I’ve driven past what I generally consider “the other hardware store” in NoMi quite often but never had a chance to go in until today. Despite the fact that Abel is literally a block or so away (just north of 26th Ave on 2nd St), I’ve always gone to North End Hardware or a box store.
Well, today I had two rather specific yet random hardware store purchases to make, and was in the area before their 4:30 p.m. closing time. Based on their hours, it seems as if Abel caters to an industrial class, contractors, or others who’d come in for supplies as part of their workday.
So when I walked in the door, looking for my odds and ends, I said, “I’m looking for a specific kind of tape, but I’m not sure what it’s called.”
The lady brought me over to where the various kinds of tape were located, and I have never in my life seen such a variety of duct tape all in one place. Still, this wasn’t what I wanted, and our conversation continued.
“This tape is used by musicians to sometimes hold down cables, and actors to mark a spot where they should stand. But it’s meant to be able to be pulled off without taking paint with it.”
“Oh, like this?” she asked, holding up a roll of blue painter’s tape.
“No, I’ve worked on political conventions and used that stuff before. It won’t pull paint off, but it’s not sturdy enough for what I’m using it for.”
“Okay, and what are you using it for?”
“Making hula hoops.”
“Right, so duct tape and electrical tape are too slippery, and painter’s tape and masking tape won’t hold together long.”
“You make your own hula hoops?” she asked, recovering from the curveball I’d just thrown her.
“Yeah, but these ones are for kids in Tanzania.”
“Well, this is all the tape that we have.”
“In that case, do you happen to have some industrial-strength Drain-o, because I’ve got one hell of a clog in my bathtub.”
She found that in short order and I was (partly) all set.
Look, anyone who can handle a conversation THAT surreal can surely help people with their more common, everyday hardware store needs. So the next time you’re in Hawthorne, check out Abel Hardware!