Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Getting screws at the German hardware store

After an incident that I want to name something snappy in the vein of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, I found myself in need of a new screw for a bathroom fixture. I think that the new name of the incident should be My Mom, the German Sink, and the Loose Screw that Went Gosh Knows Where When She Was Trying to Be Helpful. In other words, the screw from the drain stopper for my sink was lost so the drain turned into this open black hole of doom; I needed a replacement screw. The next book in the series might be called The Lost Toothpaste Cap That Did Go Down the Drain and Countless Other Things That Almost Went Down the Drain While I Had a Heart Attack While Trying to Fish Them Out.

Since I felt that this series already had a much longer run than it should have, I finally got off my lazy tukus and stopped by Hornbach, a very Home Depot-like place*, which even has an orange logo. C came along with me (mostly because she had no choice as I was driving). We made a game plan to speak German and I tried to quickly learn the German word for screw (you know, in the hardware sense; I had already learned the other word after laughing at some graffiti where I thought the "artist" had misspelled the English cognate).

I asked, in German, for the "the lost thing for this thing," holding up the other parts of the drain stopper. (I have finally realized that visual props greatly help understanding of my ridiculous spoken German.) The store clerk actually took us to the screws department to help us (I was a bit shocked at this level of service; at many businesses  one would just receive half-hearted or incorrect instructions of where to look in general). He started speaking to us in English, then stopped, giving us a grin and saying in German, "oh, I'm supposed to be speaking in German."

We finally found a suitable screw and he walked us to the end of the aisle where he stuck it in a plastic bag, entered the SKU from its bin, weighed it, and printed a label for it. I was very happy that he helped us because I probably wouldn't have thought to do the last steps and probably would have been sent back in shame by the cashier to do it the right way.

After our adventure, I reassembled the drain plug to realize that the screw is slightly too long and the plug sticks up a bit too much in the drain.

Screw that. I'm not going back and it'll just have to do.

*minus the gun owners carrying their weapons around the store just 'cuz they can, as they do in the US

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