Back in February when I needed to replace one of the Emperor's 02 sensors I bought it and the wrench I needed to change it online. The sensor showed up, but the wrench was back ordered, so I went down to the local Advanced Auto and bought one to do the job with. Naturally the online wrench arrived a couple days after I finished the job. I couldn't return the used one locally and I didn't feel like spending the $5 to return the online wrench just to get $6 back, so now I have two of the same wrenches that I might not ever have to use again.
A couple times during the year I thought that maybe I'd just give one away as a "Door Prize" to an attendee to one of my MMC led events, but never did. Well it is now towards the end of the year and the MMC Christmas Party was coming up, maybe I'll just wrap it up and put it under the "tree" for Ol' Swapperoo Gift Exchange.
Then a couple of weeks ago I overheard my cubical neighbor telling another co-worker about his experience with The Elf On The Shelf and his 3-year old twins. I had heard of The Elf On The Shelf before, but never knew what it was all about. So rather than let on that I was ignorant of the subject, I Googled it. WOW! There is a whole subset of America's mommies that are The Elf On The Shelf disciples and are not afraid to swap stories and activities and tips on how to make this "fun" for the month of December. This is where I discovered that some folks, that now knew what TEOTS was about, but didn't feel like spending the money on the book and the official elf doll and could just make their own. A light bulb figuratively illuminated over my head at this point, I'd turn the extra wrench into a automotively themed TEOTS.
What followed was a weeks worth of some fun and some frustration for me and mostly frustration for Donna as we perused local stores scanning shelves for the ingredients for my MMC Christmas present. I already had some red paint for the wrench/body, but needed a small Santa hat, a styrofoam ball for the head, red pipe cleaners for arms and legs and some colored felt for the hands, feet, etc. Then we needed just the right size plain box to put him in. Just when finding all the required pieces proved too elusive we got lucky in Hobby Lobby when we found a $6 elf ornament for half price.
The right box was still missing. Google to the rescue again, the 6th link down for DIY Gift Boxes led to a hexagonal shaped box that I could scale to fit. What better style box for a wrench could there be?
Fearing a copyright infringement lawsuit I couldn't call it The Elf On The Shelf, so in keeping with the car theme called it The Wrench On The Bench. I photoshopped an homage to the actual TEOTS book cover and now I just needed to put something on the inside to tell the story of TWOTB. Hoping to find a passage or two from the real book to inspire a new story once again I turned to Google. No actual words from the book, but I did find a poem on lil' luna that got me going enough to hack something just long enough to go on the inside of the hex box cover:
How does Santa know who's naughty or Nice?
The Wrench on the Bench sits in your garage
Watching if what you do is wrong or right
And reports back to the North Pole every night.
Harbor freight junk from Ol' Saint Nick
Is going to be under yor tree if,
You crawl under a car without jack stands, or,
Use pliers when a 6-point socket is called for.
Santa will make sure it is presents you'll get
If you always consult your Chilton or Haynes,
Use a torque wrench instead of a guess
And at every 3,000 miles your motor oil is fresh.
There are only two rules for the Wrench on the Bench;
1. Never touch the Wrench on the Bench or it will be gone forever.
2. The Wrench on the Bench needs a name that is clever, but not Murphy, not never.