My father is quite possibly the dodgiest man alive. Dodgy that is when it comes to safety. How it is that he has made it as far as he has without significant injury to himself is a pure miracle.
The old attitude of “she’ll be right” extends far into my Dad’s vocabulary when it comes to personal safety. His version of safety equipment when welding is double plugger thongs, stubbies and a smile. He is completely oblivious to the cataract forming sparks burning into his retinas and flammable materials landing on his almost-bare feet.
You see Dad is of the old school variety. He believes in cutting corners because it might work out cheaper. He is a firm believer in improvisation. He grew up and educated himself in the necessary “man duties” of basic home maintenance and renovation. There were no Better Homes and Gardens tips or YouTube tutorials, and he probably thinks OH&S is right up there with YOLO, LOL and hashtags as some kind of teenage rebellion against grammar and punctuation.
Here is a man that won’t go to the trouble of hiring scaffolding to paint, but will back the ute up to the house, throw a milk crate or two on the ute tray, place a ladder on the milk crates and then an old plank of wood on top of that. He will then half hang off the plank with a paint brush in one hand and a beer in the other. Multitasking, some would call it, I would call it something else entirely but I’m not allowed to use those words in front of my father.
Such is his respect for personal safety suggestions, he does very occasionally adhere to some common sense. For instance I’m pretty sure he always wears a seat belt. I did see him wear a hat once.
But it’s not just the act of being ‘dodgy’ that Dad enjoys so much as telling us about his exploits. Nothing makes him prouder than relaying a story utter dodgyness and living to tell the tale. Like the time he lit a bonfire in the back yard and used the wrong fuel. The result being that every window in the house was broken andthe resulting explosion was heard five kilometres away.
In saying that, Happy Father’s Day Dad. Please don’t weld, paint or burn anything this Sunday.
Jody Allen is the Chief Editor of Stay at Home Mum www.stayathomemum.com.au