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  Season 15: Episode 1

89a: Bruce Willis / Neil Young

Home Improvement with the Anal-Retentive Carpenter

Anal-Retentive Gene.....Phil Hartman

[ open on PBS logo ]

[ dissolve to Chubb logo ]

Announcer: The following program is brought to you by a Grant from the Chubb Group.

[ dissolve to Home Improvement set, Anal-Retentive Gene measuring a window in the background as classical music intros the program ]

Announcer: It's time for Home Improvement, with the Anal-Retentive Carpenter.

[ Gene turns, and deposits his tape measure into his tool belt ]

Anal-Retentive Gene: Hello, and welcome to The Anal-Retentive Carpenter. I'm Gene. And, today, we're going to be building a window box, for our window. Now, what do we need for this project? [ eases over to a blueprint tacked onto a corkboard ] Well, we need our blueprints here. We need a wide array of tools, and, as always, lots and lots of careful planning. But we know that, don't we? You know, there's an old saying that goes: "The best laid plans of mice and men oft gang aglay." But we don't intend to gang aglay here, now do we? No, we don't. Now, our blueprint calls for us to cut two boards. [ frowns at the blueprint ] But it doesn't call for.. a silly, hazardous placement of pushpins. [ removes some erronously placed pushpins from the corkboard ] So, let's.. just straighten this out. Take these extras off. We'll just leave the blue ones, because they blend in nicely. Put these nasties over here. [ places the pushpins onto his work table ]

And, of course, our tool belt is loaded and ready for use. [ shows off his tool belt to the camera, then points out the individual contents ] Now.. we've got our hammer, our pliers, our tape measure, our awl, clamp, extension cord, screwdriver, and marker. That's H-P-T-A-C-E-S-M. I can remember it by repeating to myself: "Howard Plants Tulips And Chrysanthemums Every Sunday Morning." [ holds up the awl, then returns it to its rightful pocket ] Actually, I never use my awl, but I need it there to keep the syntax correct.

Now! Let's take a look at our lumber! [ picks up a large plank ] We have a sturdy plank here. [ picks up second strip ] And we have a matching 1x2. You know, choosing lumber is very important, so don't let them rush you at the lumber yard. I picked this piece out in about.. oh.. an hour and forty-five minutes. And.. it's a pretty good board, don't you think? It's not perfect by any means. [ points out a flaw or two ] It has this knot here.. and the grain isn't exactly as uniform as I'd like, and.. [ does a double-take ] oh, there's a little blemish that I didn't see when I bought this. Hmm. Well, I guess we're just going to have to put this little fellow into the kindling box. But. I want to cut that knot off first. Because I don't want that staring back at me from the fireplace. [ places the board into the vise and clamp ]

So, let's clamp our defective timber into our vise, and get it ready to cut. And! How do we cut our board? Well. We remove our saw from our saw sheath. [ pulls his saw out of a decorative sheath ] No corrosion on this little darling. And let's uncover our ltitle mini-vac. [ retrieves his mini-vac from another decorative cover ] And, lining up our saw with our thumbnail, we.. [ vacuums saw dust as he saws the board ] cut and clean.. cut and clean.. and cut.. and clean. [ the stray piece separates and falls to the floor ] There. now, this piece is all ready for the fireplace. [ picks up the stray piece ] And this ltitle devil is ready for the trash. Now, how od we discard our wooden refuse? [ picks up scrapbasket from underneath table ] Well, we get our little scrapbasket here, and we remove a scrapbag. [ opens scrapbag ] Place our scrap inside the bag, fold it over - keeping the corners square - [ grabs stapler ] and we staple - once - and twice. Now, of course, there is the problem of the staples punching through our plastic trash bag, but watch this. [ removes a second scrapbag ] We get another bag. And.. we slide the first scrapbag in - staples first - like this. [ struggles to get the first bag into the second ] Come on! Get in there, you little demon! [ finally gets the first bag into the second ] There! There he goes! Now! We staple again - but - we do not fold over this time. [ grabs the stapler again ] Staple once - and staple twice. Now, I know what you're thinking: "But, Gene, those staples could burst through that plastic trash bag as well." Well. They can't, and here's why. Because we make a little cuff. [ folds the top of the bag into a cuff, smiles proudly ] That covers the staples. There! Ready for the trash. And this is some wooden refuse we can live with! [ grabs his scrapbasket ] And this goes back under our workbench.

Al-right. Put my cover back on -- [ replaces the decorative cover on his mini-vac, then stops ] Oh. I'm replacing our mini-vac cozy - and I notice some of you are probably admiring this. [ cut to close-up of the cozy ] I call this my Dust Buster Duster. I made it out of courdoroy, some cotton ribbon, and little macaroni shells. [ return to full shot ] I think - well - it just cheers up the whole appliance!

Alright. Back to our project. [ slides the saw across the workbench ] Now - we've pre-marked our 1x12 there. [ holds up the thick board with an equally thick cutting line drawn vertically on it ] And - oh! My, what a bold little mark we are. I think we should take that down with an art gum eraser - [ places the board down and reaches across the table for his art gum eraser ] which I keep handy - [ starts to use the art gum eraser, then, hitting a revelation, stops and stares at the camera with a sly grin ] Art gum eraser. There's an "A" I use all the time! [ pulls the awl out of his toolbelt ] So we can get rid of this awful awl. I'll just put my art gum eraser in there, but now we have to put this away. So let's get our toolbox. [ reaches under the workbench for his toolbox, which is decoratively inscribed "Gene" ] Put that on our table here -- [ places the toolbox down, then spreads it open ] and open it up - now! We have everything arranged in alphabetical order, so - we're gonna have to bump things, because "awl" starts with an "A." [ closing theme music pots up ] And that means our chalk is gonna have to go where "chuck" is. so, I'll just - oh!

[ show logo dissolves up, as Gene mini-vacs some dust he spies inside the toolbox ]

Announcer: This has been Home Improvement, with the Anal-Retentive Carpenter.

[ fade ]

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