Don’t irritate a man making a wall
“All in all, it’s just another … brick in the wall!” husband-head sang out to the old Pink Floyd tune on a Saturday morning. I watched as he worked, building a wall with concrete blocks for his outdoor kitchen – which was just one of his many home improvement projects – and hoped the neighbors wouldn’t hear the bad vocals and call the cops.Husband-head loves to be the grill king during the warm months and this year he was determined to perfect his outdoor food arena.Bobby Flay, the TV grill master, would have nothing on husband-head.In the meantime, the area resembled a construction site.”You look like some kind of day laborer,” I complained, noting the paint and cement splattered on husband-head’s shorts and shirt.”I am zee builder of zee VALL!” he yelled out proudly in a bad German accent. “I am zee GREAT vall-builder!””Yes, the East Germans had nothing on you!” I agreed, wholeheartedly.Husband-head ignored me and continued on with his wall-building activities. He loaded up another glob of cement from his wheel barrow onto his trowel and slathered it on the stone.”This is called ‘buttering the brick’,” he said knowingly, smoothing it around as if he was a professional mason.
“You’d be better off buttering up your wife,” I sulked.But the wall was part of his outdoor kitchen, along with the sink, the icemaker and the butcher block counter top.When he was done, he steered the wheel barrow back to the garage to mix up some more cement.”Hey, that looks like fun! Can I have a ride in that?” I asked. “I don’t mind getting dirty!”Husband-head didn’t bother to reply and continued on with his work.”I need another water!” he screamed out a short time later, while working in the hot sun.”I do, too!” I screamed back. “Who do you think will go into the kitchen and get one for us?”Husband-head rolled his eyes, insinuating that I was being a pain in the butt.A little while later, I caught him doing nothing but staring at his wall.”What? I’m watching cement dry!” he said with a shrug. “You have a problem with that?”
No, but it seems you could be doing something else in the meantime.Shortly after, he informed me that he needed to go to the hardware store.”I need some caulk,” he said as he grabbed his keys and his wallet and headed out the door.”I do, too,” I muttered under my breath.A few hours later, he caulked the bricks and then stained the wall a rustic brown to match the rest of his kitchen.”What? I’m watching stain dry!” he explained when I again caught him staring at the wall.We don’t need no thought control …After the wall was finished and he was done watching the stain dry – which it probably couldn’t have done on its own without husband-head’s supervision – the wall was pronounced complete.With the wall and everything else in place, husband-head was eager to cook in his new kitchen.”I am CHEF BOY-AR-DEE!” he exclaimed in a newly acquired French accent.
I handed him a pot and a can of Beef-A-Roni.”Have at it, chef-boy!” I urged. “Bon appetit!”But he wasn’t done with his projects. The following day, I found husband-head digging a huge hole in the back yard.”Who died?” I asked curiously, taking a mental roll call of the living beings in our household. “No one … yet,” husband-head answered, as he slung another shovel of dirt over his back. “I’m building a pool for the guys.”He was referring to our two yellow Labs – Weber and Wyatt.”What else do you have left to do?” I badgered husband-head, beginning to feel very left out of the whole cement construction process. “Can I help?””Sure,” he agreed. “I’m going to make two concrete blocks. Why don’t you put your feet in them and then we’ll take a little drive to the lake …”Heidi Rice is a reporter for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.
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