Knee-Mail: The Wrench
From: Kent Hovind
Sent: December 4, 2009
Published: May 17, 2011
To: The Young Man
Subject: A Lesson for Kent at Age Sixteen
Young man (YM): Hey, Dad! Can you take me to Sears real quick to get two 3/8 universal joints, please.
Dad: We’ve got a 3/8 and a 1/2″ universal, Son. Can’t you find them?
YM: Yes, but I need two more.
Dad: Two more? What are you working on, Son?
YM: I’m trying to replace the intake manifold gasket on my Toyota and there is one nut under the carb that I can’t get off.
Dad: Let’s go look at it, Son.
YM: Here, Dad, you hold the mirror and you can see the problem. It’s this 12mm nut up under here.
Dad: I see it.
YM: Well, I can get a wrench on it, but can’t turn it because it hits this bracket. I would have to nearly pull the motor to get the bracket off, so that’s out. I can get a socket on it, but not a ratchet. If I use three universals and three short extensions, I could get it off, but we only have one 3/8 drive universal. S-o-o-o-o-o, that’s why I need to go to Sears and get two more.
Dad: No, Son. You are too close to the problem to see the solution. What do you need?
YM: I’ve been trying for thirty minutes, Dad. This job can’t be done with the tools we have. I need to go to Sears.
Dad: No, Son. Sometimes we get so focused on our immediate solution that we miss the big picture. Let’s keep it real simple. You need to get the nut off.
YM: Yep. I need to get the nut off. What would you do?
Dad: I’d cut the wrench.
YM: . . . . . . . . cut the wrench?!!
Dad: Sure! If you cut the wrench in half, it would swing without hitting that bracket, wouldn’t it?
YM: Yeah, but it would ruin the wrench.
Dad: How much is a new wrench?
YM: About $2.50.
Dad: How much are universals?
YM: About $3 each.
Dad: What will it cost in time and gas to drive to Sears?
YM: I see your point.
Dad: It’s simple, Son. Cut the wrench, fix the car and get a new 12/14mm combo box next time you go by Sears. Plus, you may be able to weld the wrench and save it anyway.
YM: Great idea, Dad! You sure are smart!
Dad: That’s why I’m the dad, Son. Why don’t you fix this car and we can test drive it to DQ later.
YM: Of course! The job isn’t over till you test it out!
Dad: My thoughts exactly. I love you, Son. Cut the wrench and don’t forget this simple lesson, people often have a $10 solution to a $2 problem. Don’t fall into that trap.
YM: I won’t! I’ll save this wrench all my life!
KH: I did.