People seem to be all about Do It Yourself stuff these days… I love being able to handle certain things on my own and without the massive expenses incurred from paying someone to do what I could have done. Although, sometimes I wonder if paying an expert would be cheaper than a trip to the emergency room. Here is just one such close call that I’ve culled from a long list of idiotic decisions in my experience of being a homeowner!
The time I nearly (ok, mostly) fell off the roof.
So… this was fun! I was determined to spread Christmas cheer by adorning our home with brightly colored, twinkling christmas lights. One of my all-time favorite movies is Christmas Vaction. Surely I’m not the only kid who grew up planning to decorate their home with Griswold Greatness! The biggest challenge I faced for this task was that I didn’t have a ladder.
At first I thought, I’ll just decorate the porch, windows and shrubs like a reasonable and ladderless person might. Then I wondered, why would I shy away from the awkwardly-awesome challenge of scaling a two-story house without a ladder? Spoiler alert, I didn’t! In all my infinite wisdom, I scoured the house, garage and yard for convenient stackable items that would allow me to achieve Griswold Glory! I soon found my self standing before an impressive, Jenga-like tower of up-turned five gallon buckets, chairs and tables of various lengths. “Should be fine, right?” I shakily climbed up and over this massive mistake.
So while I was installing strings upon strings of lights a-la Clark Griswold, I managed to get distracted just enough to lose my footing and slide from the peak of my fairly steep roof all the way to the edge of the overhang where I was lucky enough to grasp the edge and using stiffened arms, save myself from sudden death! The irony did not escape me that I was reliving a dramatic, yet hilarious, scene from my favorite Christmas movie!
Now I’m staring at the very distant and upside down shrubs. My life flashed before my eyes and I couldn’t let it end this way! I certainly didn’t want to let my kids grow up thinking their dad was a roof-tard! Realizing that I was over the living room, I hoped that my loving wife would hear me bellowing for help! So I began to scream her name, not even caring what the neighbors might think! Alas, the only one who heard my cries for help was my dog, who happily wandered over and sat below me, tilting his head left and right, looking confused, probably wondering what the hell I’d gotten myself into this time.
As I hung there, my arms shaking from gripping the roof, I had some time to ponder certain decisions that I had recently made. Decisions that led to this predicament. Realizing the mess I was in, I decided that I would have to help myself, because Jamie obviously wasn’t coming to my rescue! Besides, what did I expect her to help with? Could you imagine her running frantically around the house and ambling back with random items to stack and hold steady for me?
Luckily, and without assistance, I was able to carefully turn myself around and belly crawl back over the top of the roof. I rapidly abandoned my light display and after safely reaching solid ground, I attempted to catch my breath and stomped my way into the house looking for the one who was supposed to hear me yelling.
Upon making my way into the living room, Jamie looked up after pausing her Lifetime Movie, Bon-Bons in hand, (at least that’s how I remember it) and seemed surprised to see me standing before her, huffing and puffing. “What’s wrong?” She asked innocently.
“Didn’t you hear me yelling out there?” I asked through clenched teeth? It was obvious she hadn’t. At all. “How the hell did you not hear me?!? I’m pretty sure I was just dangling in front of a window?!? I’ve been screaming your name for ten minutes!!!” I saw the concern bloom on her face and then quickly turn to skepticism.
“Wait, how did you climb on the roof? You don’t have a ladder?”
“I, uh… stacked some stuff. But what’s important here is that I almost died! I was dangling from the edge of the roof for like ten damn minutes! All the while screaming YOUR name!”
I stood there speechless for a minute. I suddenly felt a growing tingling sensation. The feeling you get when you realize that the situation at hand is not going the way you hoped or planned. “Tables, chairs and stuff. Jamie I could have died!”
It was then that she jumped up and ran to the backyard to see for herself just what I had stacked up. I anxiously followed. “See! This is why women live longer than men! This is where you could have died!” She was dramatically waving her arms toward the monstrosity that I used to scale the house.
Jamie really taught me a valuable lesson that day. She taught me that when I make stupid decisions, stupid things happen. I’m pretty sure one of the Commandments of Adulthood strictly forbids the stacking of unsteady objects to climb onto houses.
She really felt terrible. I felt bad that she felt bad and I was still shaky from nearly dying. I decided then that I had a good enough excuse to make a trip to Home Depot where I purchased my first ladder!