The mission was a simple one; take the rest of the year off ( I love how that sounds) get the dead shed removed, construct a new one, and then work on removing the dead tree in the front yard. How hard does this sound? Oh, okay, I’ll explain the concept of a dead shed but first, at five in the morning, a dog fight breaks out on the bed, where I lie sleeping. Back to dead shed.
Couple of years ago Tropical Storm Fay decided a very large Water Oak would look very nice in top of my shed. Now, for those of you about to disparage these cheap metal sheds, let me remind you unless you’re parking your lawn mower in an M1-Abrams tank, a thirty-six inch circumference Water Oak is going to go where it wants to go. The lawn mower was spared, and I knocked the shed’s remains around well enough to keep my push mower in the corpse, and it stay dry. Of course, there was a lot of other stuff in there as well, let’s say, hand tools for gardening, and plastic bottles of motor oil. These the Loki Mutt has discovered as toys, and the rules clearly state if he can get to the object then the object is a chew toy. A new shed is in order, if for no other reason, sooner or later he’s going to target the riding mower under the tarp, and I’ll have to sell him on eBay.
Okay, drag out the Google Earth and you’ll discover Moultrie Georgia and Valdosta Georgia aren’t that far apart, but when you live in Hickory Head, which is thirty five miles from Moultrie, and Twenty-five from Valdosta, you can either shop at one or the other, but going to both in one day and getting a shed built is going to be a problem. I had to take the dead shed to the scrap yard, and there are two in Valdosta that I know of, so Valdosta it was. The shed is, or rather was made of thin sheet metal, and about a billion screws. A hammer removes screws from sheet metal rather well, but it does make a racket. The shed came in a box that was eight feet long, four feet wide, and weighed a billion pounds. It took every inch of the pick-up to load it all at one time, and I looked like the Clampetts after a meth lab blew up a trailer.
I took a fifty foot long rope, tied the mess down, and struck out for town. I drive slow anyway, but with the better part of a trailer park riding with me, I just assumed the cop behind me was going to pull me over. Can you see out of the back of your truck? Yes, I can, how do you think I saw you? He stands in back of my truck and holds up three fingers. Three I tell him before he asks. He’s unsure how I can see, but I can. Can you see my mirror? Yes. THEN I CAN SEE YOU! (Moron, I mutter, but he was already gone)
Scrap yards are always run by surly, ill manner, ill kempt, rude, and ignorant people who know they have you by the balls once you pull in with a loaded truck. It’s not like you can just leave with the better part an Alabama Honeymoon Suite in the back of your truck, can you? This guy is locked in a tiny office with a vent to speak through but his side is covered with cardboard because there is no heat in the weigh house. I get eight dollars for the dead shed, and I have to unload it.
Yesterday, in Moultrie, I saw a ten by ten shed for the same price as an eight by ten in Valdosta. I told the store in Valdosta and they called Moultrie, and Moultrie claims I did not either. I have a choice; get the eight by ten, or drive to Moultrie and possibly be wrong. If I’m right I’ll have a ten by ten shed instead of a eight by ten, and if I’m wrong I’m out two hours of daylight. The last shed was eight by ten and worked just fine, and I’m thinking, because this conversation between Valdosta and Moultrie has lasted through someone’s lunch break, by the time I get to Moultrie, even if they did have them, they’ll be marked up, or hidden.
I go eat lunch and for reasons beyond my understanding, the waitress is seeing double. There are two of me, it seems. She brings me two glasses of water. And then a bill for two buffets. Hi, it’s me, not we. Because she doesn’t speak very good English and I’m as bilingual as anvils, this takes more time than it ought to take.
Back to the shed shed, to buy a shed, Jed.
I finally make it home at two and look at all the parts. There is a bag full of screws with the note attached; if there are any pieces left over you’re doing it wrong. (okay, I made that up) but there does seem to be enough parts in there to build a space shuttle. Two hours later I’m at Step Three, but it doesn’t seem to be very far along. Another hour later and it’s getting cold, and dark. The dogs get into a fist fight on the deck, and Loki, to punish his brothers, takes a dump there.
I take the dogs out and tussle them until they’re ready to fall over. All of them get lifted up and toss around a bit, so everyone understands that everyone fighting is fighting for second place, at best, and is it really worth it, I think not. More tomorrow, and I’ve got help coming so tune in for the next installment of Shedding with Firesmith.