My wife would probably admit that she is a bit of a health and safety nut whilst I…well let’s just say I attend casualty a lot more than she does. One of her big “things” is insisting on screwing all wardrobes and cupboards to walls to stop them tipping over whilst one of my big “things” is agreeing to do it later but never actually getting round to it.
So when we bought ourselves a 9-foot high kitchen unit with full height pull out drawers on either side; cupboards bottom and top and a big space in the middle for the oven to snugly sit it didn’t take long for the words “tie it to the wall” to ring through the air.
I had just spent hours building this flat-pack behemoth; wrestling the oven into place and now had the final task of filling the multiple shelves in the pull out drawers with food – so this additional task was not high on my things to do list. In fact, I think I actually scoffed as I highlighted that a ridiculously large kitchen unit with an equally heavy oven sitting smack in the middle was hardly likely to be toppled over by a few tins of beans, pasta and other similar items.
I think you can probably see where this is going but let me describe what happened next.
With both the pull-out shelves full to the brim I proudly called my health and safety officer in from the living room to show just how much I’d managed to get into the shelves. Dramatically pulling forward the drawer on the right I proudly explained how I’d grouped the pasta, cereals, beans, jars and tins on this side. With equal flourish I slid forward the drawer on the left to show how I’d filled this side with ketchup and…well that was pretty much as far as I got on that side as the weight of both heaving drawers saw the whole unit topple on top of me like a felled oak.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man and this was the moment where I definitely erm…cometh (OK, that just sounds plain wrong) but what did happen was that I suddenly found super-human strength. Bracing myself like Atlas holding the world on his shoulders I managed to stop the toppling kitchen unit before it completely reached the point of no return. All I had to do now was to produce one last burst of effort to push it back in place…easy!
At this point however the snugly fit oven decided that it too should try to make a break for freedom and started slowly sliding out of its hole towards me, adding significantly to the weight I was bearing stoically and to the urgency to get this damn thing back up straight again.
And so, I pushed….hard and fast…and the cupboard door above the oven opened and smashed into my face…hard and fast…followed by a cascade of dishwasher tablets, washing liquids and other bottles I had stored up there.
Enough! With the cupboard door against my face and the oven held back by a knee I gave one last almighty effort and slowly pushed everything vertical and into position again. I sheepishly closed the 2 pull out cupboards I’d been so proud of only 30 seconds before, took a deep breath and silently counted “one, two, thr…”
“I did say you should tie it to the wall”
Next: Mind the Gap