WILL UNWOUND #728: “In Which Will Gets to Keep His Man Card”April 9, 2012
Last Friday the stucco guy for my new house project tells me: “By the way, Will. You need to hop up there and paint that metal band around the top of the chimney. We can’t stucco over metal.”
“Yeah. Like I said we don’t paint. Better do it this weekend before we start stuccoing next Monday. Piece of cake. Just hop up to the third level of the scaffold that we’ve set up for the stucco job.”
That was Friday. Today is Sunday, and I by 3:00 time is running out. I hate heights. Hate them.
“Will, time’s running out. Better hop up there and paint the metal band around the top of the chimney,” says my wife.
“Yeah, isn’t that what the stucco guy said? Piece of cake, right?”
So very slowly and very fearfully, I make the climb up to the third level of scaffolding with my paint can and paint brush. When I arrive at the top I notice two things. Thing one is that there is a 4 foot gap (okay maybe only 2 and a half feet) between the scaffold and the roof. Thing two is that a crowd of neighbors has gathered to watch me. They’re curious about what I’m doing up on the roof of my new house project on Easter Sunday. I have become an Easter Sunday sideshow.
My legs are beginning to tremble. Apparently I have to hop off the scaffold and onto a fairly slippery pitched roof all the while holding my balance with a paint can and a paint brush in my hands. The vision of a successful hop is just not coming in to focus. What is coming into focus is a fall. But my pride is at stake. The neighborly crowd is clearly beginning to sense a wimp out. My man card is at stake. I look down at them and feel dizzy. I have to do this. Have to. But I keep pondering how long my hospital stay will be if I fall. The 50th reunion of my World Series Little League team is scheduled for Saturday and I’m booked on Southwest for the flight to South Jersey. There’s no turning back.
I jump, land on the roof, stumble, slip, and, ah, steady myself.
Piece of cake.