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
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.