My Keyhole Slot / 16 April 2001

In the hardware dep’t of Sears, or I should say Sears Tool Territory: Where Tools Rule, which is what the sign says, and which reminds me of’s well-titled foray into print, Tools for Life. This is the second time I’ve been here this month, coincidentally the second time I’ve been here ever in my life. It’s like when I go to the Guitar Center and try to strum quietly on a Flying V — it must be obvious to everyone that I’m an amateur.

“I gotta keyhole slot, see—”

“This load-bearing? Studs in there someplace?”

“That’s the whole thing, I’m sort of blindly punching a hole.”

“Sale today on this hand-drill, s’what you need.”

Tip For Young Filmmakers: Go to the electronics dep’t of Sears and buy a minicassette recorder, then head on over to Tool Territory and let it run for half an hour. Transcribe at leisure, and smile fondly as you think of me and my idea for the Instant Gay Porn Screenplay and just how imaginary the boundaries are that separate us.

   MY MOTHER [a few weeks back]: Is the dump open on Saturdays?
   MY STEPFATHER: Of course, that’s when guys go to the dump.

Will I be a Homeowner someday? Will that turn me into a Dump Guy, a Tool Territorialist? Saturday afternoons, classic rock on the radio rumbling the living room floor above me, shirtless in the basement, sinuses filling with sweet, fibrous powder as I put my Powermatic Special Edition 66 Table Saw through its paces — the cast-iron wing extension, the double drive-belt system, the C-flange mount, the anti-kickback pawls. Sunday mornings, a thin mist hanging in the pines, planting signs along the turnpike, one per mile: “Looking for a chum / To spruce up your home? / Then call Three-Fingered Josh / And get a garden gnome.”

This place was built for nutjob woodworkers selling their wares on the side of the road. My stand will be near the Maine Medical Center and my watery eyes will gaze longingly at each passing car, waiting, almost immobile, hoping against hope: She’s on her deathbed, she won’t know it’s some crappy lawn jockey and anyway we gotta get her something, followed by the squeal of brakes, a piercing whine that makes my soul sing.

Previously / Beaster
Next / A Menace To Liberty

Joshua Green Allen

Fireland is a rickety old website by Joshua Allen.

A novel called Chokeville and a beverage-review site called The Knowledge For Thirst.

A great deal of typing is collected in the Archive.

Articles and whatnot for other sites, including The Morning News, Wired, and McSweeney's, can be found in External.

I've been involved in a number of Epiphany Sink pictures.

I record music under the name Orifex.

The RSS feed is here.

Join the notify list for extremely infrequent updates via email.

The Sexiest Sentence Alive, Fireland Broke My Will To Live, The Black Pill Diaries, and a sampling of Old Fireland Designs.

I can be contacted at .


♦ ♦ ♦