Acceptance can be a difficult act. It takes time and several stages of rage and depression before you’re able to simply admit the absolute fact that you have hired the most incompetent roofers in the history of houses.
I’ve written them a corporate jingle to the tune of “The Pina Colada Song”:
If you really like roofers, and a house full of rain
If you´re not into dryness, if you have half a brain
Then hire our company, and invest in duct tape
We can ruin your whole home, you will never escape.
This week, while at the Kerrville Folk Festival, the G.P. (my Dad) received a phone call from the company we hired saying that they were “sorry,” and that the roof they took over a month to install starting last October had (for the second time) failed the windstorm inspection. They evidently didn’t use nearly enough nails.
I don’t know if you guys remember my column from around Halloween. I wrote about how we had a big rain during the roofing process and my living room ceiling leaked. I lay prone on my floor, watching my ceiling balloon like an anaconda who just ate a goat, drinking tequila and waiting for the collapse. It didn’t ever happen, and I got a mighty hangover for my troubles.
We finally got the process done, and they even picked up the tons of sheet metal they left abandoned in my yard after the job. I thought all was well until early one morning, after a medium rain, I slipped in a pool of water on my tile floor and busted myself up good. The roof was leaking.
Dad came over, furious, and climbed a ladder in the drizzle the figure out where the hole was. The conditions were not amenable to doing this, and I held the ladder terrified that he was going to plummet to his death and leave me to deal with the vile company.
Spoiler alert: the G.P. didn’t die. Using what we have come to describe as “Bair Ingenuity” he wired a trashcan lid to a broomstick, crawled up into the eaves and jammed the device under where the leak was. “Well, I think that’ll get it, Ab,” he said as he descended the ladder. “The Bruce Bair Mighty Portable Rain Catching Trashcan Lid Device has been deployed! All is well!”
I was skeptical, but the leak stopped. After the roof dried, Dad fixed the hole with silicon compound.
A few weeks later, roofers showed up. They hadn’t scheduled an appointment, and I was pretty confused when they rang the doorbell to announce that they were there. No one spoke any English, so I had to use Google Translate to figure out what was going on. They spent about half an hour hammering and left.
Cut to yesterday.
I came down with a nasty case of what I thought was food poisoning last Friday. It was the bad kind, with both cylinders firing at the same time, if you know what I mean. I spent a lot of time crying in the shower. That lasted two days, then I spiked a fever.
Anyway, when the preppy little brat from the roofing company rang the doorbell, I was in no mood to deal with him. They had called my father at 7 a.m. that morning to tell him that they were coming to my house that very day to rip off my entire roof, so I had been forewarned. However, there was not enough warning in the world sufficient to prevent what happened next.
“We’re here,” announced the annoying man-child happily, like I was supposed to have some kind of glowing gratitude. Really, I’m super glad we paid seven thousand dollars for a job that is evidently going to get done right around the beginning of the next millennium.
“Yeah, okay,” I replied. Let me interject here, guys: I looked scary. I had on a tank top, jammie pants, and a sleep mask that advised anyone viewing it to *expletive OFF. My hair was sticking out like the wild man of Borneo, and I was as pale as a vegetarian vampire.
“Don’t block my driveway,” I continued.
“Oh, which side?” he asked.
“ONE CAR GARAGE, ONE CAR DRIVEWAY. DON’T BLOCK ME IN!” I yelled.
“Well, I can’t guarantee that…my guys unloaded our stuff there.”
I live on a half-acre corner lot. There are literally a million places to put trucks and ladders and shingles that are not on my driveway.
…and that’s when I lost it.
I don’t remember all of what I said (I did have a pretty high fever) but there was cussing and a lot of “incompetent idiots” thrown in. I also read him the riot act about carpet bagging disaster capitalists (the company isn’t local), but I think that went way above his head. They did, however, unblock my driveway.
I went back to bed and stayed there the entire day. I am nothing if not a woman of principle.
They only ripped off and replaced half of my roof. I can’t believe they thought we wouldn’t notice. They used totally different colored shingles.
The second verse to my song probably needs to have something to do with litigation. Luckily, I won’t need to bust out a rhyming dictionary to find words to go with “damages,” “jury” and “sue your ass to the moon.”