Monday, June 04, 2012
The New Shed
Those of you who have been following this blog for very long have learned a great many things about me. One of them is that I love to write. Another is that I love to read. Yet another is that I am the most inept of handymen. Of the four siblings in my family, my two brothers inherited our father's amazing construction and fix-it talents ... my sister and I got mom's literary genes.
So I thought that today I'd write about my new shed, which may - someday - actually be erected to relieve the crammed conditions in my garage.
My next door neighbor is a fine and generous fellow who recently bought a spiffy new shed that looks more like an aristocrat's hunting lodge than a place to store junk. He even landscaped around it. But having bought the new shed, he found he needed to do something about the old one, which now looked pretty sad sitting across the landscaped yard from its sparkly new replacement. "I know!" he thought excitedly. "I'll offer it to Bilbo!"
And Bilbo, spurred on by Agnes and always reluctant to pass up anything that's free, gratefully accepted the offer.
The offer was made a few weeks ago, and yesterday I finally got around to effecting the transfer of the shed from my neighbor's estate to my own. This was no small task, as it involved dismantling the old shed (a heavy plastic Rubbermaid edifice, screwed onto a wooden base and braced with a pair of eight-foot 2x8's and an aluminum roof rail), hauling it over to my place, and reassembling it.
I'm two-thirds done.
The first part of the job involved locating and removing 756,000 one-inch screws cleverly hidden in secret places guarded by enormous, hairy spiders irritated at the disturbance to their habitat. Next, the roof had to be lifted off in a single piece weighing about four tons and sitting at just the right height so force us to hoist and carry it on tiptoe so that the base would clear the walls. This done, I drove to the local medical equipment rental company for a portable x-ray machine to help find the two screws which held the entire roof assembly together.
Took a break.
The next part was easy - the walls consisted of eight interlocking panels held together by locking plates that slid into place and were easily removed with the application of small amounts of TNT. Once the locking plates were removed, the individual panels were easily disconnected from the base with the application of a moderate amount of force exerted by a Bucyrus Erie crane.
The last part of the dismantling procedure consisted of unscrewing the four interlocked pieces of the floor from the well-rotted plywood base. The screws were easy enough to find, although hidden under many years of grass clippings, mouse poop, and irritated spiders, and I was eventually able to remove them with the application of a few well-chosen adjectives in various languages.
I now had 16 large plastic side and roof panels, two doors, two roof end pieces, a pair of eight-foot 2x8's, the aluminum roof rail, 600 locking plates, and the 756,000 screws, all of which I dutifully carried across to my estate and neatly stacked behind the house until I can decide where to reassemble them into some something resembling a shed ... because, of course, the idea of getting a shed for free overshadowed my knowledge that I don't have a place in the yard large and level enough to put it.
I now have all the parts of an 8x8-foot shed, aching muscles, millions of large, pissed-off spiders, and several irritated snakes that had been displaced from their comfortable lodgings. Now to figure out what to do with it.
In the words of Fagin in the musical Oliver! ... I'm reviewing the situation, and I think I'd better think it out again.
Have a good day. Need a shed?
More thoughts tomorrow.