Saturday, June 19, 2010

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

So last night I was painting the house, and decided to knock off for the night, as it was getting dark.  I was quite high up on an extension ladder, painting the second story with a roller on an extension pole.  It felt like I was 40 stories up.  Descending a ladder from that height is an interesting proposition.  For one thing, ladders are built for tall people.  I'm short.  As I descend, I hang onto the ladder in a death grip and lower one leg, groping with the tip of my toe, certain I'll never be able to reach the next rung.  It's that way all the way down to the ground.  The gaps between rungs are not easy to navigate for a short person.

Since I live alone and I know that accidents can happen, I take my phone with me.  It's not a cell phone--just a cordless phone.  I figure if I fall, God forbid, I'll at least be able to call 9-1-1.  But I don't have pockets in my jeans, and besides, if I fell, I'd probably land on the phone and break it, so instead, I put the phone in a baggie and place it on the ground at the base of the ladder.  I figure if I fell, I'd be able to reach the phone and make my call.

So there I am, descending from the heights of an extension ladder, when suddenly my shoe gets caught and I can't move it.  What the . . .?  I look down, and of all things one of my shoelace had managed to impale itself on a tiny wire connected to the giant hook thingies that lock the extension part of the ladder in place.  I can't reach my shoe to unlace it, and the shoelace is thoroughly impaled (the wire went through the lace, like a safety pin).  I can't go up or down.  I can't wriggle the shoe enough to get the lace untrapped.  I can't even get my foot out of the shoe because just that morning, knowing I was going to be going up and down ladders, I laced my shoes nice and tight. 

I'm stuck.  And it's getting dark.  And my phone is on the ground.  And it's starting to rain.  Great.

But determination is my middle name.  Clinging to the ladder like a monkey, I wriggled and wriggled my foot and eventually managed to slip out of the shoe.  I then descended the ladder with one shoe on and one shoe off.  Now that was a painful experience!  A bare foot on a narrow rung just isn't fun.  However, once the shoe was eye level  where I could use my hands, I managed to work the shoe loose and take it down the rest of the way with me. 

I can hardly wait to find out what happens next time I climb up a ladder.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

My Favorite Cartoon

I'm deep in the throes of house painting, so this will be a very short post just to let everyone know I'm still alive.  One of my favorite cartoons was sent to me by a friend years ago, and I believe (but not sure) that it is from the New Yorker magazine.  Alas, I can't read the signature of the cartoonist, but it may be Mort Gerberg, whose cartoons always make me laugh.  At least it looks somewhat like his signature.  He used to have cartoons in the New Yorker.  I Googled his name, but couldn't determine if it was his cartoon or not.  I hope the copyright gods will give me an "E" for effort.  I do care very much about protecting copyrights.

It makes me giggle every time I see it.  In years gone by, many fancy restaurant waiters began visiting tables with a pepper mill, asking if you wanted freshly ground pepper on your salad and such.  Over the years, the pepper mills these waiters brandished started getting larger and more preposterous.  I almost became afraid of saying, "No, I don't want any pepper," for fear the waiter would club me with his oversized pepper mill.  (Thankfully, I adore pepper and always said, "Yes!" when asked)

Without further ado, here is the cartoon in question.  I hope it gives you a giggle.  And if anyone knows who I should credit, please let me know so that I can give proper attribution.