Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Don't Have Cable, I Said, With Great Pretense

I don’t know what sort of inner demons inhabited the tortured soul of the previous owner of Casa de Acorn, but based on the decisions made concerning landscape architecture, they were some nasty ones.

As part of my efforts to get this blog to appear on the first Googly page when people search using the keywords “home repairs don’t do it yourself,” I’ve been chronicling a bit of my effort to build a quaint picket fence around most of my yard.  I haven’t, as of yet, described the horrific fence-like structure that currently runs along one of the streets; an abomination that even when newly constructed would have been well-placed in a tale by Poe, a seemingly ineffective structure providing no barrier to objects of the physical realm, but most assuredly having great importance to the beasts in the netherworld just beyond our perception.

The posts appear to be old railroad ties, about 10”x10” cross-sectionally, sunken straight down into the earth with about 2’ left exposed, as though that area of the yard marks the graves of long-dead riders on a doomed ghost train.  There are holes drilled near the top of each, through which runs a rusty steel cable from one end to the other, probably salvaged from some wrecked ship.  Several of the posts are now broken, yet still the cable passes through, so that the fence as a whole looks not unlike a suspension bridge ravaged by earthquakes and tsunamis, that whole section of yard eerily evoking images of death and destruction.

So anyway, I finally resigned myself to doing some actual labor and getting rid of that monstrosity.  I had to saw through the cable somehow, as it had large steel pieces at either end preventing extraction through the holes.  The cable itself was at least 2” in diameter, and so, recognizing the Herculean task before me, I readied myself with my hacksaw, a healthy supply of Schlitz Malt Liquor … and then called my buddy Don to come over with his electric metal saw.

I actually had made an attempt at severing it a while back.  By “made an attempt,” of course, I mean making The Live Acorn sit out there and try to cut through it with a dull-bladed hacksaw as repayment for past loans I had made to her, while I sat supervising, sipping an Old Fashioned.  After learning firsthand what it took for two strong, muscular men sorta tipsy buffoons using a power tool to get the job done, I’m extremely impressed that she made as much progress as she did.  I guess her endless sobbing about the burning pain in her arms wasn’t just a show.

But last night, I finally got the whole cable out, and with no small effort, loaded it up into the back of my car for a trip to the recycling yard.  I hadn’t given a great deal of thought to how much I’d get for it up until that point, but after hoisting it and judging its weight to be several tons, I must admit to some amount of excitement and thoughts of to where I should retire.  My giddiness only grew when I pulled into the warehouse, at which point they told me to pull back out and drive to the truck scale!  “I must be sitting on a goddamned gold mine!” I said to myself (and then admonished my inner voice for its gratuitous use of profanity).

Well, I got my “in” weighing, unloaded the cable, got my “out” weighing, and waited impatiently as the clerk did some calculations (I felt like a contestant on “Let’s Make A Deal” waiting for Monty Hall to open Curtain No. 3!).  "Well," he said … "Yeah?  Yeah?" I panted.  "That'll be exactly ..." "YEAH?  OH GOD SAY IT!" “... $12.60.”

Twelve dollars and sixty goddamned cents.  That doesn’t even cover the Schlitz.


Sarah said...

HA! You are much more ambitious than Bri and I. We flagged down a truck that said "United Metal" on the side and asked him to just take the damn metal. It was only a piece of aluminum but it was messing up my plan to go to the dump with only branches (Free)
So....ya got 12 dollars, eh? I know a girl that needs a beer.

The Dead Acorn said...

You flagged down a truck? How does that even work?

And yep, twelve bucks, and I ain't afraid to spend it all.

Anonymous said...

It was driving by our house. To be fair, he kind of flagged us down because he saw we were getting rid of shit.

The Bug said...

When I used to work at the Quick Stop we sold a generic type beer that was really popular with the well-lubricated set - maybe you should have had some of that. Heh.

The Dead Acorn said...

Bug, while I do appreciate some of the finer beers, I'm very thankful of the fact that I can also truly enjoy a cheapo as well. I remember the Generic food era (late 70s, I think), where the cans literally just said "BEER." Life was simpler then, and in many ways, better. Well, okay, not in very many ways. It WAS the 70s, after all.

The WxB said...

WTF! Why didn't you swing by my house and pick up that slab of metal I used to call my grill?

Damn it. I need a truck.