One man’s death wish for big-box stores

A slice of life from the Bill Bostic, Linglestown Gazette’s independent journalist

I really, really HATE home fix-it jobs.

My MO is to put off doing these testy tasks until my wife, Barbara, rightly cracks the whip. There’s been a lot of putting off this summer because Barbara has been out of town caring for her sister who had a liver transplant. She’s back now and yesterday was my official catch-up day. I made a list of crap to buy and headed for one of the big-box stores in the area.

One item was a basic doorknob. Easy enough, right? WRONG times infinity.

The big-box store didn’t appear to have a basic, no-frills doorknob. There wasn’t a store associate to found — no surprise there — and I selected a knob that looked like it would do the job. Unfortunately, I spotted a problem when I unpacked the knob from its plastic home — one of the screws needed to attach one side of the knob to the other was nowhere to be found. It turns out that the human or machine that packed the item had wrongly put a third wood screw in the box instead of the correct screw. I guess you could say I was SCREWED big time.

I forged ahead despite the missing screw and ran into another problem — the insides of the doorknob were too big for the hole in my door. This discovery began an epic meltdown. My first moves were to grab a towel to cover the knob and then beat the hell out of it with a wrench that was close by in a vain effort to force it into the hole. When that didn’t work, I went for heavier artillery, a hammer, and repeated the process. This resulted in the knob acquiring a new look that rendered it unreturnable to the big box.

Mind you, my childish hissy fit by this time had devolved into angry outbursts about modern retailing that were sprinkled with a healthy dose of profanity. Barbara and our two dogs thankfully gave me a wide buffer area to act like a jackass. I ripped the parts out of the door and with great satisfaction threw the big-box not-so-basic doorknob into the trashcan at a speed that would get the attention of pro baseball scouts. Man did this feel good!

This episode is stupid, I know. But, stupid things happen when you stupidly lose your cool in a big way.

My next move was golden though. I headed to my neighborhood hardware store, Hornung’s Hardware.They had basic doorknobs and one of the store’s answer guys was johnny on the spot to help me select wood screws that I needed to do the job. Why didn’t I try Hornung’s first?

Did I tell tell you that I HATE home fix-it jobs?

I noticed Bill Hornung, owner of Hornung’s Hardware in Linglestown, has started offering life advice in Facebook status updates that also include updates about specials at his store. CLICK HERE for the one he posted on Labor Day.

This article is NOT an advertisement for Hunung’s Hardware. It is a true slice of life. With that said, it is an example of what can be done for businesses that support local journalism. Contact the Linglestown Gazette on Facebook or at for sponsorship info.

One thought on “One man’s death wish for big-box stores

  1. Jean Krupski

    I love my Hornung’s store in Linglestown!! Very helpful associates and always has just what I need.
    Support our local businesses before you head out to the big box stores!


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