I admit it. There’s a part of me that likes fixing things and opening pickle jars and working magic on automobiles and doing stereotypical male gender role stuff, even though there’s nothing distinctive about the Y chromosome that makes me particularly good at those things. The number of situations where I can calmly use my skill set to help other folks is pretty limited, of course, but yesterday I got the chance when a friend mentioned that her mechanic had grievously overtightened the lug nuts on her car and the combined efforts of the high school football team were having no effect on getting them loosened.
Of course, a high school football team has nothing on Archimedes, who is noted as saying, “Give me a flat tire and a lug wrench long enough, and I’ll get your nuts loosened.” Or something like that. So after a brief and ineffective attempt at loosening the lug nuts with my own lug wrench (wrong size hex) and a socket wrench (right size hex, but at 12” too short to get any torque on the nuts), I made a quick trip to Home Depot and got a three foot long length of 3/4” schedule 40 pipe, which was just large enough to fit around the end of my socket wrench handle and transform my mere caveman tool into the lug-wrench version of Mjöllnir, capable of easily providing 400 lb-feet of torque.
With the new improved wrench, each of the nuts came off with a satisfying sound of a thundercrack (they were on there but good), and I got to post that I’d totally busted a nut on my friends car on Twitter.
So, fellas, if at any time you have trouble getting your nuts off, maybe you should consider using a bigger tool.