What I learned at work today
You should never buy Grandpa nail gun for Christmas.
I know at first it seems like a great idea. After all he's so hard to shop for and has everything, right? And a nail gun would be pretty cool and would help him with his little projects when his arthritis is flaring up. You'd also think that a shiny new nail gun would help keep him in the workshop and out of Grandma's hair. That all sounds logical until you learn what I did today;
You should never buy Grandpa a nail gun for Christmas.
Why, You ask?
Because Grandpa will think back to those days of yore when every nail was set by hand. He'll reminisce about his all-wood childhood home and how solidly it was built. You'll sit trapped in your chair while he tells you yet once again how folks worked so hard in the old days and now everything is so easy. A machine for everything. But don't be dismayed, he'll still really like the nail gun. They are really cool. Then you'll go home.
Soon Grandpa will be using his new toy and rapidly discovering the joys of air powered machinery. He'll build a few things, fix a few others, then start looking around for more ways to use his nail gun. Here comes the dangerous part - it doesn't stop with ONE nail gun. Soon he'll have a brad nailer. Then a stapler. Then a pin nailer. He'll be nailing everything in sight, including those things that are better off glued or screwed.
But wait - there's more;
The truly tragic effect of your intended-to-be-thoughtful-gift;
Every time he picks up one of his now 7 or 8 nail guns he will always think back to those days when nails were driven by hand, fingers were mashed, blood blisters formed and those painful memories will be the motivating force behind his thinking, "If one nail was good back then, 20 will be better now. Especially with this nifty new nail gun. They make it so easy."
Seems harmless enough in the beginning, but then you'll come to realize he is spending every last penny of your inheritance shooting in one staple, brad, or 10d ring shank nail at a time. Before you know it you'll inherit a house largely made of splinters of wood held together by several tons of metal.
So the next time you are scratching your head wondering what gift to buy as you roam the aisles of Home Depot, picture all that money he'll spend on hardware and the poor guys like me who have to use a crowbar to remove every last one of them.