Ok, my roof was not on fire, but I had to go up there nonetheless to prepare my house for inspection so it can be sold. The roof on most houses looks pretty harmless and they are rarely prone to jumping out at you from behind a bush and yelling “Boo!” The roof on my house did just that this week. Figuratively speaking that is. During a particularly malevolent windstorm about 6 months ago the cap on my chimney broke off. I dealt with this the way I do most problems with my house. As long as the chimney cap did not hit me in the head when it decided to make it’s bid for freedom, I decided that I appreciated it’s consideration in keeping my cranium intact, so I pretended I didn’t even know about it. Unfortunately, I don’t think the engineer inspecting my house will feel the same way. I own a two story house. As long as I have owned it I have been very pleased with the job my roof has done staying on top of the house and keeping the rain out. The chimney cap was a problem that forced me to confront the fact that the top of my house is much higher above the ground than I am used to being while I am outdoors. I am not afraid of heights, and in most situations I enjoy them immensely. Most situations, however, does not usually include hanging my feet off of the roof 30 feet above the suddenly immeasurably cold, hard, ground feeling around for the ladder with my toes. I ascended safely enough with my eldest son holding the ladder. He was more nervous than I was, worried that he would make some mistake that would result in my sudden and catastrophic impact upon the previously described ground. I had previously imagined that in getting up on the roof I would revel in the thrill of my momentary role as a suburban Spider-Man. Once on top of the house there was a lot less reveling than I had imagined there would be. There was a lot more clinging and inching along carefully. I safely found the remains of the old chimney cap and flung them through the air, prompting my son to briefly panic that my body would come sliding off the roof after it. I slowly crept back down to the edge of the roof and dangled my feet off the edge feeling around for the ladder that I hoped was still there. As I searched for my lifeline to the ground, that I hoped was still held by my son, I thought to myself, “Maybe now would be a good time to raise his allowance.” As you can see by my telling of the tale here, I found the ground safely right where I had left it.
Self-proclaimed grand poobah of leisure and author of humorous suspense novels The Sneaker Tree & White Picket Prisons, the humor essay book Fifty Shades of Phil and the long running blog The Phil Factor. thephilfactor.com
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