Sam's Humor

These essays were written in 1995 and are still funny to this day. Enjoy them! Don't steal them!

Monday, December 05, 2005

Drip... Drip...

Drip... Drip...
by Sam Palahnuk

Every year I brace myself for my tax-time “buy a house” lecture. Every time I see my tax man the conversation is the same.

Me: Hello Gary.
Gary: Hello Sam. Did you buy a house?
Me: No.
Gary: Please buy a house.

After 15 years of this, I finally took his advice and bought a house. I am now living the American Dream: owing hundreds of thousands of dollars -- and feeling good about it!

There are profound differences in being a renter and being a home-owner. It was down right inconvenient when the roof leaked at our rental -- we’d have to sacrifice our Big Pot to catch the falling trickle of strangely brown water, therefore ruling out pasta for dinner until the roof was fixed. Then I had the further inconvenience of calling the landlord, and demanding that he get the leak fixed this very second as now that I’m thinking about pasta I really crave some for dinner.

Eventually, a shaggy looking “roofing guy” would show up in his dented and rusting pick-up truck. My wife and I would shake our head with disappointment as the ragged “roofing guy” would work. We, after all, were expecting a gleaming late model roofing van with a handsome color logo silk-screened on the side and high-tech antennas on top so the driver could get up to the minute leak updates from the trained experts at Leak Alert Central. We expected a handsome but rugged hunk of a man to stride out of that gleaming truck, wearing a tidy and stylish uniform and a “Ghost Busters” style device attached to his back. His voice would be like that of Superman, “How may I be of service, fellow American?” he’d say.

Instead this guy who was currently banging about on our rented roof looked like he had taken up roofing under court order as an alternative to doing hard time -- a cruel and unusual form of “community service.” After a few hours of what to us sounded like Summo wrestlers playing roof-top leap-frog, the roofer guy said to me “I did some stuff up there and maybe it won’t leak anymore so let me know if it does.” He drove off in a puff of blue exhaust smoke.

We were left with a dread sense of anticipation. On one hand, we wanted it to rain so we could find out if the patching worked. On the other hand, we didn’t want it to rain because we feared it would leak and we didn’t want to put the Big Pot into service. I found myself considering doing crazy things like climbing on the roof with a hose to simulate rain.

Anyway, now we are home-owners. We’ve been proud home-owners for exactly 60 days. It rained the other day and guess what -- our roof leaks. Our first instinct was to call our land-lord. I remember the terrifying moment when I realized I am the landlord. Hey, wait a minute! I don’t have what it takes to be a landlord! I’m friendly and I actually return phone calls.

So we looked into hiring a roofer using the home-owners most important tool -- the yellow pages. We found that gleaming vans with handsome but rugged experts cost a lot of money. We argued the advantages of buying more Big Pots and just living with it -- after all, we both need more exercise and this pot lifting is certainly cheaper than a health-club. Lift-Carry-Pour, Lift-Carry-Pour, it didn’t sound so bad.

We opened the “household account” checkbook -- a little moth fluttered out. We checked the minuscule balance. After carefully weighing all of the alternatives (should we hire a roofer or should we hire a roofer?) we grudgingly hired our old friend the “roofer guy” as we could afford him, and we were able to contact him easily as he had been sure to hand us his tar-stained card during our last visit.

Well, thankfully the roof no longer leaks. My only complaint was how disappointed I was in the landlord for taking his sweet time and to top it off he hired someone so unimpressive.

Word Count: 712

Copyright 1995 Sam Palahnuk
Do not duplicate or distribute without written permission of the author.


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