Everyone, everything has an Achilles heel. Superman has kryptonite, werewolves have silver and I have ladders. Knowing that, you’d think I’d do anything I could to avoid using them. Unfortunately I’ve never been able to accept that forty pounds of aluminum is something to fear. I suppose it’s a guy thing.
A couple of days ago a handyman stopped by the house and offered to clean our gutters. He must have been a pretty good salesman because, by the time I got home, my wife was convinced that the gutters were so full that the house would be falling off of its foundation and disappearing into a sinkhole by the end of the day…‘Sigh’.
Saturday was a beautiful day and, since I’m way too cheap to pay someone to do something I can handle, out came the extension ladder and up I went. I finished the gutters in the front of the house and carried the ladder around to the back to take care of a couple small sections behind the garage.
Like most guys, I have three pairs of sneakers. Pair one is the good pair that I wear when we’re in public. Pair two is my comfortable pair that I wear most of the time. Pair three is the grungy pair that I wear when I do crappy stuff outside. Cleaning the gutters qualifies as crappy. The thing about the crappy sneakers is that you never want to throw them away. If you do, then your comfortable ones have to get demoted. At some point, keeping them around involves the creative use of glue, staples and duct tape. That’s what did me in on Saturday.
I was just starting down the ladder after finishing the last section of gutter when the super glue attaching the sneaker’s sole to the uppers decided to stop being so super. As I was sliding my left foot back on the ladder rung, the flapping sole caught and I lost my balance. In the process of trying to get back in control, my weight shifted enough that the ladder lifted away from the side of the house and I found myself balancing on a pairs of twelve foot tall stilts.
I wobbled back and forth a few times and, given my past experience, fully expected to tip over backwards like a falling tree. Fortunately, most of my weight is in my stomach and eventually I was able to shift those stored Twinkies around in a way that caused the ladder to flop back against the side of the house. Unfortunately, when that happened, the impact made both of my feet slip off of the rung and I slid all the way to the ground on the rails of the ladder. Again the Twinkies helped me escape serious injury, as my personal airbags deployed while I bounced and rolled around on the ground.
While I lay there trying to catch my breath, I heard a chattering coming from the oak tree in our back yard. Glancing up I saw Valerie and Ralph, two of the grey squirrels who live in the tree, sitting on a large branch watching. They’d look at me, then look at each other and then look back at me, chattering away the entire time. I don’t speak fluent squirrelese, but I suspect that the conversation went something like this:
“Wouldn’t you know it, we see something like that in our own yard and I don’t have my iPhone handy.”
“I know, that would have gone so viral on youtube.”
“Yeah, and we sure could have used the $10,000 from Funniest Home Videos.”
“It would have come in handy. The nest could use some serious remodeling.”
While they chattered away, I gingerly crawled to my feet, retrieved the ladder and headed back to the front of the house. I glanced back just as I was making the turn into the garage and saw Valerie and Ralph jump off the branch, do double flips in the air and grab onto a hanging vine before scampering away. They didn’t come close to falling. Show offs.
P.S. While my aches and pains are healing from the fall, I’m reading T. Michelle’s second installment in the Lily Drake series. I’m pushing hard to get done so that I can give the first review on Amazon. Give it a look at Amazon or Barnes & Noble