Whoa! Didja get the numbers off that truck?!?


October 14, 2001 - 11:22 p.m.

Prep the patient, we’re going in

The roof leaks, mocking me. “Run run as fast as you can you can’t catch me I’m a leaky roof, man.” The drips re-appear in the classic beadboard ceiling that is my sunporch. The drips play catch with the bucket assortment arranged on the damp floor. Streaks of leftover brown water run down the wall that I just fake-finished not seven months ago.

It’s a personal taunt. Goading me, daring me… “you can’t fix me JohnnieV, you’re unemployed and broke! C’mon Mr Fix-it Boy. You think you’re so smart!”

2 rolls of selvedge roll roofing, one roll of 30# felt paper, one gallon of lap cement, two Big Ass tubes of roof tar. Two boxes of galvanized roofing nails. We’ll see who’s boss. Fifty bucks, that’s cheap insurance.

I enlisted the help of Son2, fresh from his overnight at Pat’s house. We began armed with a utility knife, two hammers and a wrecking bar. We sliced and tore and peeled and uncovered:

Another older layer of wet rolled roofing. A double decker sandwich.

We chopped and peeled and tossed the asphalt skin overboard (missing the dogs). It was a partly sunny Fall day.

But off to the West, dark blue clouds were forming. “I hear thunder,” Son2 says.

Off to Menards! Two packages of 4 mil plastic! One roll of Duct tape! Another wrecking bar! The cloud deck is getting lower and darker as I hurry home. The first wet dots of rain are hitting my windshield as I roll up the driveway. I hustle up the ladder with the stuff. Then back down again to find my stapler.

My stapler. Where the hell is my stapler?!? As I rummage around downstairs I hear the rain hitting the chimney. But that seems odd. No stapler damn it, I’ll use roofing nails to tack the plastic to the house.

I rush back upstairs to see… hail. Piling up on the exposed wood deck of the balcony.

Son2 and I frantically spread out the plastic and start tacking it about one foot off the deck on the wall of the house. We’re spreading it out, getting soaked as the rain amplifies. The hail had melted and there was a slurry of granules, dirt and roofing nails on the deck. We got it spread out and tacked down fairly quickly.

Then the rain tapered off. The clouds broke away. The sun began shining again.

We now resume your beautiful fall day, already in progress.

No way am I peeling that plastic back now, people. They promise rain tomorrow, and then two full days of clear weather. I’ll be a roofing guy on Tuesday.







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