As a lifelong Tool Maniac,  I created the ‘Foo Foo Valve’ when I ran a garage specialising in Aston Martin, Ferrari and Lamborghini.

One day a customer brought his Aston DB6 in sounding rough. I had just bought the latest ‘Snap-On Stethoscope’, so of course I milked the part, making the most of my highly technical diagnosis. After turning the engine off the customer looked at me and asked, ‘So what’s wrong?’. Pulling a grave face I shook my head, heaved a huge sigh and said ‘I’m afraid it’s your Foo Foo Valve’. His face fell and there was a moments silence, into which I announced,  ‘The Foo Foo Valve means I have no idea what’s wrong’.

So, there I am, many years later in Sears, my favourite store in the USA.  Now Sears owns the Craftsman range of tools, and every time I was in the States I made a beeline for their store and would spend many a happy hour (and loads of money), whilst my wife did the same elsewhere.

On one occasion though, the Mrs joined me in the Craftsman section, and I forget what I had in my hand, but she said “What’s that?”. I gave her a puzzled look, as if astounded that anyone could be quite so lacking in tool knowledge, and told her “It’s a Foo Foo Valve Extractor”.  Needless to say, she didn’t get the joke, but then asked the unforgivable question (you know – the one you should NEVER ever ask a Tool Maniac), “But are you ever going to use it?”. Though the look on my face should have laid her out cold, I just answered, “I might”.

We all have ‘that’ space in our tool box. We know it needs filling, but we can’t quite work out exactly which tool will perfectly fit the spot.  Henceforth, it shall be known as the elusive “FOO FOO VALVE EXTRACTOR”

Only true TOOL MANIACS will get this story.

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