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The manly men

September 15, 2017

God , I miss Cec. With the departure to the Sunshine Coast of my wonderful Mr Fixit and his lovely wife Joyce, some jobs have been piling up that are beyond my ken. When I thanked Cec profusely after the first job he helped me with, he said, “No problem. Any time!” I laughed and said he might regret that, but he just smiled and said he loved helping people. I took him at his word. (Although, after three or four jobs, I would insist on buying him a bottle of rum.)

Bless them, my mates Dave and Charlie have always helped out when asked, but neither has ever said, “Any time!” So I don’t want to push my luck. After all, what can I do for them in return? Write them a story? (There was murder in Charlie’s eyes last year when I wrote a play for him.)

However, these jobs do need doing. Decided to cast a wider net and sent the following email out to half a dozen blokes I know on the island, including Charlie and Dave.

Subject: Dear Manly Men

Yes, I thought that might get you to open the message.

 As you know, I am a helpless female. (Brief pause while I bat my eyelashes.)

 Therefore I am hoping one or more of you might be able and willing to help me out with a couple of projects.

09-02 woodpile 2

Do any of you know how (or would like to learn how) to use a splitter? I have this pile of seasoned wood that needs splitting. I gather the machine (the rental of which I will pay for) is fairly easy to use, but a good chunk of this is Arbutus and I doubt I can manage it on my own.

09-02 porch

As you can see from the attached photo, the planks on the porch rather urgently need to be replaced. I will buy new planks (although I may not be able to transport them in my car). All I need is someone who is handier with a hammer/screwdriver than I am. Even better, someone who owns a drill, which I do not.

There will be beer and/or tea and biscuits on offer. If you can help poor little delicate flower me, please let me know.

The next day I received a message informing me that my two play mates (mates from plays, naught to do with Playboy) would undertake porch repairs. A couple of days later Dave and Charlie came over to see exactly what the job would entail.

09-09 porch

After removing one plank they concluded it was a complete rebuild.

The previous day I’d gone into the lumber store to get a rough idea of what this was likely to cost. The existing planks were slightly more than one inch by four inches, six feet long. So, I figured I needed 1×4 planks, which it turned out came in eight feet or twelve feet, no charge for cutting the twelve foot ones in half. The twelve foot planks were $3.98 each. Oh, my lord, that means I can actually afford to get this job done!

Au contraire. Turns out, as I was subsequently informed by Dave, anything more than one inch is actually two inches (what the fuck?), so I needed 2×4 planks. Did I want cedar or pressure treated, he asked. Oh, bollocks. That was bound to cost more than $12 plus tax.

Being manly men,  there was no way, as previously stated, that they would settle for hammering some 1×4 planks in to replace the rotten ones. If they were going to do a job, they were going to do it right. Apparently some 4×4 would also be required. Yikes.

Meanwhile a rather hilarious email string unfolded. One recipient informed me that I had been misinformed, that there was nothing the least manly about him, so he should be removed from the list. Another suggested that the pile of wood didn’t look big enough to merit renting a splitter. To which I replied that this may indeed be true, but splitting Arbutus was a job completely beyond me and my lady axe. Various manly offers were made to attempt splitting the wood manually. Somewhat late in the day Charlie, in the spirit of full disclosure, admitted that he actually had a splitter which he was prepared to lend to the project.

Monday morning Dave and Charlie arrived, their manly pickup trucks filled with wood and tools.

Forty minutes later I had no porch.

09-11 no porch

An hour and a half later I had a completely new porch.

09-11 job done

Well done, lads. (And thank you very much.)

Late Monday afternoon, Charlie, in the most manly manner, brought his splitter over. Being an upstanding feminist sort of manly man, he did not want to insult me by in any way inferring that he could do the job better than a woman. So he showed me how to use it, then he left.

By the end of the day Tuesday, I had this pile.

09-12 wood split

Unfortunately, as Charlie and I discovered during the demonstration, the splitter was not equal to the task of splitting the very large pieces of Arbutus. Definitely some more manly men work to do on that front.

There is also the job of getting the split wood from the back of the house  to the woodshed at the front of the house. Other than the very large pieces of Arbutus, I could do this on my own, but it would be so much more pleasant to share the fun (and a beer) with a couple of manly men and their wheelbarrows.

So, another message went out to that effect.

Tomorrow morning (so tea, not beer), Paul and Joe are coming over with an extra wheelbarrow and maul.

I wonder if I should make muffins?

  1. krysross permalink

    I’m sure muffins would be welcome.

  2. janeshead permalink

    Make them muffins!

    My ex was (as you no doubt know) a manly man, a fixer/builder of all things. It’s the only thing about him that I miss. My present chap is a computer programmer. Super useful if I only had any software development needs. Sadly the house is physical and not digital…

  3. nebulaflash permalink

    I think it’s worth Roast Beef dinner actually. BTW we have a deck that needs fixing.

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