Tuesday, June 06, 2006

The Domestication of Jonathan Epp

There are times in life when it seems lessons are learned at a quicker pace than normal. The parents being gone, is one of those times for me. Sometimes these lessons have greater day to day use, such as the lesson involving the toaster and the butter dish. At other times the lessons have a more infrequent application, such as the lesson I recently learned about how to operate a sewing machine (or perhaps more accurately, how not to operate a sewing machine).

Sewing a test cloth

It was last Thursday, that found me trying to sew flags on my bag in preparation for my Europe trip. The sew by hand method was going quite slow and was of questionable practicality (the flags seemed free themselves faster than the could be affixed). How can one improve any process? By mechanizing it! So it was at the sewing machine that they found me, when Dave (he of the black eye) and Peter (fresh from Quebec) decided to drop by. (At this point in the sewing process I had managed to lose the needle irretrievably inside the sewing machine.) The combined efforts of three men, one an engineer and another in med school with a penchant for cross dressing in church plays (I'm not sure how any of that helps, but it should), proved futile in deciphering the trickery that is the modern sewing machine.

Dave works away while Peter looks on

I abandoned the efforts, but a weekend later, with my Europe trip looming and my bag still unpacked, desperation set in. Let me try to illustrate how far things had gone, I read the manual. You heard correct, in a last ditch effort to complete my project, I read the instructions to the sewing machine and ... it worked. Now the job I did isn't perfect. The look is something more or less I would like to call "backpacker". The craftsmanship, I would like to think, lends a measure of authenticity to the project. Perhaps leading the viewer to believe that the flags were actually sewn on to the bag hastily mid trip. Some flags maybe even after experiencing a prolonged brewery tour and some, perhaps, sewn while running down the streets of Pampalona during the annual running of the bulls. The bag however is ready for Europe and myself, along with my new found skills, am too.

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