Haywire: Devices Break Down


| 3/27/2015 10:06:00 AM


Tags: baling wire, duct tape, RD Copeland, Texas,

If anyone from Texas ever tells you that something went “haywire” it usually means that a mechanical or electrical device has stopped working properly, or altogether. Broken machinery now leaving you a lot less comfortable than you were just a minute ago when it was only making a "funny noise." Once in awhile haywire also refers to a troubled, “misunderstood” neighbor having a really bad day, but we try not to rehash the “Padgett Prom Princess Pummels Presbyterians” headlines from a couple years ago. Automobiles, household appliances, children’s toys... they all go haywire at some point, which means you either get a new one, get the old one fixed, fix it yourself, or do without. We do a lot of “fix it yourself” around my off-grid house in the country. Sounds noble, I know, but really it’s because I’m a cheapskate. Money is meant to be used for purchasing only things you enjoy, such as more chickens, more fertile chicken eggs, a new incubator, more housing for chickens, and a few more pullets should do it. I couldn’t fix the incubator. Cheap crap.

chickens

Oddly enough, “haywire” likewise refers to a universal replacement part you’ll need to fix the confounded machine hellbent on making your life suck. To fix the busted machinery, gather up some duct tape, a screw gun and a handful of metal roofing screws, and plenty of haywire (hay baling wire). These three items will mend just about anything you can manage to break or let wear out if your Mechanical Creativity Quotient (MCQ) is up to snuff. The McGyver character MCQ was genius level. (Play along, please, it’s a thing I’m trying to start.) Hay bailing wire, made from a metal alloy and extruded into lengths of hundreds of feet, is wrapped and tied tightly around large bales of hay in many shapes and sizes. A bale can hold together for years. Baling wire can also be used to temporarily piece broken machinery parts back together in almost every application, especially situations where you’re stranded 65 miles from town, or your means of cooling off the house in the middle of a scorching Texas summer grinds to a loud, screeching halt. If Necessity is the Mother of Invention, hay baling wire is her apron strings, tied tightly to all things in need of fixin’.

baling wire

Here’s a recent example of how my philosophy of “fix it yourself” kept me out of hot water, at least temporarily.

"The swamp cooler went haywire last night so I had to fix it in the dark. Better give it a look-see before we take off," I remembered as Joe Don and I were headed for town early one Monday morning.




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