The Non-Consumer Advocate Gets All Chuck Norris On Ya'

by Katy on October 17, 2008 · 9 comments


My ten-year-old son is very focused. But not necessarily on what you want him to be focusing on.

Iron Giant?




Drawing pictures of The Iron Giant?

Super focused.

Remembering to bring his lunch box home from school?

Not so focused.

Luckily, we have a few extra lunch boxes and water bottles. We can go three days before starting to send him to school with his lunch in a burlap sack.

So he was bringing home an armload of lunch boxes the other day, but had a super worried look on his face.

One of the lunch boxes had a broken handle, and horror of all horrors, it was his brother’s one.

He quickly blurted out the source of his worry.

“I broke Colin’s lunchbox, and he’s gonna go all Chuck Norris on me!”

A quick once-over told me the lunch box could be fixed with a needle and thread.

And sure enough, a few minutes with the sewing kit saw the lunch box as good as new.

Whew . . . . 

No need for Chuck Norris.


We’ve become a society where it’s often cheaper to replace an item than it is to have it repaired. Even so, the true price of a throw away culture is beyond the wallet. Our landfills are full of items that could have been fixed with a bit of ingenuity and elbow grease.

We should be proud of our old patched up belongings. Instead, we seem to only take pride in owning the newest and shiniest. 

So next time a household item gets busted, think past that quick and easy replacement.

Or . . . The Non-Consumer Advocate is gonna get all Chuck Norris on ya’.

Do you repair or replace? What’s your proudest repair? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary C October 18, 2008 at 5:59 am

I try my best to repair. The pitchers for my iced tea maker crack after a while. I have tried tape, which works temporarily; glue, which doesn’t work so well and just leaving it, which leaks on the counter. Now I am wondering about Mighty Putty. Maybe it will work.
We used to make fun of my father-in-law because he kept repairing this ancient VCR. It was the first one to come out. DVD’s had been out for ages but he just kept sending that thing out to the shop. He’s gone now but I think he had the right idea. The world, however, has other plans. Ever tried to find a VHS tape these days?


jinger October 18, 2008 at 6:42 am

The other day I managed to vacuum up a spool of thread which unwound all through through the brushes and caused the belt to break. I thought, Oh No, now I’ll have to buy a new vacuum cleaner…when my savvy 19 year old suggested buying just the belt. So I unscrewed the whole vacuum, found a new belt at WalMart for $2.00, replaced the belt, put everything back together and voila, a vacuum that runs better than it did before!


steplikeagiant October 18, 2008 at 10:42 am

Replaced motor in vacuum instead of buying new one; hemmed and re-hemmed a black tee I bought 13 years ago (they don’t make em like they used to); duct-taped the handle on my electric teapot.


Dana October 18, 2008 at 5:31 pm

I mend my daughters’ stuffed animals all the time. Once the eyes fell off her favorite stuffed horse (that we paid $.25 at a yard sale) and I had to sew new eyes on him. I mend a lot of clothes too. Our dryer has been mended so many times that it would have probably been less expensive to buy a new one, but what’s the fun in that???



Shymom October 19, 2008 at 7:05 am

2 things:

The first was when my trombone playing daughter got her cleaning cloth stuck in one of the tubes of the trombone. It was wadded up and really jammed in. We figured we would end up paying as much to get it repaired as what we paid for it in the first place (bought used on e-bay). I thought about it for a while and finally came up with the answer. I heated up a long barbecue skewer on the stove and burned the cloth out. Yeah!

This week I needed to bring in an outside table to use as a plant stand. (Our new kitten was chewing off all of the leaves of my favorite plant.)

The table was pretty beat up and didn’t go with the rest of the room. I painted the base black (left over paint from another project) and covered the top with a faux leather I found at the thrift store for $1.50.

So for $1.50 and about 45 minutes of work I have a stylish plant stand.


Allison October 19, 2008 at 9:07 am

Three things my repair kit cannot be without: wire (you know…baling wire!), duct tape and JB Weld®. With these three things you can fix almost anything around the house. Gorilla Glue® is useful, but not as useful as I thought it would be.
My latest fix is a small plastic container of very expensive ‘plant booster’ that I use in my garden. My new dog punched a hole in the bottle, thoughtfully leaving it on the porch for me. I suppose I could pour it into another container, but then I would lose the instructions and other label info. I cleaned the bottle and mixed up the JB Weld®. No more leak and now safely stored above the dog’s reach.


Jackie October 19, 2008 at 3:43 pm

My favorite repair of the last year was my iron. The cord had already had a semi-temporary fix and had become dangerous.

But I really love my Rowenta iron. I figured anything made in Germany was probably repairable, right?

Since the new equivalent of my old iron cost about $60, I figured it was worth a shot.

I put a new cord on it and it works just like new.


Magdalena Julie Bragdon Perks October 24, 2008 at 12:41 pm

I have a husband who fixes everything fixable – the free Pfaff sewing machine (“Take it – it doesn’t work.”) and the Made-in-New Zealand-you-won’t-believe-how-expensive-parts-are spinning wheel. And the electric drill he had for thirty years.

My repair specialty is liturgical pieces – the stoles, chasubles, and linens used in church. They are usually very expensive to buy, and old ones just gather in drawers or closets when new ones are bought. But I’m pretty good with an embroidery needle, so I’ve been able to mend many of these beautiful things over the years.


Gina October 24, 2008 at 9:30 pm

I heart this blog!

this Chuck Norris reference is one of the funniest things I have ever seen– I can’t believe a 10 year old even knows who Chuck is! I appreciate all the comments about fixing and repairing, but I still can’t get over the ACTION JEANS!


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