The Joy of Pegboard

What is it about human beings that we get so excited over everyday, who-gives-a-toot stuff? And it divides right down the middle for men and women.

“There’s nothing more exciting to a little girl than a comb and a brush,” my wife said as my daughter ran about the house the other night with both those objects. She looked like a deranged caveman with that big round brush hoisted high above her head like a club. As it swung wildly, the dog high-tailed it for Mexico.

For me, the heavens opened up and sang a chorus of “Hallelujah” when I brought home pegboard for my shed the other day. Yes, I will repeat that: like a doo-wop quartet of angels sang to me while I brought home pegboard.

We all get our simple pleasures from the most mundane things.

I can’t explain to you why pegboard got me in a tizzy. You do know what pegboard is, don’t you? It’s a big, thin sheet of pressed cardboard that you screw to the wall of a shed or workspace. It’s covered in holes, which lets you stick all manner of metal holders, hooks and “pegged” containers upon it so you can hang your tools in plain view and marvel at how rusty and crappy they look. Think of it as a vertical tetanus delivery system.

For some reason, it’s always been my dream to have a shed lined with pegboard. Maybe I thought it was a sign that I finally made it in the world, or arrived at the point where I’m a proper man with proper tools and a proper shop. Or maybe it’s that I’ve just grown tired of going in there, stepping on some tool lying on the ground that then reaches up like a snake and snaps me on the shin.

All that really matters is I’ve wanted it, but the walls of my shed have never been empty enough (or even straight enough) to accept it. Since a weed-out and rebuilding a year ago, pegboard has visited me many-a-time in my dreams.

Mind you, I’m not a gearhead or shop monkey someone like my brother who lives in there rebuilding motorcycles or working on little carvings of mallard ducks. The truth is I’m someone who craves absolute organization, but is too lazy to have anything to do with it. There’s actually a term for it OCLA — obsessive compulsive lazy ass. No medication available yet.

I saw pegboard as being the answer to my conundrum — my desire for a neat and tidy shed battling my total disinterest in ever making it neat or tidy. And since I can’t afford a shed maid, pegboard would have to be the next best thing.

I’ve already installed it, and it is beautiful. Even my wife was impressed. I called her outside to look at it, first apologizing that I was the kind of man that got excited about such things.

She said, “wow,” with a little emphasis on the last “w” and I think she really meant it. (I think she even gave me a saucy look.)

See, I didn’t just buy that plain-jane brown pegboard. No way. Mine is silver — like a spaceship. A sleek, shiny pegboard spaceship. And I’ve loaded it up with all manner of hooks to the point that it appears to be some giant, stretched-out futuristic porcupine. In fact, there are so many hooks that there’s almost no room for tools.

But I’ve managed. I’ve put everything up there, from screwdrivers I never could find buried deep in the toolbox to the lawnmower. It’s a thing of beauty and I’m finally proud of my shed.

Now we’ll just see how long the organization lasts. I think it will, but it could get tedious putting all those tools in their assigned spots. So I have an idea already for what’s next — Velcroboard. Oh, the thought of walking in and tossing a tool onto the wall where it sticks! Now that’s the dream of a truly obsessive compulsive lazy ass.

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