No. It’s not supposed to look like that.

While mowing the lawn yesterday afternoon, I went to plug in at the outlet on the back of the garage and as I pushed the prongs of the plug into the face of the outlet, the outlet retreated into the wall. First time that’s ever happened to me.

Then the weather-tight cover came off in my hands as I pulled the plug away from the outlet. This was getting weirder and weirder.

Poking at the outlet, I could see that the metal box it was mounted in wasn’t secured to the wall. I could easily pull it out of the hole in the vinyl cover. I went inside the garage to investigate further and, sure enough, the box was just dangling near the hole cut through the chipboard. The cover, when it was attached, was the only thing holding it in place.

The cover, by the way, had fallen off because the guy who attached it had apparently lost the screw that was there originally when he unscrewed the cover to tear off the siding. Instead of getting a replacement made for an electric outlet, he used a construction screw that was at least an inch and a half long, and he drove it in until it was flush with the cover, which meant he had to drive it completely through the outlet until almost an inch of it stuck out the back. The cover fell off because the head of the construction screw was *not quite* big enough, so it popped through the hole in the cover when I applied a little pressure with the plug.

So I had to stop what I was doing – not that heartbroken about having to stop mowing the lawn, to be quite honest – to switch off the power, haul out my tools, take apart the outlet, build a frame around the hole in the wall, and attach the metal box to it. That’s as far as I got yesterday because I thought I had an outlet in my big bucket o’ electric odds & ends, but I must have used up my last outlet many moons ago. With no replacement outlet and no way I was going to re-use the one that had been lanced by a construction screw, I had to knock off for the day because it was way too late to mask up and head for the hardware store.

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