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We live in a house with two roofs. An artifact from the 1970’s, it was custom designed by an ambitious local businessman to emulate a southwestern pueblo.

Unfortunately, his design was flawed–resulting in a perpetually leaky roof. After the house changed hands several times, a rancher solved the problem by building an immense tri-hipped roof over the existing flat one. So, we have a spacious attic that could pass for a second floor with some loving care.

This weekend, Tennisfiend decided to tackle the attic project with gusto. He dumped out the accumulation of spare boxes, mysterious wood scraps and inexplicable objects left behind by the previous owners. Finding a naughty VHS tape of animated fairytales wrapped in a moldering apron and numerous ancient (but not collectable) radios highlighted the afternoon.

Tennisfiend spent the latter part of Christmas Day lugging buckets of lava gravel and roof tar down our rickety ladder. Last night he decided to replace the buckets with our monster shop-vac. Wrenching the shop-vac up the ladder produced the loudest ten minutes of metallic clanking and Russian cursing I have ever heard.

An hour later, another dreadful racket commenced, it sounded like God was using our roof as an Emory board. Mildly startled, I snuck up the ladder to witness Tennisfiend peeling up inconsequential strips of roof tar with the aid of a flat bladed shovel. What a thankless job. I silently retreated.

At 9:00 p.m., a burning smell permeated the house. Tennisfiend explained that some roof tar had caught fire but would not elaborate further. At 10:00 p.m. a dusty and preoccupied Tennisfiend wrapped up his work. As we turned in for bed, he asked me where we could find a soldering torch. I had no idea what a soldering torch was, but I finally understood that he meant “blow torch”. When I asked, “What for?” he hesitantly explained that he planned to use it to heat up the roof tar, facilitating its removal. Heh. So when they find my singed corpse with a smug “I told you so” smirk charred on my lips, you know exactly what happened.

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