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Show Us Your Favorite Tool

Illustration for article titled Show Us Your Favorite Tool
Photo: Me. John Murphy

Just a flathead screwdriver with a wooden handle. It makes me smile every time I use it. If you look at the collar just below the end of the blade shaft there’s a melty spot. The tip used to have one as well, but I ground it flat again.

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Kids learn things the hard way. With my dad out of town on business and a summer thunderstorm somehow knocking out our house power, I went to the main fuse box on the back of the house. I didn’t know anything about electricity, but knew that occasionally the big cartridge fuses in this box would blow when lightning hit down the line. There had been plenty of that this particular afternoon. So with this screwdriver in my hand, and the box was about chin level, I unsuccessfully tried to pried the fuse out. No joy. So I gave it a little more push and touched the side of the box….An explosion of sparks. Me flying backward into the wet grass. I all happened so fast I didn’t even have time to be scared, just bounce up and have that sinking feeling that one gets when you know that could have been it. When my mother asked about me through the patio door she got a squeaky “I’m fine.” When I picked up this driver from the flower bed it was still smoking. When the Oppotorium opens in 2030, perhaps we can put this in the Auto Darwinism Hall of Fame.

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