My girlfriend keeps telling me I need a light fixture in my kitchen. What does that mean? – Gonick, Emerson, Manitoba

Dear Gonick,

It means your relationship candidacy is about to be re-evaluated according to the following advanced criteria: Do you fix shit?

And Gonick – judging by the way you wrote the question, I'm guessing the answer is “no.” Look, here's the deal, man: A light fixture is just a light. Just like a dimmer unit is just a dimmer. And a range hood is ... well, okay, that's a range hood, but you get what I'm saying. These words like “fixture” and “unit” and “assembly” are just nerd jargon for home improvement poindexters. It's pretension. When Bob Villa is standing there with his dungarees hiked up, wailing on some shit with a hammer – and he calls it a fixture – it's the same as when the mincing prick with the floppy hairdo calls himself a thespian. Dudes gotta grow up and get over themselves.

Fucked up part about it is that you're living in their world now – so if you wanna have a girlfriend in addition to that crappy dark kitchen of yours, you better start putting on some airs, pronto.

If it were me? I'd hand in the house keys and submit my boyfriend resignation. There's no chance, man. In fact, just working the keys off the ring is a project I'd need a pair of safety goggles and a couple of deep breaths for.

Thus, back to the mincing prick: Noah Levenson at a hardware store looks a little like Liberace at a Hooters. For me, a trip down the electrical aisle is the closest I've ever come to a “Don't Ask, Don't Tell” type of situation. They know what the fuck is going on here. I'm dropping my voice an octave, I'm trying not to make eye contact, then making too much eye contact ... it's uncomfortable. I don't belong here. I'm different. I'm out of my element. I'm saying stuff like 'preciate it and take it eez, but inside the head I'm thinking: Wowzers! Connect-o parts go snappity-snappity?

Make shower curtain go hangy-hangy? Do switcheroo-y up-and-down? I'm sub-inept. I don't know how anything works. I've never fixed anything.

I am the guy living life middle class with the top of the toilet propped against the wall. It's taking up a ton of space. I'm stepping over it to get in the shower. Gonick, this lid is never returning to cover the commode, do you understand me? That phase is over. I'd have thrown the thing out by now if it wouldn't compromise my security deposit. Here's my situation, in black and white: When it's time to flush, the hand is getting submerged. When water must be exchanged and whisked down the pipe, Noah Levenson is handling a cable, string or chain, 100% of the time.

Now, is this driving the women wild? Not, like, exactly. But what do they really want, you know? Whatever girls are looking for – and I mean, sure – it's probably not the guy who has to pick the toilet paper off the floor to wipe his ass – but I have a feeling they're not gonna find it until you get the lights working.



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