When you choose the thrifty route and undertake a DIY project instead of hiring a licensed professional, it's a good idea to start off by asking yourself the following questions:
Do I have the necessary skills and tools?
Am I a friendless pariah?
A lot of projects require at least a two-man team. Even if you do know a few people who will answer your phone calls when the promise of pizza and beer for labor is seductively dangled, stubborn self-reliance and smug know-it-allness often get in the way of actually asking for help.
But it's important to remember that your ego does not transcend physics, and the physics involved with any project more taxing than ordering a pizza from the comfort of your couch is rife with rib-tickling/fracturing consequences.
And still, don't overestimate your greasy, breaded safety.
None of those people will likely ever be the same. But at least the ones who chose not to work alone gave someone a good chuckle as their ability to ever again feed themselves or use the bathroom without help slipped away.
Having a buddy around also decreases the likelihood that you will be mauled and/or eaten by any number of animals, which, as we will explain, is a clear and present danger when embarking on most tasks.
Let's just call that buddy "Dave." Give Dave a call before you start doing any of the following.
#5. Assembling Large Pieces of Furniture
You're ready to get busy on your IKEA Glieben Glauchen Globen bed. You even went with the one that has drawers built into the bottom because it's an economical use of space. Plus it's a quick and easy place to stash the cereal-crusted bowls littering your bedroom floor when unexpected company arrives. But damn that thing comes with an absurd number of pieces, and the instructions are just weird drawings upon which the languageless Swedes must rely.
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Eh, you've seen a lot of desks. Just wing it.
Until man has learned the mystery of Swede drawings and evolved a bonus appendage so that pieces A and B can be held together while dowel #101360 is banged into place, putting these together by one's lonesome is a comical farce. One in which the punchlines are nothing but blood blisters and tears.
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In the silent war of tools, the Allen wrench emerged supreme.
And this is exactly why you have Dave come over. Dave can hold the pieces together and you can yell at him when there are only two of part #101360 left when there should be eight of them, even though it's probably your fault because you used the wrong ones for the frame. Also, Dave will be good bait when the Swedish spider nest inside the box is disturbed.
#4. Installing Things on the Ceiling
Occasions arise when you must reluctantly turn your eyes ceiling-ward, beyond the cobwebs and inexplicable condiment stains, and embark upon a project that will require raising your arms above your head, which will make them really tired: ketchup-rotten ceiling drywall replacement, or duct work, or exotic sex mirror installation. These types of things.
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Something has to provide the illusion of reasonable temperatures.
Ceiling-based projects attempted alone are also multi-injury opportunities. Throwing your hands in the air like you just don't care gets a little dicey when juggling a light fixture and a power drill while standing on a ladder. In this case, Dave will be particularly useful if he is from Wisconsin. Make him slap one of those foam cheese wedges on his head so that you can utilize his hands while his head comfortably supports the weight of whatever you've haphazardly secured up there while you take a refreshing sip from an adult beverage.
As the Internet has taught us, ceilings often contain pesky cats who like to keep an eye on and interfere with your activities. Dave should arrive pockets stuffed with rattle mousies and catnip to keep Ceiling Cat distracted.
"Pardon the interruption, but may I 'haz' a nail gun?"
#3. Bathing a Sizable Animal
Chances are you are not a professional animal groomer. If you are, congratulations! You chose a fairly recession-proof occupation! As for the rest of you, don't kid yourselves into thinking you can give your cat or gigantic dog a bath without help like the pros.
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Maybe someday these freeloading monsters will learn to bathe themselves.
Groomers have all sorts of professional bondage gear like harnesses and steel tubs left over from America's shuttered mental institutions that allow them to scrub the ancient, matted feces out of your hulking Marmaduke's fur while remaining dry and feces-free.
Trying to pull this off solo not only will leave a sopping mess, but will possibly cause you to drink too much beer in a bout of frustration. After you inevitably nod off, your soapy animal may think you have died and decide to consume your face in a hungry panic. Or if it's a cat, out of sheer spite.
"Faith proves nothing. Hope prolongs the torment of man." -Cats
For this one, tell Dave to bring an extra pair of sweatpants and anti-bacterial ointment. He should be in charge of holding the animal while you give it a washing. Your pet's rage will be laser focused on Dave the Oppressor, which is fine so long as he doesn't have to deal with your pet on a regular basis.
Owners of the smaller variety alterna-pets are free to undertake the bath routine without backup. But if you find yourself spending Saturday nights alone in your apartment washing a hamster or guinea pig in the kitchen sink, you have larger problems than Dave could have ever helped you with.