There are only so many places a man can talk about a 5/8-inch male pipe going into a 1/2-inch female fitting with a straight face. "We just need to find an adapter for the female end," concluded the conversation recently at George's, a hardware store whose employees thrive on such dilemmas. Here, you won't find any employees wearing orange smocks or aisles taller than your house. In fact, the whole store, at 8,000 square feet, is probably smaller than the average Home Depot aisle. But George's has survived for 64 years by positioning a pool of long-time employees by the front door who will go get that hammer you need rather than sending you down some cavernous aisle on a two-day search.