50 thoughts on “Screw That Job

  1. Ha! Love this Colleen. I had a garage exactly like that when I was married. ha! The cats loved it. Ha! Gotta tell you this story – it is hilarious. Refill your coffee cup, come sit and listen for a spell. All set? Good. I got a coffee myself. My ex and I lived in a semi-detached (just a garage wall common – good set up I would recommend it) in a French neighborhood in East Ottawa.This is a gov’t and university town and both require a lot of bilingual professionals. The following is an observation and is in no way intended to be derogatory or prejudice. We were surrounded by French bilingual professionals who were the first in their families to make any decent money and they were a proud lot. The lawns were kept golf-course perfect, the driveways painted, the houses immaculate, even the streets were swept by the residents. The cars were fancy and well-maintained and any deviations from perfection were frowned upon greatly. My wife and I were deviations. We loved leaves on our lawn, our cats wandered the neighborhood, we only shoveled enough snow to get the cars in the driveway so as the winter went on the driveway got higher and higher, we only mowed the lawn when we lost sight of the cats in the front yard, when we mowed we mowed the garden as well and I fixed our cars in the driveway.

    So, one day I got an unexpected bonus and my wife told me to spend it on myself. I bought a used 200 gallon aquarium (I’d had aquariums when younger and loved them) and installed it in the living room.In order to spread the huge weight over as many joists as possible, I got two broad hardwood planks that were used for trailer flooring. I sanded and polished and put 10 coats of urethane on these planks until they gleamed. It took me a week to get the planks ready and they were gorgeous. I set the stand on the planks and filled the aquarium with 2,000 pounds of water. As soon as my wife saw the aquarium (she knew it was coming) her eyes went immediately to the beautiful planks. My intention had been to make her proud to have the tank in the room but it backfired. She had not seen the hardwood planks more than 30 seconds when her mouth opened and the dreaded words emerged -“That floor looks beautiful with hardwood. We have to renovate and do all the floors all like that.”

    And so it began.Within a week we had a contractor and he had started. He was a friend of mine and knew we were trying to keep costs down. He worked out of our garage cutting and storing supplies for the job. After 3 months of renovations, he had stock plied an enormous amount of waste material and odd ends. I had deliberately asked him to leave it because I wanted to catch the fall garbage run that allowed us to put put anything, within certain parameters, at the curbside. He could have hauled it away but I would have had to pay dump fees by the pound. So, the day came when the special garbage pickup was scheduled for a Monday. I slaved all weekend cleaning the garage. I had a copy of the city’s rules for curbside yard waste and I followed it to the letter (wood had to be bundled no more than 40 pounds and 4 feet long/18 inches in diameter and using natural fiber string, etc).I had a pile of bundled and tied waste so high that we could not see the street from our front window. The pile extended from the edge of the driveway completely across the front to the edge of our property line. It was huge.

    Our neighbors shook their heads with dismay and walked to the other side of the street to avoid the pile. The next day I was working the late shift so I was there when the garbage truck came in the morning. He backed into one end of the pile and two guys got out and started. He must have called for help as two more trucks showed up in short order and the six guys and three trucks made short work of my pile. They took every single scrap -and I had put down plastic so the pile didn’t hurt the lawn and they took that too.

    As I watched as one of the drivers went across the street to my neighbor John’s place. He had one small garbage bag and beside it one old stave barrel (the type used to age whisky) – sitting neatly at curbside on his pristine lawn. The driver came back to his truck, wrote up something and walked back across to put a pink slip in John’s mailbox. He picked up the garbage bag on his way back. I was too curious to resist and so I went out and asked what he had put in John’s mailbox. He informed me that the barrel did not meet the city standard for pick up and the pink slip was a warning. ha! There would be a fine the next time he put out unacceptable garbage. Bwahaha! I saw John later that week and I had to ask him innocently why the barrel remained on his lawn. I refrained from telling him it was an eyesore. Ha!

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    • I made sure my husband read this. We both sat here laughing about this. 🙂 And thanks for the evening cuppa. It was very enjoyable.

      And why, again, don’t you have your own blog???? 😀 You are a fabulous story teller!


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