Amy and I have several unwritten by-laws of our marriage, all of which are intended to avoid future issues.   One (which I suppose is about to now be written down) has just had an amendment added.  It used to state as follows:

Adam is forbidden from going into business with, scheming with, or going on vacations with Paul.

This is founded in a strong policy of having me not kill myself or losing all our money or (more probably) both.  The amendment is simple in nature; it is a single letter.  The letter “s” is appended to the final word of the by-law, neatly avoiding any potential business dealings with any Pauls whatsoever and here is why:

This weekend, my sister, my other sister, her husband and their daughter came to visit which was neat (and inspired all the poop jokes that have gone before and probably a few that will come afterward).  Unrelatedly, my left shoulder was giving me grief from approximately the base of my skull to the bottom of my ribcage on that side (I was griping about it on the twitters all day Friday).  I decided that it was time to figure out a way of stretching/working out the kinks and enlisted my brother-in-law, Paul, to help.

We cast about the basement for suitable materials for crafting a chin-up/pull-up bar.  There were two large hooks, suitable for hanging ladders, bicycles, etc. that had been used by the previous owner for hanging ladders or bicycles or something and they seemed ideal.  They looked as though they’d be extremely painful to just grip (and wouldn’t allow for many variations on grasp) so we sought a bar of some kind.

In Paul’s defense, he did save me from some potentially debilitating injuries by vetoing my initial impulse of using a piece of steel bedframe, stating (probably correctly) that it would cut off my fingers.  We managed to find a piece of 1/2″ diameter steel pipe that looked to be about the right length.  The hooks were promptly screwed into  a pair of joists and the device tested.

I did a couple of standard chin-ups, then a couple over-hand ones (much more difficult) and got about halfway through a wide-stance pull-up (which are so difficult that my 10th grade gym teacher offered 1% extra on the final grade per wide-stance pull-up.  This was quickly capped at a maximum of 5% when my friend Dave did about 15 of them because he, Dave, was some kind of masochist).  Paul then suggested I try a one-handed pull-up, a feat which I have performed on occasion in the past.

As it turns out, 1/2″ steel pipe is unequal to the task of bearing approximately 87 kg of strapping young lad when it is applied to the approximately 10cm of handspan.  I brought the bar down to me without lifting more than about 2cm from the ground.  We came back upstairs immediately stating, probably too loudly, that everything was fine and nothing was ruined, and then we amended the by-law.