Monday, October 1, 2007

I Am Married to "Tim the Toolman"

When will I ever learn? If it doesn't involve cars (with which he is a mechanical Genius) or cooking, make sure my husband, Mr Fix-it, has explicit instructions and knows he must follow them. Our roof is only five years old, but we had some shingles curling around one of the vents on the roof. Fixing the shingles is on the weekend's agenda. So Mr Fix-it drives to the hobby store for some paint and also stops at the hardware store to pick up some roofing tar to repair the roof. He comes home with a CAN of roofing tar.

Before I know it, he is knocking on the back door for me to come hold the ladder while he climbs up on the roof. Now this is the six foot wooden step ladder I bought for $2 at a garage sale fifteen or so years ago. Somehow we have just never had a spare $100 or so dollars lying around that begged to go buy a nice 24 foot ladder. Middle Son is already on the roof, having climbed up the wobbley ladder the way he always does, then using the heavy trellis work over the patio to brace himself and climb onto the roof.

Mr Fix-it tries to do this, but after several tries, gives up. I remind him that he is over fifty years old, to Middle Son's nineteen, and tell him to go borrow a ladder from the next door neighbors. Thankfully, he does. He and Middle Son get busy repairing the roof and I go to the back fence to pick raspberries. They are done in just a few minutes and Mr Fix-it asks me to take a look.

I do and I can't believe it. Our previously beautiful roof, that had nothing but a few shingles with curled edges, now has an area that could serve for military target practice. He put BLACK tar under and ON TOP of the CREAM COLORED shingles, so there's not a chance a single raindrop will ever make it's way into the attic. That two foot area is sealed as tight as Noah's Ark.

"How does it look?", he asks. He masked off the area he tarred, so it is a neat square, and he is proud of it... but I cannot tell a lie. And I have to use the "C" word. "It looks like crap!" He is greatly offended. I have insulted his male pride, (for which I have apologized), but for the love of pete, how unsightly does this look? He clearly did not think this through. I ask him what he would have done if there were many problem areas on the roof. Put squares of black tar all over our roof? Like a giant checkerboard? I don't know where he got this repair idea, but it couldn't have been from asking someone at the Helpful Ace Hardware store where he shopped. I found instructions on the Internet afterwards. It says to buy a CAULKING tube of roofing tar, and apply to the under edge of the shingle, as I logically assumed Mr. Fix-it would do, and weight the shingle down with a brick while it dries. But could he just look up instructions for something he knew nothing about? Noooooooooo, he had to wing it. And speaking of wings, I'm going to pray that birds use the Big Black Spot for target practice when they fly over...camoflauge the Spot, so to speak.

I want it fixed correctly!
But I am fighting an uphill battle, people...Mr Fix-it thinks it looks fine and both sons say, "Who looks at the roof?"

How about you? Do have any stories of repair jobs gone awry? Tell me I'm not alone.

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