Wednesday, September 12, 2012

You had me at 'sledgehammer'


“We need to do something with that deck,” my husband announced one hot summer day, pointing out the kitchen window at said deck.

Oh.
Dear.
God.

I suddenly had flashbacks to the Dog Kennel Project of 2004. Remember that, my friends?
Three short years later I had a frame of four walls and a roof.

And...that was it. 

The, ahem, proposed dog kennel was finally put out of its misery when a couple of guys removing a damaged tree cut it the wrong way, causing it to fall right on top of the “kennel.”

I must admit.

Hearing the crack of the roof joist and watching the tree split the entire thing down the middle was a blessing. Kinda like taking a loved one off life support.

So, there’s really no reason to blame me for my current state of freaked-out-ness when I hear my husband propose tackling another project that includes boards.

And screws. And measuring. And money.

“Before you say anything,” he held up his hand, “I want you to know something.” He paused and smirked, “You’ll get to use a sledgehammer.”

Then he preceded with the rundown of the proposed project: replace the rotting railing, put down new deck planks, add a pergola, open one side with wide stairs leading to a new patio.

I finally put a hand in his face and said excitedly, “Stop, stop, stop! You had me at ‘sledgehammer.’”

Oh, yeah. Now we’re talking.

Permitted destruction on a grand scale?

Sign. Me. Up.

***

“OK,” my husband leaned over and pointed at the base of the railing where it joined with the deck floor. “Give it a good whack right there.”

I was so excited I even peed a little.

(Yeah, I admit it. If you’ve ever given birth, it really doesn’t take much, does it?)

I nodded and gave a little salute. I wrapped both hands around the handle, lifted the heavy mallet and took a swing.

***

Dreams are great.

Unfortunately, sometimes they are preceded by a nightmare.

“S#*&!” 

Great. The fun’s already begun, if what I just heard outta my husband’s mouth was any indication.

“This whole thing is nailed,” he wailed, sweeping his arm to encompass the entire deck.  “They didn’t use deck screws.” He wrapped it up with a muttered, “Son-of-a....”

OK. So it’s a happy accident we decided to tear off the whole thing. No problem, right?
Well, wrong.

Like most things in life, you never really know what you got until you look below the surface.

Tearing off the deck planking presented a revealing discovery....

“You gotta be kidding me!” my husband exclaimed. Crouched down, inspecting where the deck had once been attached to the house, right below the doors into the family room, he pointed to what was a good deal of water damage.

He looked up at me and griped, “I can’t believe they didn’t use a drip cup!”

I nodded in what attempted to be a very understanding way and replied, “Oh, yes. Those creeps! Imagine, forgetting a drip cup.” I paused then added, “What’s a drip cup? Sounds like something a football player with an over-eager bladder should be wearing.” I paused, recalling my earlier excitement with the sledgehammer. “Or myself, for that matter.”

My humor - as always - was not appreciated.

He went on to explain that it was like flashing, installed to keep water from running into the house or below the deck. Ours, apparently, had not included the handy little piece of metal and consequently had led to some unforeseeable circumstances.

So the deck will take a little more work than we had planned.

Kinda like most marriages. And that’s OK.

***

Looking for cheap entertainment? Give a 7-year-old boy a crowbar and ask him to remove a 4-inch nail from a deck board.

Tell him you’ll give him $1 for each nail he successfully pries out. Then stand back and watch the show.

It’s a good thing our son’s entire vocabulary of G-rated profanity only includes “Holy Cow” and “Jeepers.”

Which, given what he hears at our house on a daily basis, is really a testament to his inner, moral compass and is in no way a reflection of good parenting technique on our part.