It started because I needed a ladder. We have lived in our house for twelve years or so now and we have never cleaned out the gutters on our garage. Not that this fact haunts me or anything, although it seemed to haunt our old neighbor as he pointed out to me a couple times "You have trees growing in your gutters!"
He was a bit of a dramatist. They were only seedlings.
The only reason I wanted to clean out the gutters as of late is that I would like to invest in a rain barrel next year and it is best placed below your gutter downspout. Well, in order for THAT little arrangement to work, you actually need to have water flowing through your downspout.
So I've been casing out ladders. I haven't really wanted to mortgage my soul for one since the job would only take five minutes and rarely do I wander around my house saying "If only I had a nine foot extension ladder, all my problems would be solved!"
Ladders can be expensive. Either that or I am really cheap.
Thus, last weekend when I went to the Superior Dragon Boat Races with the only member of my family that cared to attend (my dog), and I stopped at a garage sale on the way home only to find a nine foot extension ladder, I was giddy with excitement. I must admit, I do have the Midas touch when it comes to garage sales. If I ruminate on what I'm really looking for, I will find it at a garage sale within a week.
Now, this might seem like a fabulous skill. It is tempered, however, by my inability to look at a situation rationally and ask myself a key question: How in the hell am I going to fit a 9 foot extension ladder into a Geo Prizm and drive over the bridge with no one to help me but a Pembroke Welsh Corgi who really doesn't care one whit about my gutters?
Well, I rolled down the back window and put the ladder into the back seat with a fair amount of it hanging out of the passenger side. I then wrapped my right arm around the ladder to keep it from extending as the wind caught it and buffered it like a sail if I went so much as fifteen miles an hour. I was also concerned that I would take out a pedestrian as they waited to cross the street. I'm guessing that not too many people are expecting Geo Prizms to be sporting ladders hanging out the back window.
I did have enough sense to put on my emergency flashers and I kept up a mantra as I started over the bridge. It went something like "shit! Shit! SHIT!!!!". A quarter of the way across the bridge, my arm holding the ladder was numb, halfway across the bridge, my shoulder started screaming, and three quarters of the way across the bridge, a hornet appeared and proceeded to sting my dog on the ass.
Of course I didn't know there was a hornet in the car. All I knew was my dog suddenly started to yelp and spin in circles in the passenger seat, knocking his butt against the gear shifter and forcing the car into neutral.
Thankfully, a vast amount of society can recognize an idiot when they see them and cars steered well clear of me. I was able to whip my arm from the ladder, pop the car back into drive, and grab the ladder again before it blew out of the car, over the bridge, and undoubtedly onto a 1000 foot laker below, sinking it and killing all the sailors aboard before they ever left the harbor.
Shakily, I took the first exit once I got to the MN side of the bridge and composed myself in the parking lot of Goodwill. There is nothing like overweight people wearing white leggings three sizes too small with blue flowered underwear to calm the mind and bring one back to reality.
I found the offending hornet, disposed of it, kissed the dog, said a prayer for four different religions, and made my way home where I cleaned out my damn gutters.
If I had realized that this would have been such a simple operation, I would have done it years ago.