Trunky Monkey My Life 30 APR 2008

Elephant TrunkLast Thursday it was our scheduled load-shedding downtime, so in a bid to be more proactive than just laze about reading manga for those two hours of nothingness, I got into my old Jetta Jameson and headed off to Somerset Mall for a little retail therapy (my Internet connection had been dropping all morning and I was ready to knock somebody’s head off to be honest!)

After a little bit of fruitless browsing, I happened to cross the path of Benbel, a particularly large hardware and garden centre store. Feeling a rush of inspiration, I stepped inside, grabbed a trolley and started browsing. Ah, the tools of manhood. After a good while of aimlessly moving from shelf to shelf, I eventually abandoned my trolley paid for my goods and stepped out into the sunshine, eagerly clutching 8 meters of trunking, a large tube of No More Nails contact adhesive, a bag of indoor potting soil and a jar of white acrylic paint.

One side trip to McDonalds for lunch later and I was back home and ready to get down and reclaim my manhood. First up was repotting a pot plant, removing the unwilling potato plant from its thin plastic shop pot that it has been living in for the last two or so years and forcing into a new fancy black-painted pot that Chantelle seems to fancy. Now I’m not much of a gardener and that plant doesn’t really fit into its new home, but I can only hope that it somehow makes it. It hasn’t fallen out yet, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed just in case.

Next up was a quick dab of paint to cover up the wood filling I had done earlier in the month, trying to beautify our custom built ‘fish stand’ just a little more. A dab changed into a swish, and pretty soon I had managed to get paint everywhere – including the three spots I was originally aiming for! :)

Finally, it was time for the big job: putting up the trunking that would at last lift those annoying back speaker cables over our heads and place them out of sight and out of tripping danger. Well sort of anyway. We have a giant archway leading to the outdoor sliding doors, meaning I have the perfect spot to run the cables without making it look too tacky and at the same time prove to myself that DIY is not all that difficult.

Of course, the lack of a ladder makes things a little tricky when you are working overhead, and my distinct lack of vertical height does not make things any easier, meaning that my two office chairs were forced into overtime, creaking under every step that I took on top of them. Working with 2 meters of anything at a time is asking for trouble, because your arm span is never enough to totally cover the length of the material, meaning that one side will always wobble precariously while you work on the other. And if your material is full of glue, well you can just imagine the sticky situation you are going to get yourself it!

As it was, my bonding agent of choice was a strong contact adhesive, Alcolin’s No Nails solution, which I happily applied in great swaths to all my trunking and wall corners, in the hope that the damn stuff will actually stick. It turns out that the no more nails formula is not all that greatly suited to bonding with hard plastic and in the end I had to provide quite a lot of curing time and pressure to get the stuff to at least stick to the wall. Thank goodness it doesn’t exactly have to carry all that much of a load, meaning I can safely leave the drill in cupboard where it belongs and hope that it sticks as is.

Honestly, my edging that I had to cut into the trunking can’t be any rougher or unaligned, but given the fact that all I had to work with was a slightly blunt kitchen knife then I am pretty impressed with a job well done. That aside, the actual end product doesn’t look too shabby at all, and after quite a bit of effort to get my cables through and the trunking sealed up again, the place looks a 100 times better without all the cables lying loose around the floor. All that is left now is to lighten the dark red paint above the trunking to ease the illusion of the trunking being a little too far away from the ceiling, and once that is done I am SO going to say a job EXCELLENTLY done.

But for now, I am just going to step back, admire my work, pat myself on the back and say, “Job WELL done you old trunky monkey you!”

About Craig Lotter

South African software architect and developer at Touchwork. Husband to a cupcake baker and father to two little girls. I don't have time for myself any more.