Tuesday, January 17, 2012

What Wouldn't You Touch With a Ten-Foot Pole?

A common phrase many people use to describe things they don’t like or don’t want to deal with is “I wouldn’t touch that with a ten-foot pole.”

Supposedly, the phrase originates from England about a century ago. Back then, horse-drawn barges were a form of public transit. Barge drivers used ten-foot poles for steering among other things.

Why is this important? Well, it’s because we have a basketball goal in our driveway.

Correction, we had one.

The goal was one of the portable types. My older son got it as a Christmas present our last Christmas in Oregon over six years ago. Since we knew we were about to move, we didn’t assemble it until we got settled in Georgia. We played on it for awhile and enjoyed it. However, over the years, severe winds managed to knock it over a few times, slamming it into the iron fence in our backyard.

Eventually, I began putting the goal over on its side on stormy nights. However, there were certain nights when the wind would start long after I’d gone to bed. Last week was one of those times. After last week’s storm, I found the goal against the fence again, this time beyond repair.

I disassembled it, removing the goal and base. Then I tried to take apart the pole. It came in three pieces when we got it. I thought it would be easy to take it apart, but the pieces were stuck together.

So I’m now in possession of a ten-foot pole.

My plan is to put it on the curb and see if the garbage company will pick it up. However, if they don’t, I’m trying to figure out what I can do. I could borrow a saw and cut it into pieces or else plant it in the backyard and start a permanent court back there.

However, I could always keep it for when someone says “I wouldn’t touch it with a ten-foot pole.”

Now I’m trying to think of think of things people wouldn’t touch. Friends of mine have suggested a few things:
1) Brussels sprouts
2) Joan Rivers
3) Junk e-mail with attachments

What things wouldn’t you touch with a ten-foot pole? I’d love to hear it.

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