Friday, February 10, 2006
The Dumbest Man of 1922
Last Saturday I fixed a leak in the roof of my shed, using some asphalt-based patching compound from the hardware store. That stuff sticks to everything, including one's hands and one's tools such as the ladder. Gunk got places. I wanted to go to this jewelry store up the street (Saint VD's day is coming, ya know?) and called ahead to make sure they were open. I took a shower, and when I went to the dresser to get something... water is dripping from my ceiling onto it. Got dressed, grabbed the ladder from out back to get into the attic, and go up with a light to see where this is coming from. No shingles are missing from the roof, but water seems to have blown up under some loose ones. The insulation in my attic is regular pink/yellow batting, topped with a fluffy layer of cotton balls. Or something like that, I think it's also fiberglass floss (judging by the itchy arms) but not concentrated. So after seeing that the leak is coming from under a strut, and not a hole in the middle of a plank, thus no easy way to fix it, I go back down and take the ladder outside. Issue one, I am tracking white fluff all over the house. Issue two, I'm getting black gunk all over again, damned ladder. I took a second quick trip to the hardware store to buy a tarp, then went up on the roof to staple it into place hoping to keep water off that place. Without further ado, I must leave, it's 4pm and the jewelry store closes at 5pm. I go out the door, get to the car, realize I do not have my housekey, grumble. Happily my nephew has unlocked the sliding glass door, though he didn't take the dowel out of the track so it would open more than six inches, and the spirit of McGyver is running through me as I take a broom handle and knock a nail into the end at an angle so I can extend my arm and the handle through the open space and tickle the dowel out. I get inside, it's now 4:15pm, grab my keys and head to the store. And when I get to the stripmall a couple miles away, the signs are there but the store isn't. Sign in window: "We've moved to South Hill." I have enough time to drive there and spend maybe ten minutes looking, but I decide to give up and get myself a sammich. End of that comedy of errors.
Oh, and the insurance guy came out today to look at my roof (wheee, more floss on the family room carpet!) and he said that since there's no visible external damage to cause the leak, just the damp panels in the attic which may someday rot out, they're not going to take any action. Thanks, Farmers! Things could be worse, the woman next door also had a leak in her roof from the recent windstorms, and in the process of getting that fixed professionally they discovered dry rot in her porch so she has spent over $3000 on her issues. I am hoping that using that asphalt goop on some loose shingles will prevent further leakage, and that a heater fan directed to those wet panels in the attic will help preserve them. Anyhow, with all that said about the joy and cost of home repairs, consider the following guy. [Click on the image for a more readable 621x529 version.]
There can only be one reason why he'd turn down a million bucks, or to say he's only going to keep five hundred of it (even in 1922 dollars), and that is... He was the dumbest man in the news that day. :)
Bill Ding is a friendly feller... just watch yourself around him. :-D
Even if you didn't make it to the jewelry store, I don't think it matters as long as you let her know how much you really do love her.