I know I’m not the son you really wanted: more interested in make believe than mechanics, I’d sooner be a poet than player.
But on my twelfth birthday you were a great father who chose the perfect present. It fired my imagination: those names and pragmatic shapes molded my imaginary worlds that year. Even now I remember the Wrench family: Saltus and Crowfoot were the oldest generation, shoulders hunched and bent backs. Almost every story included my young hero Torx Wrench: afraid and alone and always hoping one day to find his purpose. Mr. Slugger Wrench was Torx’s father: built for dirty, tough jobs he always despised his son’s delicate nature (and was never afraid to express it). They lived together in the top right-hand draw on the toolbox: an airy light place.
In the inky depths of the box lived the British Cousins: a rough bunch of Spanners from the dockyards of Portsmouth. Cone, the oldest, was whip-thin but fast as a striking snake. He was the thinker in their evil machinations against Torx. His brother, Lug, was a brutal fellow: all force and no subtlety. But the worst of them was Rigger-Jigger Spanner, a merciless bully, famous for pouncing on unsuspecting innocents.
So I know this probably wasn’t what you had in mind when you bought that ‘282 Piece Complete Spanner, Wrench and Allen Key Set’, but it brought me such endless joy that summer.