4. Award for 'Worst Use of a Hand Tool'
Association with This Old House doesn't exempt you from this competition. One evening after a full day of framing walls, TOH contributing editor Mark Feirer settled into his favorite chair with his hammer and a roll of electrical tape to repair a splinter on the handle. He wrapped a few turns of tape around and stretched it tight until...the tape snapped. "No close call has ever scared me so much as the com­pletely unexpected feel of framing-hammer claws sunk deep into the bridge of my nose," says Feirer. On the bright side: At least it wasn't a hatchet.

5. 'Snake Eyes: Not As Good in Idaho As in Las Vegas' Award
Lyman and Jeanine Hepworth were perfectly happy with the cozy eastern Idaho home they'd just purchased. That is, until the weather turned cold and a thousand or so snakes moved in. The Hepworths came to the realization they weren't alone after a triumvirate of events: one, when a snake fell on Lyman's head as he opened the door to the nearby pump house; two, when Lyman and Jeanine walked outside one morning and noticed that "the whole yard moved"; and three, when Lyman reached to turn on a light only to discover that the pull cord...wasn't a cord at all. Reportedly, the Hepworths have asked ABC's Extreme Makeover Home Edition to consider the house for an upcoming episode. Better their TV show than ours.

6. 'When the Vow Breaks' Award
Next time you're forced to take sanctuary on the couch for a night, think of Gayadhar Parida, who's been sulking in a tree house adjacent to his wife's home since he had an argument with her—50 years ago. Neither remembers what instigated the marital spat, but, says his wife, "he promised not to live with me and return home [until] his death." Parida seems to be a man of his word. He is on his second arboreal house, having built it after the first was destroyed in a storm.

7. The 'Duct and Cover' Award
Adam Klein of Gardner Hardware in Minneapolis was working the ­counter when a customer came in wanting a metal detector. (What is it with these guys and metal detectors?) Klein inquired as to what kind of treasure the man was looking for. "Ductwork," the DIYer sheepishly replied. He and a friend had installed air ducts in his new master bedroom, broke for a couple beers, then decided to move on to the next step: hanging the drywall. Problem was, Tweedledumb and Tweedledim neglected to mark where the cut­outs for the vents should go before buttoning the room up. They paid the ultimate punishment for a fix-it crime: having to confess their sin to the local hardware-store guy.

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