Monday, August 27, 2007

How to p*ss my father off

I have succeeded royally, this morning, and I'm not at all embarrassed by it.

Pop was preparing to go out and climb onto my garage roof (which, BTW, is corrugated fiberglass panels on a standard 45ยบ slope) to rid it of the big-a$$ branch which lay atop it. After that, he was prepared to get up again and replace or repair the damaged panel.

My father was born in the early years of the depression. He still does not like to spend money when he thinks he can do things himself. The trouble is, even if he could do this job all by himself, he's supposed to be going on a vacation this Saturday, and if he does this kind of job this week, he's likely to have back and leg pains for the next three weeks, and won't enjoy the trip at all. And if he's not having fun, neither is Mom.

But the tree removal expert didn't think it would be wise for an amateur -- even one with a good engineering background -- to be up there messing around while there were large broken branches still dangling above the site. I concurred.

The trouble with all of this was, Pop was gathering his tools to go over this morning, to get started right away. While he was collecting himself and his gear, I did an end-run, calling both the insurance company and the tree removal pro, so that he was obliged to wait to do any work, at least until after the insurance assessor could come examine the damage. Since the storm hit a lot of houses, my place is low on the list of priorities... they probably won't get here until after the folks have packed and started their trip.

So Pop is fuming that it's going to cost too much.

I haven't told him to his face, but I'm figuring a couple thou for the tree guy, and maybe a few hundred for a contractor to replace the roof panel, will be a lot cheaper than hospitalization if even the slightest thing were to go wrong with Pop's plan.

I may be unethical in this, but I can be as gol-durned stubborn as my old man, when necessary.

And Mom seems to support me on this.

Never before have I been so satisfied with making Pop mad -- not even when I was fourteen years old.

Satisfied, yet still scared spitless.

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