Monday, October 31, 2005

Operation: Attic attack completed with few casualties

Nothing screams fun like a Saturday spent in a 100-plus year old attic covered in the dust from 40-plus bags of cellulose insulation. In case you are wondering, cellulose insulation, from my best guess, is a mixture of shredded newspaper, cereal boxes, cat fur and radioactive dust that makes for an incredibly affordable form of insulation.

To make a long story short, it is a filthy job that requires a respirator, a great deal of patience and yellow chore gloves which can be found at nearly any store that sells work-related products.

To make matters worse, this insanely enjoyable journey started later than I would have liked on Friday night as we borrowed a truck and cattle trailer to make our way to the local Menard's store to gather our supplies.

Upon purchasing nearly one pallet on insulation, we asked about the availability of a blower. "Sorry, you're fucked. We rented them all out to people who planned ahead and got here earlier than your sorry ass."

O.K. That was rude. "Will you have any tomorrow", I asked.

"How the fuck would I know? Do I look like a psychic? Do you see a crystal ball in front of me?"

He seemed to be a bit short, didn't he?

I guess I'll call in the morning to see if any were returned.

And we arrived home just before 10 PM with the trailer secured firmly behind us and filled to the roof with compacted bags of insulation.

A mere seven hours after I slammed my body into bed, I as jarred awake by my alarm. It was time to hit the phone and see if I would have any luck locating an insulation blower or if my trailer of crap would sit in the driveway until hell did indeed freeze over.

Call number one, "Do you have any blower things that relocate the shredded shit in forty-plus bags from the ground to above my second floor ceiling?"

"Yep."

"Half hour. I'll be there."

Ninety minutes and a #4 combo from McDonald's later, I was home and ready to go at it with guns a blazin'.

By 9:30 I was ready to rumble and fight the attic.

After four hours, which included lunch, I had won the battle of the attic and was a few hundred dollars poorer but, in the long run, warmer too.

I dusted off and made the return trip to reclaim my deposit money. And buy styrofoam to finish the job. Gotta have ozone-depletin', never decomposin' styrofoam.

By 5 PM I was soaked in my own sweat and done.

All told I was ready for a nap, or a casket. I was tired. It wouldn't stop me from attending a halloween party, drinking free keg beer and eventually making it to some bars. I finally made it to bed around 2 AM. Not an entirely long day. But not before seeing the condition of our front yard which had been struck by vandals as we partied the night away.

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