December 02, 2008
Unusual Missionary Positions
After Miss R left us, we went to work like famished termites on an abandoned farm barn. Power tools buzzing, minds buzzing, bodies buzzing – our work became more of an urgent activity. After a while of quiet, concentrated focusing, a ruckus arose.
“I just got screwed!” someone yelled.
“That’s nothing,” someone else yelled back. “I used to be a stripper!”
The screwing could have been worse. It was actually only a little arm hair twisting that resulted from keeping pressure on the wheelchair ramp rail while another team member screwed it in place from below with a power tool. The tip popped out and nipped at little at the upper team member’s elbow.
The stripper actually worked for a newspaper. It’s a lithography term that described their position.
A little levity was exactly what we needed, too. Mid-day Thursday we realized we also needed a lot more. Suddenly, we needed garden plants, birdfeeders, hanging baskets & hardware, a mailbox, towel rings and towel bars, a bathroom mirror. There were a lot more little individual tasks, plus a lot of independent working.
I was in charge of the second round of sealing the bathroom grout: floor and shower. First order of business was to re-clean to the floor and walls – remove any settled dust or dirt from the previous day. I sponge-washed the shower stall walls, and set out to lift the dry dirt off the floor with shop vac.
I've mentioned before that I usually show up on worksites in clothes I don’t mind trashing. Today I was wearing a too-big-for-me t-shirt that I had planned to throw away later. I was down on the floor, alone in the bathroom, just me and the shop vac, when I ran into an … issue.
The very loose bottom end of my shirt found its way into the hose. I tried to extricate it, but I was battling some pretty severe suction. I stood thinking that would give me more of an advantage. Only as I rose, so did the hose, sucking up more of my shirt as I continued to stand. I thought I saw somebody’s shadow when I looked up, but they were already on their way past me, and obviously had not seen my dilemma.
At this point, I’m sure you’re wondering why I didn’t just turn the thing off. Well, the cannister and power source were in another room, and by now my shirt had been sucked in up to bra level on one side and a little above on the other. I just didn’t feel like parading through the house like that; didn’t want to endure the sure-to-follow teasing, either.
With my right boot holding down the wiggling hose, I used my left hand to pull the hose away from me, and my right wrist at the hose opening for leverage. It worked! With a loud "whop", my shirt was finally free. My right wrist however, had been vacuum sealed to nozzle end. I took myself out of the bathroom, around the corner and hit the off switch. Phew!
Thankful I was no longer a prisoner the shop vac, I took a quick little R&R tour of the site, and observed the progress on our projects. Kitchen counter tile was being cut, landscaping was being fought, and rails were being secured. Things were looking good.
I bravely returned to my solo assignment, completed my task, and am happy to report that there were no more screwing, stripping or sucking missionary style incidents for the rest of the day.
Posted by jaselin at December 2, 2008 08:00 PM