Adjustable Wrench Dilemma


On my way to work in the mornings, I pass the hibernation grounds of the Saltsjöbaden Boat Club. Boat owners are currently busy getting their craft out of the water and onto scaffolding on dry land, as the Baltic winter ice is not friendly to boats.

The other day I found an adjustable spanner on the bike track right by the boats. It was sitting beside a newly landed boat, one of many whose cover scaffolding was in place but whose tarp wasn’t on yet. This threw me into a brief ethical dilemma. What should I do with the wrench?

I already own an adjustable wrench. Another one would be somewhat useful to me. But the person who lost the wrench would certainly be unhappy about losing theirs. Now, there were no identifying marks on the wrench, and I didn’t know whose it was. Simply keeping it would, I felt, be justifiable. So would leaving it on the ground. But finally I tossed it into the nearest boat. Regardless of whether I thereby returned the wrench to its owner or gave it as a surprise gift to somebody else, I made that person happy. And the name of the boat was Hilda Trast, “Hilda Thrush”, which I felt deserved a reward.

Satisfied with my decision I continued on my way.


5 thoughts on “Adjustable Wrench Dilemma

  1. I just bought myself a new monkey wrench. I tend to give mine away to women acquantainces of mine, since they are often under-endowed in that department. To be fair, though, most of them make it up in other fields of endowment.

    Reminds me of a Torsten Ehrenmark article, btw, in which he gave an account of a friend of his, who always bought pianos for new girlfriends, since his idea of a perfect woman was one sitting by a piano. Alas, the annuities on the instruments often lasted longer than the relationships.

    Stick to monkey wrenches, I say.


  2. You could also have chosen to view this find as a sign from above, or beneath or wherever, with the implicit mission to bring this obvious relic to all corners of France and other outlandish locales where you would have walked up to peasantry and bourgeoisie alike while intoning the holy tenet “_This_ is what we in Sweden call a ‘skiftnyckel’!.”


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