Thoughts . . . by Mark Rich

. . . scribbled . . . scrawled . . . trimmed . . . typewritten . . . grubbed up . . . squeezed from circumstance . . .

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Advice to Roofers

Writers generally have few suggestions to roofers except to turn down the lousy radio. Roofers generally know their business, and wisely keep their radios blasting, it just so happens, so that the muttered expletives that are a professional's response to roofing mistakes will go unheard.

Writers asking roofers to turn down the lousy radio obviously know not whereof they speak, in other words.

Nevertheless, from my many and arduous sun-drenched minutes of roofing, I can offer you one piece of advice. This is to place your open jar of roofing nails -- an old mayonnaise jar is what I have, which I believe marks me as very nearly professional -- anywhere except next to your open can of roofing cement. In case you do not know, roofing cement is black, tarry gunk.

I offer this advice to help you avoid the inevitable error of reaching into the mayonnaise jar for another nail, and finding your hand in the black, tarry gunk.

This advice will also help you avoid dipping your spreading knife into the roofing-cement can to fetch up another glop of black, tarry gunk, only to find that you have stuck your black, tarry knife into your jar of nails.

If you are not a writer, consider how lucky you are: for a writer will not feel satisfied at committing one error, if two are available. Of the above two mistakes, for example, I attended to the first matter over at one end of the roof and, having learned my lesson, went down to the other end of the roof, where I promptly attended to the second. In other words, rather than repeating my first error, I came up with a new one to commit. Doing a new thing is a virtue, of sorts.

Now that I have done them, though, they are no longer new: so you may as well come up with your own.

Cheers ...

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