Home Improvement: House Jihad

It was a crisp fall morning as Jim headed out the door to take the pooches for a stroll. On the way down the driveway, he espied Randy working over by the old house. Randy was partially obscured by his truck, but its doors were open with some classic country music playing from the stereo to keep Randy entertained while he was doing whatever. Jim headed over to say howdy and see what was up.

Randy was over by a pile of lumber that Ozzy had peeled off of the old house and flung onto the ground the night of his car-b-que/squirrel chasing episode. Randy had a couple of sawhorses set up and was busy pounding out the old nails from the backside of a board and then prying them out. As he popped the nails out, Randy was then sorting them into various coffee cans. Jim grabbed a donut for himself off of the back of Randy’s tailgate, and to keep Randy from yelling about the loss of his last donut he also tossed Randy a beer from his ice chest.

Randy put down his hammer and pry bar. Jim ate the donut, and Randy drank his beer, both in silence. When finished, both picked up hammers and started pounding out nails, again in complete silence. Nothing needed to be said; both were simply engrossed in the repetition of the labor. Boards were hoisted onto saw horses, nails removed, old tin can lids covering knot holes unscrewed, nails and screws tossed into various coffee cans, and the cleaned boards restacked by size.

After a half-hour or so, Jim stopped, set down his hammer, wiped his brow, and asked Randy, “What in the hell are we doing?”

“We’re pullin’ nails and sorting boards. That asshole Ozzy left this pile, and it needs to be cleaned up.”

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