DCC News


Weekly e-newsletter for members and friends of the Dublin Community Church


July 11, 2008


Without a Hitch

One of the things that I enjoy about vacation spots are the unique shops and stores that are always located nearby. You have to be quite an entrepreneur to keep your business going in a place where there are snowbirds or reverse-snowbirds (as is the case in Michigan or Montana for example). One of my favorite places up where we vacation is a particular grocery-hardware store. You can by a pound of Starbucks whole-bean coffee and a high powered rifle. I have yet to enter a Starbucks in the Dublin area that sells guns and ammo. (I realize that at this point that both NRA members and Starbucks aficionados are scrutinizing this essay to see if I am making fun of them. I am not. I am just the messenger here; don’t email me with complaints though I will admit I am a bit uneasy about overly-caffeinated gun-buyers. There should at least be a 24 hour decaf waiting period before buying a deer rifle. Gun buyers and coffee buyers have Constitutional rights and I support them.) The place is fascinating though and one could wander the aisles for an hour or so and not get bored.

A few years ago I became acquainted with a very similar place in my hometown. It is one of those hometown hardware stores that carries a bit of everything but only the owner of the place can locate it. At the time, I had purchased a 19-foot boat with a 100 horse Evinrude engine. By the time I had bought it, it could have been considered a “classic” which is a euphemism for “old.” I had to get the boat from my hometown to the vacation cottage some 450 miles away and that required a vehicle to tow the boat and motor. A friend offered their old van and on it was a trailer hitch. This was all quite good except for the size of the ball on the hitch on the van…it was the wrong size and required something larger. This required some matching of the boat trailer hitch-size and the van hitch-size. It all left me in a fog as I am not Mr. Fix-It. I am not necessarily afraid to tackle a home or auto repair, I can usually work out something or I know how to use the Yellow Pages.


But, this trailer hitch thing introduced me to a whole ‘nother world. This other world was buried deep within the bowels of the hardware store of my hometown. This is the “shop” part of the hardware store, which is where the guys hang or hide out (and I realize that by saying that there is a specific place in a hardware store that is reserved strictly for guys will get me hung in effigy in certain parts of Berkeley, yet, I stand by my story.) This is back in the “nuts and bolts” section of the hardware store where you can get real hardware and specific tools and advice. Real advice. Good advice too.

So, I needed a certain type and size of trailer hitch socket joint and it required some adjustments and even more it required that I had to know my stuff before I put forth my request to the man behind the counter. I knew full well that a couple other guys would be there too and I would be on the spot…sort of like “Meet the Press” where the candidate needs to know his/her stuff so as to answer ANY question and not look like a complete idiot. Sort of like taking the Bar Exam. Sort of like taking my Ordination Exam. I brushed up on my metrics, learned the size of the hitches and what would and would not work and how to thrust and parry any remark concerning the “towing specifications” of my Arkansas Traveler boat and the capacity of the van for towing.

To make a long story short. I survived and passed the crucial “what sort of trailer hitch do I need” question at the hardware store. Not only that, I found myself regaling the guys with my stories of rewiring the tail-lights and gerry-rigging the ducalator. I got good advice from some very knowledgeable men when it comes to mechanics and problem solving. And for a few minutes there in the hardware store, without my title of “The Reverend” I was just one of the guys.

Rev. Bob (Just one of the guys) Tussing