July 20, 2004

Genius at Work: Part II

<< Part I | Ants!

I might have mentioned it but its worth repeating - the house Adam and I got hired to paint was a big old three-story house. It has been built in the mid-1800’s and repeatedly added onto throughout its long history. This formed a very odd roof-line and posed a distinctly unusual challenge when painting. We had a fully extended forty-foot ladder, braced in place by my Jeep. I’m no great fan of heights but I’d have preferred staying on the ladder over becoming a human yo-yo.

You see, there was one side of the house that was very difficult to get to. And aside from a little paint job, the owners wanted us to clean out the gutters. Sure, for a few extra bucks, why not? Hi, I’m Chris, your home improvement whore.

The problem was that cleaning the gutters required very precise coordination. We needed to hatch a plan. The owner was willing to rent scaffolding so we could scale the side of the house without plunging to our deaths. But no. We were sure we could come up with a less expensive plan. And we did. It was a simple plan. A plan that involved me, a chimney, Adam’s upper body strength and a rope.

The rope was anchored around the chimney on top of the third story of the house. It was then tied around me, looping around my waist, then arms. A second rope was attached to me then the chimney just in case the first one gave out. Then I slid off the edge of the house to attack the gutters and do a little painting while Adam held on and fed me slack when I needed to move. While uncomfortable and insane, it really wasn’t a bad plan. It would have been completely successful had it not been for one little issue.

The gutters were filled with the ivy that was attacking the house. It was also filled with ants. Bare-handed I began scooping ivy and dirt out of the gutters and was almost immediately attacked. I yelled for backup. “Ants! Big fucking ants!” I yelled. I could hear Adam, most likely half-asleep on the roof, scurry into action. “What?” he replied sleepily. “Fucking ants. All over the fucking place. Get me the fuck up. Fucking ants! Wake the fuck up and get my ass onto the fucking roof” I answered. Adam heard me. So did the neighbors. They flocked from afar to see the crazy white boy screaming obscenities from the roof of a three story house held only by a taller, sleepier crazy white boy and a rope around the chimney.

Posted by Chris at July 20, 2004 7:09 AM

i guess you must have rushed out to see the movie 'antz' when it came out - huh?

ah lads, this is why i love them so.

Posted by: chlamygirl at July 20, 2004 7:18 AM

A giant penis and fucking ants. I thought you were a decent guy! I should have seen the warning signs when you started posting about toilet cakes.

Posted by: Sweety at July 20, 2004 7:30 AM

I would be okay with ants, now SPIDERs would be something totally different

Posted by: debby at July 20, 2004 7:50 AM

Niiiice. Good job, yo. Were the owners home while you were doing all of this? I hope not, for your sake.

Posted by: Dawnie at July 20, 2004 8:37 AM

That reminds me of the time in boot camp doing situps when the guy next to me was doing his on a fire ant hill. Those suckers leave big welts when they bite.

Posted by: Mike at July 20, 2004 10:22 AM

Oh, boys. *sigh* You know I started expectantly giggling when I read the word "rope," right?

Posted by: Fraulein N at July 20, 2004 10:42 AM

Two excellent stories, thank you for sharing!

Posted by: Kim at July 20, 2004 11:57 AM

LOL. shit that was funny.

Posted by: carol at July 20, 2004 12:03 PM

Haha! Great story. I would have paid to see that...can you guys do it again???

Posted by: groovebunny at July 20, 2004 12:25 PM

That made me laugh, and when I am home sick, laughing is good. I am glad I had put down the hot tea before reading that post!

Posted by: goodsnake at July 20, 2004 12:54 PM

That reminds me of the time I cleaned out my gutters....except instead of ants there was an invisible pest... a big fucking stink. I am teetering on a top-heavy ladder with a garbage bag tied around my waist while scraping this horrific smelling rotten compost out of the gutters. The smell was so bad that a neighbor came over to see if I was BBQ-ing roadkill. He arrives just in time to witness me tumbling from the ladder all covered in black stagnant goo.

Posted by: Geezitron at July 20, 2004 5:11 PM

Insanity, for sure. I'm learning not to be surprised at these crazy tales, and since they tend to come out at random times, I'm sure we haven't heard the last of them. :)

Posted by: Zandria at July 20, 2004 8:14 PM