Monday, April 11, 2011

Thing 362 Make A Tyre Swing

Yep, there's nothing quite like making your niece and nephew grin like that. Well, very little, the feeling of swinging on a swing is also pretty cool. I'll tell you what's not cool: falling out of trees and dislocated thumbs. While none of the former happened, there was a distinct threat of the same. The latter on the other half is currently the case. The Canuck has to wear a weird modern day splint looking thing since he dislocated his thumb. He's the only person that I know who can dislocate almost every part of himself. Man is like a transformer or a Power Ranger Zoid thing. Wow, now there's a blast from the past. How did that pop into my head?

Sunday was supposed to be "Jump Out Of A Moving Car Thing". Sadly, there was a Pony Boy family reunion and it went all the way back to The Sluggery and rocked on till six in the morning, so that ruled out my driver for the next day. Mind you, I slept like a baby all the way through, I was beat up after the banter with the guns and the rugby. So this left me short of options. Back to the Leather Book. It has almost every idea I've ever had, or been given for a Project Thing. On page two... Make a Tyre Swing. Beano.

And it's so easy right? C'mon people, it's me we're talking about here, of course I made a complete hash of it... It wasn't easy at all.
First off, I though the bit of rope I'd bought for a previous Thing would do just fine, and the spare-spare tyre would do too. So I'd everything I needed except a tree. Wrong. The rope was crappy and unwound easily. The Canuck pointed out that this is fine for me and him, since we're bored of broken bones (him WAY more than me), but for the kids, a more safety appropriate rope would be required. Secondly, how the funk do you get the tyre off the wheel well? We tried everything, and by everything I of course mean: A screwdriver, a spade, a pair of clippers, a knife, part of an old shelf and the metal part of The Canuck's splint. We're like MacGyver except stupid, and one of us is Canadian.

So off to B&Q to get some rope. Which we couldn't find, and then of course, being us, we got bored and decided to have some fun. I asked the shop assistant with the straightest face I could pull, where was the rope, the shovels and the bags of lime... The Canuck shusshhed me very obviously. Then we both fake smiled. The dude looked nervous.

At Ci-Ci-Doo and Puc It Out's house, we picked the second least dangerous tree. Quickly realised that we couldn't climb it (Dad wouldn't let The Canuck, man that was hilarious). So we had to try something else. Here's what we came up with...
Yeah. That's a can of beans with our rope tied around it. MacGyver never used a tin of beans to make his contraptions did he? No. Us:1 MacGyver:0. We're winning. Or at least we would be if it had worked. It did not. So we moved on to the third least dangerous tree. I was nominated to climb on the grounds that we didn't want Dad to come out and ground The Canuck for two weeks without pocket money. I'm still laughing at that. I don't know why. If he told me not to I wouldn't either. So I shimmied my fat ass up the tree to the best of my ability, pulling large chunks down on top of me as I went. Got the rope into the tree climbed down... choked for a while and then sent The Canuck up to do it right...

The man is part monkey, even with a dislocated thumb. I coordinated, which is a fancy way of saying I didn't do much, but told others how it should be done. My only contribution was to think of ways of levering up the rope when it fell. I put all those honours in the leaving cert, four years of college and eighteen months of training for my current job to work and came up with this:

Tie the rope to a stick. Throw the stick.

Genius. After much labouring and messing, we finally had it. A rope swing. Too low for me or The Canuck to make use of it - after all the eldest of my sister and brother-in-law's kids is only seven (almost). But it hung, and we got the thumbs up from Spike and Looper up there in the top photo.
Job well done. Except for that photo. That's just embarrassing.

Out Nana's back garden there was a swing which was built buy one of her brothers for my Da and his sisters. All of us grandkids got the use out of it, in fact, we regularly fought over it, and we were reminded that it was built by hand.

I hope mine lasts. There's not a lot of Things that are going to stand the test of time, and I'd like to be able to call over to the gaff in seven years time when Grace is the same age as Ellen is now and say; yep, that was me. I did it. I hung that tyre swing.

God knows the "baking skills" I picked up during The Project aren't going to be the stuff of legend...

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