Sunday, October 14, 2012

Ultimate Screwdriver Showdown: Fall Cleaning Edition

This is Fall Cleaning Day, and my first job is vacuuming the air ducts in preparation to turning on the heat.
The  slowest part of the job is taking off and replacing the duct covers. They're just held on with screws, but over the years, screws must have gotten lost and replaced by whatever was on hand, because there are hardly two that match. This doesn't matter much, since no-one really notices, but it does slow me down to be switching constantly between flat-bladed screwdriver and Phillips wrench.
Which Tool Will Prevail?
Then Brilliance Struck - like a hot fist to a cold brain!
"Why not have the two screwdrivers battle royale, and let the victor rule!" thought I.
The Battle:
I set up the arena and decreed: "Two enter, one goes out!"
The Phillips wrench struck first. "Pick Me!" it said. "My self-centering design is clearly superior; as long as you maintain axial pressure, the tool will never slip off the screwhead!"
"Pick Me!" reposted the flat-bladed screwdriver. "I can double as a pry for the covers, when it's time to lift them!"
In the end, I gave thumbs-up to the flat-bladed, because I had an extra flat-bladed screw to work with.
The Economics:
I clean the vents and ducts every fall and plan to do that for 30 or 40 years.
If having a single screwdriver saves me 1 minute of time, I've just added more than half-an-hour of useful time to my life, once I subtract a few minutes for having made and implemented this decision. Unfortunately I have chosen to spend about a third of that time blogging about it; I won't start actually profiting from this move until about 2022. Perhaps I'm beginning to understand how the situation arose in the first place.
Next Year: 
Revenge of the Phillips Wrench!

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