So I went to the hardware store today to buy a tiny little screw like the ones I needed to repair a set of window shade brackets. The brackets were originally fastened to the window frames with tiny little nails and the nails came loose over time, so I thought I’d fix them. I’m that kind of guy. I thought the screws would hold more securely than the nails and if I used screws I wouldn’t have to mess with the brackets again and the window shades would work better and I like to make improvements when I can.

I’m that kind of guy.

I wanted to find a little plastic packet of screws in the hardware store. You’ve seen them, a dozen or so of anything in a bag on display and there’d be a price and I’d pay for not too many screws like I wanted for not too much money and I’d go home and get the job done, but the store didn’t have any of those screws I wanted in a convenience pack. They had lots of what I didn’t want in all kinds of packages and I finally found the screws I did want in an aisle full of slide out trays that looked like a card catalogue from some old fashioned library.

Libraries don’t have card catalogues any more.

You have to look everything up on a computer.

What I wanted, I’ll explain, I wanted countersunk Phillips head wood screws less than one-half inch long, seven-sixteenth to be precise.

That’s what I wanted.

They cost fifty cents apiece.

That’s what the bar coded label said.

They cost fifty cents apiece.

My grandfather worked in the lumber camps of Northern Wisconsin for one dollar a day and fought men in Chicago for prize money, twenty dollars a bout, to put food on the table for his family when the money from working as a janitor ran out. I’ve seen the log cabin where my grandfather lived with his ten brothers and sisters. It had one door, one window and a chimney. It still stands.

A tiny little screw in a hardware store for fifty cents today means my grandfather would have worked all day to earn enough money to buy two of them, except they never had window shades in a log cabin with one window.

The window had no glass.

On my way to the back of the hardware store to find the screws I wanted I passed a display of new lawn mowers. They’re powered by lithium batteries if you want to mow the grass and save the planet. The lawn mowers start at seven hundred dollars and go up to one thousand dollars plus tax. That’s on special.

So if you want to know the truth and look into the future, if you’re looking for a reliable source of news and information and you don’t know who to trust or who to believe, go to the local hardware store and buy a tiny little screw.

I bought twelve.

It cost me six bucks.

Or buy the lawn mower and your ass is grass.