Friday 6 July 2012

A Hutterite For a Friend

Tomorrow I get to participate in a male bonding ritual. We are having a good old barn raising. City style!

That means of course we are going to build a garage. My son and his wife have taken the plunge and come next winter, there will be no more scraping of windows or brushing snow off of the car first thing in the morning. 

There will be a bunch of men, young and old (I hope more young than old), and a “complaint” of women to supervise the construction. I have never built my own garage, but have helped with one or two. That means that I know next to nothing and what I do remember is suspect.
I am assuming there will be four walls, a big door and a small door, two windows and a roof. There is already a floor, which we can’t screw up; the other stuff is up for grabs. People have been building small storage sheds for thousands of years. Well, not these particular people, but some people. I have packed all of the tools that I think we might need and then added some that I don’t think we will need. I have everything! Well, all but that really important one that just slipped my mind. Oh well, it’s only a twenty minute drive each way, and I am sure I will need the break.

When it came time to buy a house, Louise had all sorts of things she absolutely needed in a house. There was only one thing that I wanted and needed and not having one would have been a deal breaker. It was a garage of course! I can remember the exact day that I decided I would never again live without a garage. 

We had moved back to Ontario and were living in Kitchener. It was the middle of winter and overnight there had been a snowfall and at some time in the wee hours, the snow turned to ice. In the morning, I slipped and fell on my ass going to the car. Not a good sign, considering I was going to be spending the day walking on this same ice.
When I got to the car, it was covered in a layer of ice about ¼ inch thick. That is about 1 centimetre to those of the metric persuasion. I had to break the ice to insert the key and unlocked the door. I pulled on the handle and it came off in my hand! Shit…shit…shit! I was already running late, I didn’t need this shit. I slid over to the passenger side door and broke the ice, inserted the key and unlocked the door. I pulled on the handle and it came off in my hand! Shit…shit…shit!

Well, there was really only one thing I could do. I went back in the house; called my boss and said “Hello…is this Don? Hi Don, this is Ken Harrison from walk #1222. I won’t be in today; I have been up all night puking my guts out. It seems to be getting worse, if does, I will call you tomorrow to let you know if I can make it in. See you in a couple of days…if I’m still alive.”

I don’t know if he believed me, but when I am up against a hard place I can lie with startling conviction. I didn’t really care what he thought; I just broke both handles off of my car! FUCK!!!

Later on in the day, after I woke up, I called Toyota and asked how much to get the handles replaced. Can you believe they wanted me to pay $100 per handle? No way is that going to happen! I lived with the broken handles for a couple of months and then I used contact cement on the handles. Over the years I found that it would only last about six months or so, but five bucks for a can of glue and I was good for the foreseeable future.

Tomorrow should be fun, but I can’t help but think I should have cultivated a Hutterite as a friend for occasions just like this one. 

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