Today I was riveting the heck out of the seats for these folding campaign stools I’m building. And after the 25th rivet, I realized something bad was going to happen. I was going to run out of “burrs.”
Burrs are the copper washers that get compressed against the leather and hold the rivet tight. You need one burr for every rivet. And I was five burrs short of finishing the seat.
This is generally not my way. I always buy too much hardware – I have boxes full of knobs, screws and doovlackys galore. But today I was five burrs short.
So I abandoned the project until I could buy some more copper rivets and burrs. I made dinner. My mind wandered.
Growing up in Arkansas, our garage was home to three things: my dad’s workshop, kids’ toys and my father’s private collection of canned tuna fish, Tostitos and toilet paper.
We belonged to one of those early warehouse-style food store where you buy food stacked on pallets and box it yourself. My dad, keen on the idea, bought boxes and boxes of tuna, Tostitos and TP. I often wondered if he tried to keep the tuna in balance with the TP. As in: Do I have enough TP to accommodate this amount of tuna?
But our family’s humor has always leaned toward the scatalogical.
When my friends saw the stack of tuna, TP and Tositios, they’d mock me and ask to see the fallout shelter and so forth. I just shrugged my shoulders. I’ve always liked Tostitos and a clean bum.
Somehow today this image (of the Tostitos, not the clean bum) wandered through my head, and I scolded myself for not buying more burrs the last time I was buying buckles.
But wait, I thought. I did buy some more burrs. They were with the buckles. In the bag with the buckles.
I rushed to the shop. Sure enough, the bag was full of buckles and burrs.
Ha! Time for a tuna fish sandwich.
— Christopher Schwarz