful, it might not solve your problems. My wife says that the reason Blackie walks all over your heads purring is to announce himself and make sure that you know that he has arrived. She says that even if he did hop up onto the bottom of the bed, he’d just have to walk further.

Oh, Andy, with ambitions like that, you’re not expecting to make that tool cabinet any time soon, are you?

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View sras's profile


5197 posts in 3638 days

#3 posted 01-26-2012 04:25 AM

Read the whole story out loud to my wife. We both enjoyed it. I need to remember your line of logic for the future…

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View getlostinwood's profile


224 posts in 3111 days

#4 posted 01-26-2012 04:28 AM

Might I suggest that you will have at least one additional opprotunity to build the purrfect table (couldnt resist) In my room we have two sides of the bed. It would seem prudent to try out the table on your side of the bed to insure it’s functional before putting an inferior product on your wifes side.

Great post, laughed all the way through.

-- The basis for optimism is shear terror

View Brit's profile


7800 posts in 3351 days

#5 posted 01-26-2012 07:10 AM

KnickKnack – I think your cat problem stems from the fact that you didn’t set out the cat’s boundaries from day one.

Years ago, we bought a golden retriever puppy. My wife decided that the puppy was not going to be allowed in the lounge or upstairs. I fitted temporary child gates to the lounge door frame and across the bottom of the stairs. We stuck to our guns and Benson the puppy was not allowed in either area. After six months, I removed both gates and he never went upstairs. At night, if we were all sitting in the lounge talking or watching TV, he would stretch out right across the threshold to the room. We all had to step over him to go to the toilet or to make a cup of tea. As the night progressed, he would very slowly try to inch his way forward into the room. It got so that I just had to look at him, and he would begrudgingly take a step back again. Give ‘em an inch and they take a mile. :-)

However, since you have allowed Blackie to sleep on your bed, there is only one solution as I see it. You will have to ask your wife to sleep in the cat basket so that Blackie can have her side of the bed. At least you will then get your much needed slumber. You could always sweeten the deal by promising to make your wife a beautiful litter tray to go next to her basket.

Good luck with that one by they way.

-- Andy - Old Chinese proverb says: "If you think something can't be done, don't interrupt man who is doing it."

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3624 days

#6 posted 01-26-2012 05:35 PM

thanks for the post but be glad you have a table on each side
and not like me that get a 5 kg bomb in the head every time
our cat wants to go to sleep and if he fail to land on the had you can bee
sure he will walk over the brest with ten exstra steps just to be sure I´m
noticed about what he wants
be lucky its the sidetables then you have three oppetuny´s to make it right
the first you call a mock up the next is an improoved knock up (to be on your side)
and the last one will be just like she wants ( scary thought) then you have to be right on ….LOL

you crack me Andy are you trying to make him a nervewreck or worse puting him in a cofin before time ….. :-)))))

take care

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