A Missing Screw
The lazy man's way of finding that last screw
When Aaron took apart his electric razor, he did it for what he called curious maintenance rather than repair maintenance. He bought the razor more than 20 years ago and hadn’t changed out the blades. Nor had he given it a thorough cleaning. The blades were dulling. The new models were better and more expensive than the model he had in hand now, but he wanted to get as much mileage out of this one as he could.
Using his eyeglass repair screwdriver, Aaron took out all eight screws. Each screw was less than half the size of a grain of rice. He was careful to place each screw on a white piece of paper and make sure they were all in one place. A friend once quipped, “Put them all together so if you lose one, you lose them all.”
Twenty years of hair, grime, and dirt is what he found inside the innards of the razor. How any of it got there was quite the mystery since it was a well-sealed device.
After spending 45 minutes cleaning it up, he’d have to reassemble it. His was a regular eyeglass screwdriver, not the magnetic kind. A tightwad to the end, he didn’t spend the extra two bucks that would save him a lot of hassles keeping the tiny screw attached to the screwdriver as he worked on the razor.
Aaron counted eight screws on the paper after the razor was opened. Now, as began to reassemble the device, there were seven.
He counted the screws three times and seven was the magic number. Where number 8 went, well, he’d search for that later. The task at hand was working with what he had in front of him.
One by one he replaced each screw. Fortunately, they were all the same size and could fit in any hole. Unfortunately, they were all tiny and getting smaller the longer he worked with them.
After 20 minutes of fumbling with seven screws, the seventh was tightened and in place. Aaron patted down the carpet area where the eighth might have gone, but a screw that size could have been buried in the carpet fibers anywhere. Since 7 of 8 screws were in place, he could forego number 8. It just wasn’t worth spending more time searching for it.
Five days later, Aaron found the missing screw.
In the middle of the night.
Fortunately for him, everyone in his house was out of town for the weekend, lest they be awakened by the lunatic ravings of a madman who found a missing screw with his bare feet.
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