In need of a Handyman 101 course

I’m proposing a new class for Marshalltown Community College, and I would be first in line to take it.

After five years of being a homeowner, I’m still a house-husband-in-training. I’m in desperate need of a Handyman 101 course to help me keep up to speed with all the fixing and updating that needs to go on in a home. This course could teach the basics of getting work done around the house, like how to change the oil in a lawnmower, how to make minor car repairs and keep up with all the weeds in the lawn.

I know it’s pretty emasculating to admit, but I need to learn how to do several tasks that may seem simple to others.

I know fathers are supposed to pass down this type of knowledge, and I think my dad tried. I was too busy playing sports or video games to listen to him I guess. My brothers are far more handy than I am, but they’ve also had their homes longer, so maybe it’s something that will eventually click with me.

Throw in the fact that much of my early adult life was spent living in apartments, and you can see I’m out of practice.

Yep, in apartments you have a landlord to fix things and take care of the lawn, so that responsibility was not in my realm.

So you can see I was in for a wake-up call when I became a homeowner.

It’s gotten to the point when I actually do fix something around the house it nearly floors my wife. I’d like to get to that point where she feels I can do any of the jobs and is not surprised when I get them done.

Besides, with my over-the-top propensity to be a cheapskate, I sure don’t want to have to pay someone to do minor fixing jobs around the house.

My saving grace could be our 1-year-old. He has already taken a huge interest in toy cars, so hopefully he can be the mechanically-inclined person in our household. Now I just have to wait about 15 years so he can take over all these jobs.

Just kidding, I don’t think the house can wait that long. It looks like I’ll have to step up and start on-the-job training for myself.

I still think we can get some manly man to teach a class on this at MCC. I’m not sure if Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor is available, but someone in that vain.

Then again, the college has enough people from the public trying to tell it what to do lately, so maybe I’ll hold off on a big push for a few weeks.

Reporter Andrew Potter is a Tuesday columnist for the Times-Republican. The views expressed in this column are personal views of the writer and don’t necessarily reflect the views of the T-R. Contact Andrew Potter at 641-753-6611 or