Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Under the House and Other Frightening Thoughts.

It's no secret, I hate going under my house and in the last couple of weeks, I've gone under there more times than I want to admit.  It's dark and dank and has all manner of man-sized eight-legged-creatures waiting for me to happen by so that they can do their worst.  I've made no bones about the fact that I really hate going under the house.  Why?  Ok, let's examine the factors. 

It's dark. In the movies when someone goes under their house, there's always light from somewhere, but under my house it's like crawling around the inside of a black box with a black sack on my head.  In recent years my wife has given me a couple of really good high intensity lights and they really do dispense with the dark but really only add to the creepy factor!

And then there's the smell.  It's a sort of deep double strong rich loamy smell added with overtones of heavy mold.  Even that is not as bad as it used to be since I found a really good respirator that filters out the mold and smells. I used to spend the night after a trip under the house battling a fever or cough from breathing so much of the mold. Now, I just fight the nightmares.

And, of course, the spiders.  That's the big one! The spiders are the worst!  Anything with more legs than a cat has no business living under my house!  I always take bug spray under the house with me to deal with the spiders along with a baseball bat, a hockey stick and a sawed-off shotgun! (Ok, I joke. I don't own a hockey stick.)

The real problem (other than the aforementioned spiders) is getting ready to go under the house.  It's not a walk in the park.  I have to start with special clothes.  The clothes I wear have to be old clothes because if they cannot come clean, they have to be burned.  Yes, burned. It's the only way to get rid of that smell. (Sometimes my wife has to wash them 3 times before they are good enough to just sit on the porch between subterranean expeditions.) 

I choose old blue jeans loose enough for crawling and getting into strange positions and a sweatshirt with a hood to protect my ears and head. So after I put on the pants and sweatshirt that have been hanging out on the patio, I carry my socks to the carport where I've kept my boots from the last trip under the house and finish getting dressed.

Then comes the 'gathering of the tools.'  I have to get together all the tools that I need to complete whatever job I'm going to be doing. I don't want to have to come out from under the house just to get that one thing I need to finish that one job. So, I think through the job and gather everything.  Screwdrivers, spray foam, paper towels, and of course the two new lights. This can take an hour or  more as I track down those little special tools that I need - where did I leave that putty knife? What about that hand auger?  Oh wait, I'm going to need my duck tape..where is it?  It can take a while to find them all. 

Once the tools are gathered, It's time finalize my outfit. I wear a pair of gel filled knee pads (thank you to the wife, once again, who got them for me.) The knee pads need special care.  They need to be duck-taped into place so that they will stay in place while I crawl around on all fours and sometimes on my stomach while I'm 'down under.' Lastly, the respirator, which must be strapped into place and tested.  Then the light which straps onto my forehead and I'm ready for the dungeon.  Oh wait, where are my gloves? 

By this point, I'm totally worn out from getting ready.
Maybe a nap before I head under the house.  ...

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