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There I was, resplendent in my handyman outfit of jeans, t-shirt, and a “Carhartt” ball cap, carrying what looked suspiciously like a “part”. I had this piece of metal from the water heater of my house, which was broken (the water heater, not my house.) I had no idea what it was. It could have been a “transistor”, a “relay”, or even a “volt”. But at least I looked like a handyman.

Other men were in the hardware store and each of them looked like a handyman too. They were all holding mysterious gadgets and whatnots with puzzled expressions under their ball cap visors. I could see, in the far corner under a “Lawn and Garden” sign, three store attendants whispering and looking in our collective directions. I swear I saw one of them passing money to the others.

We handyman look-alikes would occasionally cross paths in the aisles. Sometimes we’d exchange parts in the off chance of better luck in the treasure hunt.

I have a neighbor that actually knows this stuff. He’s always outside working on something. It might be his classic 1956 Chevy sedan, or lawn mowers, or the occasional space shuttle. He built a water heater with only soda cans and paper clips. But he doesn’t look like a handyman. When I see him fidgeting with things he’s generally in shorts and sneakers. His name is Bob and I believe that’s the secret.

A true handyman will have a name like Bob, John, or Bruce. On the other hand people named “Darren” can’t tell a “hammer’ from a “duct tape.” You can find them by searching handyman near me in Google.

So he doesn’t have to look like a handyman because his parents had the foresight to give him a handyman name.

My wife has a hard time understanding this. The home she grew up in was equipped with a father who not only looked like a handyman, but is one bona fide. He built utility shelves for me out of old doors. I swear I’m not making that up. Those shelves are in our utility room now, stacked chock full of tools; tools that I couldn’t name even if my 401k depended on it.

And his name is Ed. See what I mean?