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Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2015
Carpal Tunnel TimePosted Monday, June 30, 2008, at 10:58 AM
How I'll Spend My Summer
And it is entirely possible that it may be a very long while before I am back on this web site again. Leaving aside my experience going 'round and 'round trying to get internet service through AT&T (whose customer service scheme was apparently designed by Franz Kafka), there are other issues which have arisen which will certainly doom any plans I might have made, in my na*ve, optimistic way, for the rest of the Summer and, quite probably, the Fall.
I have this thing on my back porch which I call a "gazebo." (I also sometimes call my back porch a "veranda," by the way. I may not be able to afford fancy construction, but any dope can spring for a thesaurus.) This gazebo has been steadily getting shabbier and shabbier. Torn screen. Faded paint. Rusty hinges. So I decided that I would spruce it up. Why did I decide this? I don't know. I hadn't been drinking or anything. Maybe the sun was particularly hot that day. I do recall I wasn't wearing a hat.
But then again, why not? I'm no carpenter, but this doesn't call for carpentry. It isn't anything complicated. Just paint the thing and put up some new screen. I calculated that the whole thing would take maybe one day. And it isn't like I'm burdened by any really high standards, either. I bring to home projects the discernment of my theater background, where things only have to be painted on one side and only have to look good from thirty feet away.
Somebody or other once defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different outcome. If we go by this definition, then I should certainly be institutionalized. I have never yet started a simple, one-day job that didn't turn into a nightmare stretching on for months. In more than one case I was forced to move to a different home just to escape the ongoing horror of it. Why would I think this time would be any different?
Today I took off the lath that was holding on the old screen. I began with that step because it says in the Bible that the lath shall be first. So far so good. And it was pretty easy, especially since a lot of it was dried to the consistency of peanut brittle. Getting the old screen off was a little difficult, but nothing a few violent yanks wouldn't rememdy. Now to just slap some paint on the… What's this? Oh, of course. The old screen was held on with staples. Let's see… It looks like…
Eleven million staples.
I am struck with the idea that if I just hammer them flat and put on two coats of paint, maybe… Ah, who am I kidding? They'll botch putting the new screen on. I'm going to have to pull them out. Individually. By hand. All eleven million of them. And that's just the first thing I didn't plan on dealing with. I haven't even stuck my hand into the wasp's nest or fallen through a floor board yet. And assuming I ever do get the thing done (sometime during the second Obama administration), I will then turn around and see that the shiny new gazebo makes the old porch (I mean "veranda") look so bad that now it has to be re-done, too.
So don't expect to hear from me much. You'll have to find some other way to waste the time you just spent reading this. I know how I'll be wasting mine.
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