My Husband Makes Me Laugh – Engineering Disease

I know I normally talk about how my kids make me laugh, but this week it’s all about how my husband makes me laugh. The kids were funny, but he was funnier.

If you don’t remember, my husband has issues.  He has something I call “engineering disease.”  It’s been well documented in a series of posts.

engineering disease at camp no fiHelp! My husband has engineering disease!

How to cure engineering disease with a red shoe.

I’m ready to come out of the closet.

Engineering disease strikes my sock drawer.

How to load your dishwasher for engineers.

When you ask a silly question.

When we were at Camp NoFi this past Easter, his engineering tendencies were in full force.  To set the scene, we got to the country on Friday and loaded our stuff into the “barn” we were sleeping in.  Remember? The one with records on the wall?

In the wee morning hours on Saturday, as I was fumbling in the dark, my hand brushed against a router.

(for non engineers, a router is the little thingy that gives you wireless internet.)

I didn’t think much about it because it was dark and I was irritated about bumping into stuff.  But as we were getting ready for bed that night, I remembered about it.

One quick glance told me there was probably a good reason we didn’t have any internet access.

Clue number 1:  It wasn’t plugged in.

Clue number 2: The antenna part wasn’t attached.

im not an engineer, but i am a geekI’m not an engineer, but I am a geek.

So really casually, I decided to mention it to my husband.

Me: Hey honey, I think I know why we don’t have wi-fi.

Him: Oh really?  Why?

Me: Because the thingy isn’t plugged in.

thingy is a technical term(thingy is a technical term. i used it on purpose. i didn’t want my husband to give me the whole lecture on a router versus a mere wireless antenna.  he cares, i don’t.)

The other cabin at Camp NoFi actually did have internet.  I figured it might be as simple as plugging that thing in and then we’d have internet.

Hubby pushed me out of the way (gently) to take a look.  Apparently, he didn’t think I was qualified to plug it in.

Him: What in the world? The antenna is unscrewed. Why would someone do that?

(um, because they don’t want it to work? or because they were mad?)

After that, my husband was a man on a mission.

He was obsessed.

He went out to the car to get some tools.  He re-attached the antenna.  He plugged it in.  It didn’t work.

By Sunday morning (Easter Sunday, remember?) he was in the full grip of an “Engineering Incident.”

Engineering Incidents are Ugly.

engineering incidentSince it couldn’t be fixed quickly, my husband picked it up and cradled the hardware like an injured child.

He carried the broken router and his laptop down to the other cabin, claimed his “desk” and began to try and breathe life into the thing.

(He was good. He paused to observe our family Easter service and participate in hiding Easter eggs.  But he did try to work through Easter dinner. Sigh.)

It took him all day.

At lunchtime, he had a functional signal, but it wasn’t “fast enough.”  My engineer wasn’t satisfied.

At various times, my husband asked for a patch cable, a flash drive, a screw driver, and a vacuum cleaner.  He called out for them like a surgeon would call for a scalpel or a sponge during a scene from MASH.

Technical specs and mysterious forum groups were consulted.  Google-foo was invoked.

He rebuilt the hardware in BOTH cabins. He updated all the firmware. He redid the settings on everything.

But by bedtime, he had all the hardware running at optimal speed.

He was so proud of himself.

I decided to poke him with a stick.

(what? you never do this? you never ever annoy your spouse on purpose? not even when they’ve been doing something that makes you want to beat them about the head and shoulders? on a holiday? with your family watching?)

Me: Why did you waste all day on that? We’re leaving in the morning.

Him: I hadn’t worked with that router before, I wanted to learn.

(what kind of weird answer is that? you wanted to waste an entire day learning about a piece of hardware you’ll never see again? this is soooo irrational to me.)

Me: Honey, what if the people who own this place didn’t want it fixed?

Him: WHAT?

(i decided to slow down and speak slowly – like i would to a small child.)

Me: What if they don’t want it to work?

Him: That’s not even logical.

(it was like i’d asked him what if they were afraid of the internet… or puppies.)

Me: What if they didn’t want new firmware?

Him: Everyone wants new firmware. Be rational.

He could not even comprehend that someone would object to his efforts. The idea of owning hardware that wasn’t working perfectly was beyond anything he could imagine.

My name is Susan, and my husband has Engineering Disease.

Tell me stories about your engineer. Please?






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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. Your husband makes me laugh, too! Oh, engineers! I told you before that I used to work at a law office that specialized in estate planning and we loved doctors who didn’t read anything but didn’t love engineers who read and wanted an explanation for every word! Doctors signed their documents in one short appointment. It took the engineers at least three long appointments.

    Poor engineers. They just can’t help it!
    Patty recently posted..How to Win a Billing/Rebate ConflictMy Profile

    • I’ll never forget my first home loan closing with hubby. He didn’t pay much attention to the loan docs, but he was all over the survey drawings and technical specifications. Sigh. It’s a good thing he’s so cute.

  2. BWAHAHAHAHA… my friends hubby is just like that… I love. it. My BIL is like that with cars and my hubby with pens and tools. Men are so crazy.
    karen recently posted..Spaceships and Spit StringsMy Profile

  3. I can’t believe he spent all day fixing the thing when you were leaving the next day! My husband is not an engineer but he has fixed things when we were away, just because. Men are funny like that.
    Michelle recently posted..On the Lighter Side: Ladies Only Blog Share Link PartyMy Profile

    • The funniest part is that there were four other adults watching this whole thing. NONE of them batted an eye at hubby’s behavior. The two other wives both gave me that “been there, done that” glance of pity.

  4. That’s pretty funny, but at the same time, I get your husband. I’m an engineer as well as just get a natural joy out of fixing things and learning about how things work. It’s just a rational thing to do, especially for an engineer. 🙂

  5. It’s hilarious, but I know where your husband is coming from… Give him a break!

  6. Us engineers have a different mind set when it comes to the environment around us. But I guess that’s what makes us unique and good at engineering.

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