by Jaelynn 🦋
Remodel gone wrong when boys consume a few beers and start reminiscing.
Entry for "The Writer's Cramp"
Date: 2019 Aug 18
Ben and his wife Carolyn were adding a piece to their cottage. Ben, being the handy kind of guy he was, did the work himself. They were, however, thankful that a number of their friends frequently came by to help out with the renovation.
Saturday afternoon, Alex and Troy dropped by to see if Ben needed a hand. “Sure. I’m just putting strapping on the ceiling of the new dining room.”
“OK. Cool. What are we waiting for.” Alex jumped in and took the lead. “Troy, you measure. I’ll cut. Ben can nail up the strapping. We can have the room done in no time.”
“First, let’s have a beer.” Ben suggested.
Carolyn rolled her eyes. “Oh this can never be good,” she laughed, but Ben got them each a beer. “I just made sandwiches, so we might as well go out to the deck and eat lunch before you get started.”
Well, boys being boys, they got chatting and before they knew it they’d consumed a few more beers.
Ben glanced at his watch, “Jeez, guys. Let’s get started or we’ll never get done today.”
They worked and laughed and started retelling all the stories from the past that Carolyn had heard time and time again. But, hey, she thought. That’s what they do. At least they’re busy and getting the work done.”
Rather than listen to the stories, she went outside to mow the lawn and weed her flower gardens. When she came in a few hours later, the boys were sitting at the table, laughing and staring at the ceiling.
“What’s wrong?” She peered up at the ceiling and groaned.
“Well, we started out okay,” said Alex, "but we kinda screwed up the measuring.”
“How did you manage that?” she asked. “Ben, you were nailing. Didn’t you notice they were crooked.”
“No, I was up on the ladder close to the boards. I relied on Troy to do his job right.” He chuckled as a sheepish look crossed Troy’s face. “It’s like this. We started measuring from the outside of the strapping board. Then somehow on that third board, we switched to the inside on this end. The rest as you see, are a little... um... off.” The boards from the third board to the far side of the room were not in the typical parallel alignment.
Carolyn moaned. “Can you fix it?”
“We could, but we might as well leave it.”
“Yeah, all Ben needs to remember is when he puts up the drywall is that your screw lines have to match the boards or it might fall down on your heads on day if it isn’t attached to anything.”
Suddenly, Alex grabbed a black marker from the work bench and wrote on the bare wood wall over the door.
“It’s Troy’s fault!”
Troy couldn’t help but chuckle. “All right. I’ll take the blame, but you guys should have been paying attention. You know I”m not a carpenter.”
They all snickered and Ben said, “Someday when someone comes along to remodel—hopefully after we’re dead and gone—they’ll wonder what that means.”
Carolyn shook her head. “And then they’ll see the handy work you did today.”