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Oft Gang Awry

           It seems like the gremlins determined to prevent me from ever moving into this house have successfully completed an end run around my best laid plans. The only piece of luck I’ve had is in the weather. In normal years I’d be bemoaning the warm, dry autumn we’ve been having, as I always look forward to snow, but for now I’m grateful. I’d like for it to stay warm and dry a little longer, so that I don’t have to move furniture through three feet of snow. High on my agenda for this week is to move my potting wheel and other heavy equipment into the studio, since the road up to the ground-level door of the studio is  – to say the least – precarious, and will be utterly impassable as soon as the snow flies. After that, everything has to be hauled up a ladder.

          The gremlin currently bedeviling me is lack of carpenterial expertise. Once Roger was done with the heavy nail-banging phase, I looked around for someone to do the finishing work, and, after a stressful couple of weeks, found someone who not only agreed to do the sheetrocking, siding, door-hanging and what-not, but agreed to take my timber in exchange for the work. I was pretty happy about that since, as  you all know, I’m completely cashtrated, and none of you ever send money. So things looked pretty good for about five minutes, and then this guy just sort of stopped working. Weeks went by, and he’d go up to the house once or twice, and maybe hang a sheet or two of sheetrock or put  a lockset in a door. He put the tin on the roof, and on one wall of the studio, then just sort of wandered off. I don’t know if its attention deficit disorder, just plain laziness, unmentioned, pressing personal problems or a passive-aggressive response to some sort of perceived  slight, but as the days passed, not only did nothing get done, but bit by bit, all the tools left the job site (perhaps they were all in league with Stick and Shovel of “Stuck” fame).

          I did get my friend Jim to hang some sheetrock one Sunday, and my friend Scott put in a good, long Saturday getting a lot of important things done, but there is still more to do. One thing that nobody wants to do is tape the sheetrock. Pros and amateurs alike blanch visibly at the mere mention of perfatape, and since ‘Ahm Relahyin’ on the Kahndess of Strahngas’, I don’t feel its appropriate to ask any of my friends to do it. I realize that it is a skill so subtle and elusive that even the best see it as a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, served on a bed of lettuce – not to mention boring – and anyone who doesn’t devote herself to the alter of perfatape and practice the arcane rituals associated with it regularly is bound to botch it up. As it happens, I’m just the kind of householder who really could not care less about having perfectly flat walls. As a matter of fact, I’ve always had a soft spot for stucco, so I’m just going to slap that stuff on, and have fun with it.

          Having fun with whatever challenges one is dealt is probably the greatest life lesson anyone can ever learn. I sure wish my electrician would learn it. He’s a conscientious guy, and apparently a skilled tradesman (though how would I really know, until the house burns down? Unless I saw two wires connected with bandaids or something, I’d never be able to differentiate a good electrical wiring job from a bad one. I’m much more likely to be able to tell the difference between a Shiite and a Sunni without their headgear.), but he really needs to lighten up. And I do mean that he should “lighten” up my house in a hurry, but I also mean he needs to take a gigantic chill pill, pronto. Not only does he throw regular hissy-fits about minor obstacles like, for instance, a screw head breaking off, which last about two minutes, but contain at least an hour’s worth of rage, but he roundly commands those around him to go perform Cheney-istic anatomical impossibilities with rigor and regularity. As Scott says: a real potty mouth.

          Just remember: Saint Stupid would have wanted it that way, had he thought about it. And speaking of Saints, Brother Mike is scheduled to return sometime this month, so more antics are sure to follow. Just get Bill here to fix my computer, so that I can write about them! Writing on a borrowed computer is at the least stultifying and at the most just the tiniest bit illegal. Don’t ask, I won’t tell.


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