This may come as a shock to y'all, but for some reason, people assume that only men can answer a question in a hardware store. I have dealt with this fact for the past 15 1/2 years that I have been working here. Equally shocking is the fact that I have picked up a thing or two in those years and I actually know a couple of things about hardware and the likes.
I don't know why it is that men are automatically assumed to be smarter in all matters hardwarian. The obvious answer to me would be the appendage that men have that women don't must possess some sort of magical knowledge that grants the bearer wisdom in the ways of repairing a sink or replacing a supply line to your toilet. This seems really counter-intuitive to me though because usually when someone says, "He's thinking with his pants," it is because they are making questionable choices and decisions influenced by whether or not it will get them somewhere with a woman. Never in my 15 1/2 years of working in this store have I seen a man solve a complex plumbing problem to be greeted with, "Wow!! (Appreciative head nod and applause) He was really thinking with his pants on that one!!!"
This all came to mind again last week when I was at the counter, where a female cashier obviously belongs, and I was ringing up customers and I had a man come up and purchase a 5/8" hose mender. Less than ten minutes later he was back saying that he needed to exchange the 5/8" for 3/4" because it was too small. He had carefully put the packaging back together (which is both very rare and very appreciated) and he went and got the right size. He came back to the counter, I did the exchange and he was on his way. Less than ten minutes later he was back at the counter with yet another brand new 5/8" hose mender in his hand telling me that 3/4" was too big and he was going to have to go back to 5/8". I tried to give him back the one he'd previously purchased and returned so I didn't have to hang a previously opened package back on the shelf. He seemed very confused by what I was trying to do and left the store with the brand new one. Less than ten minutes later he was back again. He told me, "The 5/8" is too small and the 3/4" is too big." He had brought a small (I mean very small, less than an inch in length) piece of his hose to try to find the right size. I re-opened the 3/4" package and held it up to the hose fragment and showed him that it actually was the right size, that it was supposed to be tight like that so it would seal properly. I said, "All you have to do is to heat the hose up in some hot water and it will go right on." He said, "No, no, no... that's not the right size." He walked off after Ted who was walking down the aisle and caught him by the shoulder and started explaining his dilemma. Ted said, and I quote, "All you have to do is heat the hose up in some hot water and it will go right on." The customer said, "Oh, ok. Thanks."
At this point he was probably wondering why the dumb girl at the counter didn't suggest that in the first place... oh wait... let's review the transcript... SHE DID!!!!!
I had to re-seal the packaging for the second 5/8" hose mender that he had bought and returned. And I was relaying the whole incident to Kalvin at the counter a little while later, and when I finished, he asked, "Just because you're a girl?" I said, "Yup." He asked, "Doesn't that make you mad?" I said, "Sometimes it does. Mostly it just frustrates me."
Then a brainwave hit me... technically, technically since my unborn child is a boy, I am in possession of that magical knowledge bestowing appendage. (Possession is 9/10's of the law and since he resides in me, I'm going with it) Shouldn't I by some form of osmosis or something be privvy to that magical knowledge for the next 5 months? If that is all it takes to know what you're talking about in a hardware store, then I think I should be able to take advantage of it.
So for the next 5 months, this girl is ready to answer questions because I've got a baby boy on board. However, I must warn you that I fear I will lose this magical protection immediately after giving birth, so when young Fireball and I return to work after maternity leave, he will be sporting a different name, and I will once again be a simple girl who doesn't know nothin' about fixin' no toilets!! (Thank you Butterfly McQueen for those words.)