June 11, 2004

and you thought an elephant never forgot

If you ignore your leaky roof for, oh, seven or so years, letting the rain come in through the progressively uglier cracks in the ceiling, if you paint the walls a murky institutional green but with a latex paint and no primer over decades-old oil paint, if you do all this and then add the insult of spray-on acoustic foam with disco glitter, such a classy touch, if you do all this, you will be remembered. Oh yes, you will be remembered. When the people who buy the mistreated beauty of a house from you, when they put on goggles and cover their noses and mouths and spray water on that acoustic popcorn and scrape it off, the mud falling on the floor as if an unusually prolific pigeon on steroids is taking an extended dump, falling onto the drop cloth and also falling in sprays of splattered glitter into their mouths and eyes even through the goggles and the mask, when they scrape all that off and discover cracks so discordant, so huge, a bat could fly into the attic and up onto the roof through them, when they fix the cracks and prime the ceiling only to discover the glossy white primer, the fixer of all evils, will not stick, no, will not adhere to that thin latex coating or rather, it will in fact stick to the latex and will thereby pull that ugly minty coating off the oil-based paint job underneath it, pull it off in long bubbling strips, huge scabs of ceiling paint now on the floor along with glitter and mud and plaster in one big pool of wrongs made right. Oh, they will remember, the new owners, as they curse your names, your heritage, your bland remembered smiles and the travesty you perpetrated on an innocent house.

Know this. Your house has a very long memory. And it will tell tales. Oh yes, it will tell of inglorious deeds in all their gory details. Do not fuck with your house.

Posted by Tamar at June 11, 2004 09:30 PM

We actually have a word for this, the verb "to donnelly," meaning "the action of trashing your house while trying to fix it, under the mistaken impression that you are a handyman." Usage: "While you were out, the inspector came; it turns out the gas grill on the back porch was installed using house gas and a gas line made of green garden hose. Just completely donnellied."

Posted by: Cait at June 13, 2004 03:20 PM