August 04, 2020

Roofer role-playing helps get job done

My problem with procrastination is that the responsibilities I put off rarely get done.

Believe me, I’m comfortable with the waiting part and the not doing stuff part. Those are my favorites. In fact, I would be glad to push things aside more often if they would just get taken care of by somebody else, but that rarely happens. People just look at the things I need to do and do not do them for me.

If everybody were not so lazy, maybe more of my jobs would get done.

I have been busy on my roof for the past nine days. The windows in my home have leaked during rainstorms for longer than I care to admit. It finally became imperative that I do something.

The biggest problems I faced were:

A. I did not want to pay anybody else to fix my roof.

B. I do not know anything about fixing roofs.

Choosing to tackle this project myself seemed to be the lesser of two evils. Recognizing my dangerous lack of skill, I decided I would have to do my best impression of a roofer.

As with any great actor, I tried to put myself into the shoes of the character I was impersonating. “What would I do if I were a roofer?” As if by Divine Providence, the answer was delivered.

I should go buy some roof stuff.

I drove to my local building supply store. Upon entering, I was met with an overwhelming question: “What can we do for ya?”

I had to stop and take a deep breath. What would a roofer say? I lowered my voice to give the impression that I had the ultrahigh testosterone level of a contractor and replied, “Aww, I’m reshingling.”

I tried to respond in such an unexcited tone as to project the appearance that reshingling is something I do all the time. I had to make this man believe that I was a reshingling machine – that I spend each day reshingling, sometimes well into the night, pounding my hammer on my roof until the early hours of morning, denying my family their sleep because I can do nothing else.

I am a reshingler.

That is what we do.

In reality, I was just hoping he would make suggestions of what roofing stuff is.

“You doing the whole house?” he asked.

“Naw. Just the roof.” I figured my smart comment would give me the illusion of being the alpha male in the conversation and he would be too intimidated to ask enough questions in order to find out that I was a certified Roof Moron.

It worked. He helped me estimate how many shingles, felt paper and roofing nails I should buy. During the figuring process he looked up from his calculator and said that I would need about 34 bundles of shingles. He then asked a question that he appeared already to know the answer to.

“You’re going to run a layer of cut shingles under the first course, right?”

“Oh, yeah. Mmm hmm.” I understood at that point that I should probably run a layer of cut shingles under the first course.

I’m sure he just asked in order to show me that he knew reshinglers do that sort of stuff. I was doing a pretty convincing roofer impersonation at that point, and I was pretty sure he was just trying to bond with me in the hopes that one day a possible close friendship would allow him to extract from my mind just a portion of the wealth of reshingling knowledge contained therein.

The experience ended up being quite beneficial. I was able to get what I needed for my project. I also was able to rid myself of hundreds and hundreds of dollars.

Now that the reshingling is finished and considering what I had to pay, I believe I have essentially transferred the leak from my roof to my wallet.

But I should not be surprised. I am a reshingler.

This is what we deal with every day.

Chris Quimby is a stand-up comedian and humor columnist who works as a graphic arts technician at the BDN.

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