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In praise of Lub-E. Weeds, 3/7/12

April 12, 2012 - Randy Krzmarzick
So, the other day I was in at McCabe’s, my local hardware store. (What’s that? Excuse me a second…it’s the Legal Department from the Journal. What do you mean “My Local Hardware Store” is a trademark, and I can’t say that? I didn’t say “My Local Hardware Store,” I said, “my local hardware store.” Yes, I know I’m still on Journal Column Probation. Ya, I know I’m on shaky ground. Sheesh, alright.)

So, the other day I was in at McCabe’s, the hardware store that’s closer to me than the ones that are further away. And I was talking to Matt, my helpful hardware man. Er, I mean the guy who’s more helpful than the unhelpful ones. Anyway, I commented to Matt that they had a good price on Lub-E. Lub-E is the Ace brand of spray lubricant, similar to WD-40.

When I was growing up, my Dad had an oil can: the classic Wizard of Oz-Tin Man sort of oil can. “oiiil, my goodness, I can talk again! Oh, oil my arms…please, oil my elbows.” I used it, but it was drippy and gloppy and oil didn’t really get where it was needed.

Then, I discovered WD-40. It was as if the heavens opened up and unknown mechanical bliss was revealed. Spray lubricant does marvelous things with nuts and bolts. In mythology, the Greek gods drank ambrosia, and it gave them immortality. WD-40 is ambrosia for metal parts. My farm fixing-life was never the same.

So when Matt mentioned that some folks had ordered a whole case of Lub-E at the sale price, I began to consider the possibilities. I never have enough spray lube, and this was my chance to go long in the spray lube market.

On my farm, there are three places I do most of my work: down by the bins, in the red shed, and in the new red shed---I might have to come up with another name for that one. There’s a Murphy’s Law of Tools around here that says, “Whatever tool I need will not be at the place I am, and it will be at the second of the other places I look.” The ancillary to that is that, “Wherever I am, the spray lube I have will be the one that is empty, and the full one will be at the second of the other places I look.” Darn it, I thought, a case it is.

They arrived last week: twelve brand spanking new cans of Lub-E, all with caps and nozzles, and even the little straw taped on the side that I’ll lose the first time I use it. This may be the single greatest purchase I have ever made. I love lubrication!

(OK, after that last expression of unfettered joy, I can see some of you wanting to take this thing right down into the gutter. Stop that right now; this is a family column. Nothing warms me more than to hear the stories of families gathered around while Dad reads Weeds out loud to Mom and the kiddies. “Dad, can you read the one about Alexander Mitchell Palmer again?”)

I’m setting cans all over the farm. I put one in each shed. I put one in each tractor. I put one in a place I’ll forget I put it, and then I’ll feel giddy when I stumble upon it. I’ve got 12, count ‘em 12, of these babies; why limit my thinking?

I put a can over by the toaster. Don’t you hate it when the bread gets stuck and gets burnt on the edges? Now I give it a shot of Lub-E before I put it in the toaster. While in the kitchen, what exactly is the difference between Lub-E and that expensive cooking spray? It’s probably the same stuff anyway. I’ll try it with eggs later.

There’s times our computer freezes up downloading Ricky Rubio videos; a little lubing can’t hurt there. I did have trouble getting the cover off, but I got it with a screwdriver and a crow bar. When I had it open, I recognized a fan, but not much else in there. So I sprayed the whole works. I had to force the cover back on, but I was careful and used a rubber mallet. Now the screen is blue with some wavy lines. But I bet I drowned some viruses when I was in there!

In the living room, our television is hooked to a VCR that’s hooked to a DVD player that’s hooked to an analog converter that’s hooked to a cable converter box that’s hooked to an antenna booster that’s hooked to an X-Box that’s hooked to a hard drive that’s hooked to a charger that’s hooked to Kinnect. There are remotes and controllers everywhere, and more cords and wires sticking out than Apollo 11. I have to ask my son how to turn the TV on. I’m going to lube that all as soon as I figure out where it starts. Speaking of my son, he’s15; all 15-year olds are sullen and surly. He could use a little loosening up. So, I gave him a good shot of Lub-E. He just got grumpier; I guess every product has its limits.

I had better luck in town. We’re thinking of upgrading the corn head, so I went in to see my loan officer, the estimable Mr. Schmid. Those loan officers can get a little tight sometimes. We started out talking about $20,000. One shot of Lub-E, and, viola, we were up to $30,000. This stuff’s amazing. Wonder if it works on editors?


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