Rants Short and Sweet

On Learning to Use a Hammer

When I was in Africa, a carpenter tried to teach me how to properly drive a nail. He showed me how to hold the hammer so that its weight would do all the appropriate work. It was up to me to practice and make sure that I was using the hammer in an optimal way.

I couldn’t do it. My nails were driven halfway into the wood and started to bend out of shape. A little tap from the left. Some cursing. A lot of taps from the right. I just couldn’t figure out how to use the hammer.

I watched the carpenter drive a nail like Mr. Miyagi. I attempted to mimic exactly what he was doing. I tried to hold the hammer the way he did. The nail still went in crooked. I finally determined that the problem was the hammer and that I should buy a new hammer.