I Need a Hero

Image of a silhouetted Greatest Handyman Ever, looking out over a troubled city at dawn or dusk.

Hurray for Handyman!

Look! Up on the ladder! Patching a hole in the ceiling! It’s a professional carpenter! It’s an experienced mason! No! It’s…it’s…Handyman! (Hurray!)

Bitten by a mutant carpenter ant while walking barefoot along the banks of the Chattahoochee, mild-mannered shop class drop-out Tom Bell acquired superhuman renovation powers, enabling him to join copper plumbing with his bare hands and fiery glare, to smooth wood surfaces with a handful of sand and his super-palms, to spit drywall screws from his mouth like bullets. Yes, Handyman is The Greatest Handyman Ever! (Hurray!)

When Handyman first discovered his superpowers, he used them only for his own selfish good: renovating his entire house to match the seasons and holidays, building additions until the neighbors complained for lack of sunlight, and assembling pre-fab homes in his spare time for cash. His house was a castle, but his heart felt like an empty and dilapidated shotgun shack. (Awww!)

Then, late one lonely night, as Handyman walked the quiet aisles of a cavernous home store, he overheard a gravely voice offering advice to an unsuspecting customer in a nearby aisle. It sounded as though he was telling the customer to… No! It couldn’t be! Handyman grabbed a nearby funnel and stuck the small end in his ear. He listened again. Oh foul-fated fiendish foe of all fair friends of finishes! He was suggesting mineral spirits to thin latex paint! (Gasp!)

Handyman ducked behind a band saw and opened his backpack. He took out and put on his super safety goggles, his dual-cartridge breathing mask, and his shop apron embroidered with a giant ‘H.’ About the apron he buckled his super tool belt, which held his laser level, his boar-bristle combat brushes, and an assortment of carbide circular saw blades that he used, at need, like Ninja throwing stars. Handyman returned his backpack to his shoulders and ran down the aisle, a large display of stud finders beeping and flashing as he passed.

Sliding around the corner on his titanium toed boots, Handyman dashed down the aisle toward the imperiled customer. “Ont ooze menooral piruts doo din wadex!” he shouted. The customer, a young, naïve homeowner taking notes on a legal pad, turned at the sound of Handyman’s heroic call. Overwhelmed, no doubt, by our hero’s imposing appearance, he stood slack-jawed and silent while Handyman ran up to him. Returning to his senses, the customer replied: “What?”

Handyman pulled down his mask. “Don’t use mineral spirits to thin latex!” he said. “Use water!”

“But the salesperson told me to use mineral spirits,” he said. “Didn’t you?” He turned, and then they both saw that the “salesperson” was no longer there. Only his trademarked apron remained, lying crumpled on the dusty concrete floor.

“That was no salesperson,” Handyman replied.

“Then who was he?”

“I don’t know,” said Handyman, “but I will find him and put an end to his vile variable-speed villainy.” Handyman’s heart was pounding valiantly. (“I better do more cardio,” he thought.) His safety goggles steamed up, obscuring the gallant glitter in his eyes.

“Who are you?” whispered the customer.

“I am Handyman!” And with that, Handyman pulled on his mask and ran off down the aisle in search of his nemesis. (Go Handyman! Go!)

From that day forward, Handyman dedicated his superpowers to fighting the forces of home improvement evil. He has primed Putrid Paint Punk, jilted the jinxes of the Gypsum Board Jerk, warred against the wiles of Wood Warp Woman, caulked the cracks of the Daft Draft Dude, and sanitized the sins of Stinky, the Damp Basement Kid.

Ah, but it is the many-faced malicious mischief of his first and most elusive adversary that daunts Handyman most. Yes, Bad Advice Guy — corrupt counselor and master of disguise — still walks the sidewalks and store aisles of our fair city, dispensing hateful horrid hints to unsuspecting homeowners. (Boo!)

Fear not, dear citizens, for Handyman will protect us. When foundations settle, Handyman will raise them. When water heaters leak, Handyman will plug them. When telemarketers call wanting to cover your brick home with pink-tinted vinyl siding, well, Handyman can’t do anything about them. But from all other home improvement and repair woes, we shall be safe, as long as Handyman is around! (Hurray!)


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