Chuck’s Corner – June, 2007
The other day I was on the back patio working on some Christmas decorations (remember last month’s column?). It had been a hot afternoon but an evening shower was helping to cool things down significantly. Suddenly, my daughter threw open the sliding glass door and said “Daaad! Whack needs a roll away!” “What? The rain is too loud and I can’t understand you” I replied. “I said” she repeated in a near-hysterical voice, “Jack peed in the hallway!” “Why are you getting so excited?” I asked, “you know what to do.” “No – he REALLY peed in the hallway” she said. “That doesn’t sound like a good thing” I thought to myself.
I went into the house to see what the fuss was about. Jack was in his usual place on the back of the couch in the living room, lost in doggy-thought as he watched the rain outside. His casual demeanor told me that he probably didn’t have anything to do with whatever happened in the hallway.
Upon turning the corner into the hallway I observed a large pool of water on the ground that was much too large to be Jack’s handiwork. In addition, the sound of dripping water and the fact that the pool was getting larger by the second told me that something else was going on here.
In my mind I started thinking about possible causes. Were there any water pipes in the vicinity that could have burst? No, none that I knew of. And what’s with that dripping sound? Did someone leave a faucet running? It sounds like it’s coming from inside this closet…
Now, you know the scenes in the horror movies where someone is walking around investigating a strange sound and the camera is following them from behind and then they open a door but don’t see anything and then the camera comes around and zooms in on their face and they slowly lift their gaze to see what’s above them and then - BAM! - an alien eats them? It was like that.
I opened the door to the closet and looked up to see water pouring down from the ceiling. “Oh, great” I thought. “Go get some towels and tell your brother to get some buckets from the garage” I told my daughter as I began pulling everything out of the closet as quickly as possible in an attempt to clear a place to put the buckets to contain the water.
Fortunately, the rain soon let up and the dripping stopped. The next day I called our roofing company and they had their guy Bill there in an hour. “Well, Chuck, it’s like this” Bill explained, “we really haven’t had much rain for the past year and the wood in the roof gets dry and then you get a sudden storm and it starts leaking. It might stop on its own now that we’re in the rainy season. Or it might not.” “In the event that it’s the latter thing, how much to fix it?” I asked. “Let me take some measurements” he said as he left to get a tape measure and a ladder from his truck.
A few minutes later he came back. “Well, just to fix this little problem here will be 5 to 6” he said. “Six hundred bucks?” I said. “Thank God! I thought it was going to be a lot more.” “No, no, five to six THOUSAND” he corrected me, “And of course, that doesn’t guarantee that you won’t get another leak somewhere else next week.” “OK, I’ll bite - how much to replace the whole roof?” I asked.
“Well that will run you a little more” he said. “How little?” I asked. Upon hearing the figure, I said “You know, Bill, you’ve got the perfect name for this job. I don’t consider that figure ‘little’ in any sense of the word with which I’m familiar.”
Well, to make a long story short, I decided to pay a “little” more and just do the whole roof so if you happen to live near me let me apologize in advance for any unpleasant smells that are likely to be coming from our house in the next day or so.
You know, I think I would have liked it better if an alien had been in the closet.
As usual, you can send comments, questions and suggestions to ChucksCorner@ComCast.net.