Those of you who follow my tweets on Twitter or my fat-chewing on Facebook may already have gotten wind of the fact that I spent a portion of my recent vacation working on my house. I have a finished attic that is most definitely in need of some work, so vacation seemed like a good time to start.
My old nemesis wallpaper is part of the problem up there. I’m against wallpaper on general principal anyway, but the stuff up there is peeling a bit, too, and that’s just too much for me to bear. The carpet is also stained with God-knows-what-hey-is-that-blood?-oh-jeez, so that’s going to have to go eventually, too. I gathered a supply of my old pal Dif, which is a gloppy gel that softens wallpaper glue, and headed upstairs.
Right away, I knew I was in trouble. It quickly became clear that I would be dealing with not one but two layers of wallpaper, which pretty much does what you think it would—it doubles the problem. Actually, it might be more exponential than that, but you get the idea.
Well, I wasn’t going to stand for that. Being a firm believer in the Paul Tibbets (did you know he grew up in Cedar Rapids?) method of home renovation, I immediately decided that instead of wasting countless hours peeling off two layers of wallpaper, only to inevitably find that the drywall below was no good anyway, I would just take down the drywall and replace that, thereby providing myself with a fresh canvas on which to work, as it were. The initial stages of this teardown were uneventful. It wasn’t until I turned the corner and started on the wall that backs the bathroom that things got potentially interesting.
You hear stories from time to time of people removing walls in their home and finding bags of mail from 1963 or $10,000 in small bills hidden away, so it was the hope of finding funding for this project as I went along that kept me dismantling with such fervor. I have yet to find the wads of cash I’ve been seeking, but I did find a few items that kept me interested. Maybe I can auction off what I find and parlay that stuff into cash.
The first thing I found was a golf ball. Not just any golf ball, though; this one comes with the telltale red stripe around its circumference which indicates that it was once a range ball. You know what that means? It’s stolen is what that means, which gives me pause to ponder the idea that, if whoever put up this wall was enough of a scofflaw to not only steal this ball but then go to such trouble as to seal it up in the wall, perhaps there may be some actual booty hidden away yet.
The second thing I found was a very small pair of sunglasses. Now, I don’t have any reason to suspect that I have mice living with me, but these glasses are not only the perfect size for diminutive vermin, but stylish as heck, and we all know how vain mice are. Don’t want to be confused with moles, after all. I may save them just in case Josie (the cat in charge of my house) captures a little pal so we could attempt a fitting, though really if she does corner a mouse she’s more likely to vomit on it and run away than to present it to me for inspection, so perhaps I can auction those off after all.
My final bit of loot here in the early going came in the form of a subscription card to Maxim magazine. You know Maxim: Almost all the prurience of Playboy, but instead of Hef and his cronies chuntering on about global warming or the tragedy in Darfur, you get exposes on the worst object with which to get hit in the crotch.
Well here I thought I’d finally hit the jackpot. Having been sealed away in the wall for who-knows-how-long, surely this card would entitle me to subscribe to Maxim for some ridiculously low price in 2010 dollars. The offer was for 12 issues for 12 dollars. With a bit of a nefarious chuckle to myself (had I a handlebar mustache I would have twisted the ends as well, just for effect), I anxiously hopped online to see how big of a discount this was going to be over the current going rate. I was sorely disappointed to learn that, without even going to the trouble of demolishing a wall, any idiot can get a 12-issue subscription these days for ten dollars. Talk about a letdown.
There’s still hope, though. I’ve acquired a bit of bloodlust now for wall destruction, and there are more walls yet to come down. If I find anything good, I’ll let you know.