Home repair lo res

My dad, BB Lee, was a surgeon who had hands that could cure patients, but he still couldn’t fix a broken appliance. I dreaded having to accompany him to the basement to make a home repair. He’d demand I hold the flashlight and swiftly hand him whatever instruments he needed. Then he’d revert to his operating room voice: “Scalpel. Screwdriver.” If I didn’t grab it in time, or if he said, “Plier-thingy … look like plier, you know …” and I hesitated, then my dad would quickly change from industrious DIY electrician to raging Hurricane BB Lee.

It didn’t help that my dad emitted some kind of weird electromagnetic energy that seemed to affect gadgets around him. If he held them or even stood near them for too long, the phone would stop working or the remote control would freeze up. If my dad couldn’t fix these things, he would just hurl them against a wall or stomp on them, yelling, “FUCKS.” (Gotta love the angry Asian dad English there.) One time he smashed a brand-new laptop on the floor when a software program wouldn’t open. As the liquid crystal began to leak onto the kitchen tiles, his brother came into the room and asked, “Did you restart it?” My dad looked momentarily sheepish before launching into a diatribe against all computers in general and the DUMB STUPID people that design them.

Fortunately, at the hospitals where my dad worked, there were technicians who made repairs. Otherwise, there would have been a lot of yanked wires and strewn debris in his wake. And lots of yelling. Maybe even some lawsuits.

Ironically, the man who could save lives, using delicate craftsmanship on arteries and veins, couldn’t replace a light switch to save his life.

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