“911. Please state your emergency.”
“My husband fell off a ladder.”
“Is he conscious?”
“How high was he when he fell?”
“About 14 feet.”
“Did anything break his fall?”
“Yes, the floor.”
“How long ago did this happen?”
“Sometime in the next twenty minutes.”
“He hasn’t actually fallen yet?”
“No but, based on past experience, the fact that he has one leg curled around the ladder rail and how far he’s reaching to the side, I expect to hear a scream followed by a thump shortly.”
“Ma’am, 911 is for existing emergencies, not potential ones. I can’t dispatch an EMT crew because your husband might fall.”
“Oh. Well, I was just trying to let your guys get a head start without being under time pressure.”
“We appreciate that, but we have rules. Call back if you have an actual emergency. Oh ma’am, how old is your husband and how long have you been married?”
“He’s 59 and we’ve been married for 41 years. Why?”
“We keep records, you know, for statistical purposes. I know it’s not my place, but it’s really not a good idea to let them run around free like that, especially when you have ladders. Have you ever thought about getting a harness?”
“I tried that once. He’s an engineer and has access to tools. The harness didn’t last long.”
“Sorry to hear that. Well, when you call back, ask for Lisa, that’s me. It’ll save time.”
Those of you who stop by regularly will have noticed that I’ve been absent of late. I’ve been working on Linda’s “time to spruce up the house” list as noted in my last post. I’m almost done and I’m months ahead of schedule. Oh, there’s a little left to finish. I still have to install the new dishwasher, paint one wall in my office and touch up a little trim, but one Saturday will take care of all that.
So what was finished, you ask? I refinished all of the kitchen cabinets, installed new kitchen floor molding, painted the kitchen (she dumped peach and switched to yellow), put in a new range hood, painted the entry way and all hallways, painted the living room (all the way to the top of the 14 foot walls), installed new blinds and window dressings, painted both sides of the front door, painted all of the bedroom doors, replaced all of the door hinges and painted all of the molding.
The project by the numbers:
- Five gallons of wall paint
- Three quarts of trim paint
- One gallon of polyurethane
- Eight paint brushes
- Six paint rollers
- Seven rolls of masking tape (If it doesn’t move at least once in 60 seconds, it gets taped)
- Eight tacky cloths
- Miscellaneous screws, hardware and tools
- Six new curtain rods
- Eighteen door hinges
- Ten board feet of poplar (Used to magically transform an unused built in wine rack into a curio shelf. Sorry Conrad)
- One new eight foot step ladder (I lost a ladder. How do you lose a ladder?)
- Two bottles of Ibuprofen
- One bottle of Aleve
- One new pair of ear buds (You can’t paint if you’re not listening to the right tunes.)
- Five boxes of Twinkies
- Twelve two liter bottles of Mt Dew (I work best at 2 AM.)
Everything else, tarps, roller handles, paint trays, etc., I had in the garage.
I never did actually have to be transported to the emergency room. Although, I did miss the ladder once while dismounting from a kitchen counter after removing the masking tape on top of the cabinets. Based on what I remember, I kind of wish that I had a video of the fall. In my mind’s eye I envision it as a Wiley Coyote moment with me balancing between the counter and the ladder for a few seconds before the ladder collapses. Then I float magically in the air until I suddenly plummet out of sight to a landing that ends with a cloud of dust.
In another instance, I voluntarily made a four foot dive to the floor as a sacrifice to the carpet. I was painting a hallway near the ceiling, juggling a roller in one hand and a roller tray in the other. Somehow the tray got away from me and headed towards the floor. In a split-second decision, I dove off of the ladder, did a perfect Pamchenko twist under the tray and landed on the carpet just in time for the upside down tray and paint to land on my chest. The carpet survived. My clothes and Linda’s pajamas as she helped me up, not so much. Linda was not amused.
But, I’m done now I can sit back, appreciate the new look, write a bit, read a bit and enjoy life. Maybe I’ll even…
Beep, Beep, Beep.
“Linda, why is a Lowe’s truck backing into our driveway?”
“They’re making a delivery.”
“What are they delivering?”
“A gazebo kit.”