Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thank you, Norman, wherever you are

Last Father's Day, the kids wanted to make their dad a sonic screwdriver like Doctor Who uses. 

For those unfamiliar with Doctor Who, a sonic screwdriver is the device the doctor uses to often save himself and others from dangerous situations. It's awesome. Doesn't work on wood, though.


OK, the kids wanted to make a sonic screwdriver. Of course it wouldn't have the amazing life-saving properties of the real thing, but a fun project nonetheless.

The device would have to be large enough to hold a sound chip and some LED lights. We decided on using PVC pipe.

We took this fuzzy vision to the hardware store and ended up in the PVC pipe department.

That's where we met Norman. Norman was definitely 50+ and easy-going. He was confident striding the aisles of PVC and had his job because of expertise, I decided.

We described our project and he didn't bat an eye. He asked us some questions and pointed us to the size pipe we would need. 

Problem was, the PVC pipe was eight feet tall! It was very reasonably priced...but we just didn't want to wrangle an eight-foot pipe into the car.

Norman advised us to cut it.

"How should we cut it?" I asked.

He told me it is very easy to cut. We could use a saw.

"I might know where Dad's saw is," I said, "Could we  use a knife instead?"

While Norman said that a knife would probably work, I believe he sensed our cluelessness regarding all things in the garage. He seemed to become concerned about our knife skills as well.

I could see his paternal wheels turning.

He couldn't send this mother and children skipping off to cut this PVC pipe. Their innocent Father's Day project would now surely involve bloodshed.

Norman said he may be able to fix us up. He scraped around in the PVC department's junk drawer and came up with a piece just right (shhh, it was on the house).

The sonic screwdriver was, let's say, an artistic representation. But it's the thought that counts. It makes the authentic sonic sound and lights up, so I say it's a winner. Their Dad loved it.


I have carried around this gratitude for Norman since last June and FINALLY decided to write a letter. His boss should know we think Norman is awesome. The letter was addressed to both the store manager and Norman. The part about the pipe being free was left out, just in case.

I composed the letter on the computer before hand-writing it.

Even so, it took many rough-drafts.

I hope Norman still works there. I waited way too long to send this!

Thank you, Norman, wherever you are.

This was posted at the following neighborly site:
Found the Marbles


  1. How wonderful that you wrote a note about Norman at all. Kudos to you for doing such a wonderful act of kindness in return.

  2. "anyhoo" I LOVE THIS. omg. norman has warmed my heart! and you have made me want a sonic screwdriver myself! lol. thank you for sharing :)

  3. Thanks Trish! A sonic screwdriver and some Jolly Ranchers--what could be better?? :)