Miss DIY


So, we live in a funny quaint neighborhood where neighbors are always putting out stuff with a sign saying “$5 or Nearest Offer” or “Free” and then you lug home the one ski or a fax machine from 1974, and when you have amassed all the crap at your house you wonder whether it was really a fondness for recycling and philanthropy that made your neighbor give away 600 issues of Knitting Monthly or Scrapbooking for Wierdos or whether she was merely a sadist?

Well, the other day my husband and I were driving home at night when we came across a huge fish tank out on someone’s lawn, glowing neon green, with goggle eyed goldfish swimming against a backdrop of psychedelic coral.

“Whoa,” I thought. “I must be tripping.” But I couldn’t have been because I hadn’t taken any LSD (as far as I know). So this was real. As soon as I saw that fish tank I thought, I’ve got to have it. There had recently been some long discussions about what hairless and odorless pets the kids could have and now my prayers had been answered in the form of free fish. To my husband I said, “Do you think it’ll fit in the back of the car?” (It was a 46 gallon fish tank).


“Stop the car and help me get it into the trunk.”

“But it’s full of water and we’ll never be able to lift it.”

“Kill joy.”

In any case, when we drove up to it, I saw a sign in the gloom which said ‘$160.’

No such thing as a free fish, apparently. So the next day we went round there. There was a red van parked outside with a logo on it that said Miss DIY. As a crazed ruddy faced woman with a head full of wire wool came out of the house, I said to my husband, “Do you think she teaches women how to masturbate?”

He said: “Why don’t you ask her?”

Me: “Hello Miss DIY. We’re interested in your fishtank.”

Miss DIY, wearing a ratty grey t-shirt with sweat stains under the armpits and smoking a cigarette replies, “Well that’s great. But, you won’t believe what happened at two am last night. I looked out the window and saw these two black fellas just lifting up the fish tank and trying to put it into the back of their van. I hollered out at them: Excuse me sweetheart but that tank ain’t free!”

Me: “Some people!”

She rambled on for half an hour, at which point I wondered if she actually wanted to sell the fishtank or whether putting it out on the lawn had just been a ruse to make friends outside of the DIY communitee.

Me: “Look, we’re in a bit of a hurry, can you deliver it to our house tomorrow morning at nine?”

Miss DIY: “No problem. Absolutely. The kids will love it!”

The following day, Miss DIY did not arrive at nine. I wouldn’t have cared, only my husband’s relatives are staying with us and we wanted to drive down to Ocean City and everyone was itching to be off. So at half past nine my husband drove around to Miss DIY’s house and the tank was still on the front lawn. So he knocked on the door, woke her up, loaded the stuff into her van and then she set up the tank in our house. As soon as she arrived she started apologizing about how she was sorry she hadn’t arrived at nine but she had not slept well last night etc etc. Again she would not stop talking. She said she could build us a shelf onto which we could put the water pump etc etc but I think that was going to cost extra so I declined the offer. My daughter Sausage said: “Why is your face red and why are you sweating?” to which she replied “Because I am fat and I smoke and I sweat a lot.”

When she eventually cleared off I thought: there but for the grace of God go I. A friend once said to me before I was married, “You’re too fussy about men. I have a feeling that you’ll end up living with your mother when you’re middle aged.”

I cried for three days.

After I stopped crying, I started to give some serious thought to the idea of getting married, as well as the more practical aspect of marriage i.e. finding a man willing to get hitched.

I don’t think people should necessarily get married, but let’s face it, have you ever met a fifty year old unmarried woman who wasn’t a raving fruitbat? The problem is, okay, so Miss DIY could probably build a kitchen cabinet standing on her head or unplug the toilet with one of those drain snakes, but she was as nutty as squirrel shit. And finally I came to the conclusion that marriage and kids save you from going mad simply because you can only stoke your own raving insecurities and bizarre hobbies for about five per cent of the time. Do you agree?

I REALLY NEED YOU TO VOTE FOR ME IN THE CATEGORY OF HOTTEST MOMMY BLOGGER HERE (kisses, hugs, virtual donuts for all who vote):