A Comedy of Errors

We have a gutter at school that still leaks at the seams. I have worked on it three times already, pulling it back together, screwing it in place, caulking, even trying a water proof epoxy. I recently saw the ads on TV for flexseal and asked for it at Ace Hardware and Do It Best. No they don’t carry it.  I finally found it at Benny’s hardware for $80Bz = $40 US.  Ummm. No thanks.

On Friday we went to Spanish Lookout for teacher day and stopped at the large store there.  Whoa, they had FlexSeal for $25 Bz. Sold.

Last evening I decided that I would get up early this morning and work in the cool of the day. At 5:15 am I woke to a brisk 81 degrees, gathered the scrub brush, a towel, and the FelxSeal, hopped on my bicycle and rode the mile to school.  I took the hose out and hooked it up to the exterior faucet then went back upstairs to extricate the 24 ft extension ladder from it’s storage place along the back side of the room, wiggle it around and get it out the door, then over the stair railing and on to the ground.

As soon as it was raised into place, I gathered the scrub brush, FlexSeal, towel, and the front end of the hose and proceeded to the rooftop.  Spray a little–scrub a little–spray a little, I worked my way from north to south.  I was just getting to the last seam on the south when the hose caught on the ladder and I watched helplessly as the top of the ladder slowly tipped sideways and then out of sight, followed by the distinct sound of metal ladder hitting ground. It was now 6:15 and way too early to call anyone for help.

But there were still seams to seal so I finished cleaning and drying and then did a first thin coat on each seam as recommended by the directions on the can. The directions also recommended a 15-30 minute wait between coats.

No problem.  I began a text conversation with Sylvia.  Three messages later my phone ran out of minutes.  (Now, I had known that it was close, but not that close.)  I could still receive messages but I couldn’t send them so I couldn’t reply to Sylvia’s last text, “You ok?”

Well, let’s see, I couldn’t call or text.  Oh wait, maybe I was close enough to the school modem in the room below me to get online.  Yep, three bars, so I sent a facebook message.

Twenty minutes later I put on the second coat and began the second waiting period. This time I climbed to the top of the roof and laid in the shade.  As I was looking up at the sky I noticed a brilliant yellow bird in the tree next door and watched it for a while. As I was musing about that it occurred to me again that I was lying in the shade and noticed that the shade was provided by a young tree that was growing up from the lawn of the old building to the north. I wondered if it was strong enough to hold me.


After applying the third coat of FlexSeal, I shinnied down the newly discovered young tree to the top of the metal fence.  An awkward grab on the top of the fence and a really awkward jump later I was on the ground with minor cuts in the palms of both hands.

No problem. A quick trip up to the bathroom to clean out the cuts and apply bandages and I was back outside replacing the ladder.  One quick climb up the ladder and I had sprayed the last coat. Just as I was coming down a young man popped into sight at the front of the building wanting to know if I needed any help.

Trying very hard not to laugh, I just replied, “No thanks, I’m good.”

On the quick bike ride home, it occurred to me that Sylvia does not get facebook messages on her phone, and she was already at meeting, so I sent one to Lynn Mills who passed along the message that I was ok.

And so I am.