Have your roofing way with me.

This hasn't really been a funny week for me. I'm sitting here right now waiting for a roofer to come to my house and screw me. He's getting sloppy seconds because I'm still sore from the heating oil guy who pumped 158 gallons of Texas tea into my tank this morning to the tune of $600 bucks.

If you remember, we had a little bit of sheet-rock damage in the living room and bedrooms due to an ice dam on the front of the house. I finally got around to checking out the back of the house, and it turns out there's nothing good going on there either. Not only did the ice rip the gutter half off the house, it also pulled one of the roof vents off, leaving a neat 6" wide hole that empties directly into our attic space, which isn't something we have access to. Apparently because it was too small for them to put storage up there.

The house is built on a slope, so there's a walk-out basement. That means the roof is 3 stories up. It's also a cape cod style house, so it has a 12/12 pitched roof. That's 45 degrees, for all you non-builders out there (and "really fucking steep" for all you non-degree-knowers out there.) So that's where the screwing comes in. I don't think he's getting up there without being lowered by helicopter. I know, you're all thinking "Is he done bitching yet? His life is sooooo tough. Children are starving in Africa. Hell, they're starving here. "

That's all true. However, this is my blog and no, I'm not done bitching yet, thank you very much.

This next ice issue would be funny if it wasn't such a giant pain in the ass. For some stupid reason, my driveway is higher than my garage. After the ice storm, about 3 feet of snow came down and sat right on top of it. When we got that big thaw, the snow started to melt. When it melted, it ran into the garage, and when it hit the cold cement floor, it refroze. So I have approximately 2-3 inches of ice covering the floor in the garage, and everything is stuck to it. There compressor hoses and extension cords and a hammer that I can see, but can't touch. The ice is crystal clear, so the effect is pretty comical. I keep expecting to walk out there and see a frozen caveman staring up at me. Everything else -- cars, snowblower, generator, lumber, bicycles -- is completely frozen to the floor.

The other day when it was warm out, I opened the garage door hoping to thaw it out a little bit. A while later I walked outside and it was foggy inside the garage. I will be glad when this winter is over and done. The first thing I'm going to do in the spring is make sure that my driveway is no longer higher than my garage floor.

Speaking of being high, I was driving home the other day and saw this sticker:

My camera phone sucks, so it's pretty blurry, but it says "CAUTION: HIGH TRAILER"

I didn't think anything of it until I pulled up next to the truck and saw the company logo:

With pupils like that, I'm thinking meth.

In other car-related news, for the second time in 2 months my car has tried to kill me. The first time, the gas tank was dripping gas onto the exhaust pipe. I could have sploded, y'all. Then last week, I was on my way to an appointment when I heard a noise that sounded like someone hit my car door with a cannon-fired plunger. A few seconds later, I noticed the smell of burning rubber. You don't mistake that smell -- not with my background of abusing vehicles, anyway. Right about the time I thought "WTF was that?" my front tire let out a big gassy fart that sounded like "FWEEEEEEEEEEEP!" and I was suddenly riding on the rim doing about 50mph. I pulled over onto the shoulder and stopped, and got the jack and the spare tire out of the trunk.

At first, when I started jacking up the car, the car stood still and the jack sunk into the ground. I ran across the street and grabbed a flat rock off someone's rock wall. When I took the tire off, I just called and canceled my appointment because the only way my car was going to move from that spot was by use of a tow truck. The front spring had busted, and the break had an edge like a knife. In a few revolutions, it had neatly sliced all the way around the inside sidewall of the tire. This is what it looked like when I took it off:

Neat, huh? I didn't want the same thing to happen to the spare, so I called for a tow. While I was on the phone with the woman from the towing company, I realized that I was on a two-lane back road and had no idea what the name of the road was. We played a game of "name the nearest intersection" and I was losing badly. I sounded like a complete idiot. Finally, I asked a random jogger where the hell I was, and armed with that knowledge, I was riding shotgun in the tow truck 30 minutes later.

Sadly, I don't have much else to report. I know this is a weak post, and I promise I'll make it up to you. I'm thinking it's just about time for the sequel to the 1977 JC Penney's catalog. I've been postponing that -- mostly because I want it to be more like the sequel to Alien instead of the sequel to Weekend at Bernie's. I guess we'll see.

Check out humor-blogs.com for funnier stuff than this, and keep me in their good graces.


  1. Anonymous6:05 PM

    Oh wow, that is so weird about the iced-in garage. And then the fog!

    Better days are ahead. Well, not that you can get there with a busted tire, but, anyway...

  2. Anonymous6:49 PM

    Sorry about your bad week...I can totally empathize, for all the good that does you.

    Thought you might like to know that the front spring in my daughter's car did that exact same thing last spring...just snapped and boom! the wheel well just landed on the tire and made an AWFUL noise. Fortunately, she had just pulled out of our driveway so no additional damage done, either to her or the car, but if she had been on the highway... Anyway, in over 30 years of owning and driving cars, we have never had a front spring snap in half! Weird and scary!

    Looking forward to the JCPenney sequel...even if it's only half as funny (and I don't think that will be the case) it will be hilarious...that was the first I read of your blog and I've since read nearly all of it...consistently laughable.

  3. Anonymous6:56 PM

    Oh my gosh... finally a new post! I was having serious withdrawals.

    And it's also nice to know that someone is having a more screwy week than me, so thanks for that!


  4. The ice rink garage had me laughing. I'm sorry you are getting screwed this week. I understand about the oil - my turn is coming in the next few weeks. UGH

  5. Anonymous7:39 PM

    Good Lord . . . when it rains, it poors (which, given your location, is bound to be right around the corner.) I hope the roofer at least gives you the courtesy of some scented lube and a reach-around whilst he is having his way with you, and that the week ahead is better!

  6. Believe it or not, he never showed. Unbelievable.

  7. Anonymous8:27 PM

    Poor, poor JV. Really - sounds like you must really be glad it's Friday. I'm going right to the Penney's post & buy you a beer. It sucks when your belongings turn on you like that. I'm also interested to see how you're going to elevate your garage.

    PS I know this is probably a dumb question, but what's heating oil? Like propane or kerosene?

  8. KC, you're a saint.

    I'm drunk on sake right now, so hell yeah I'm glad it's Friday. #2 fuel oil. It's like thicker kerosene. I don't really understand why it's more per gallon than gasoline, considering it is less refined, but what do I know.

  9. So, are you going to lower the driveway? or raise the garage? Is someone going to screw you for that too? or will you do it yourself?

    The cannon-shot plunger was good. I laughed hard.


  10. Tools under ice, HA! That sounds like something that would happen to me. My week sucked too, I know that doesn't help, but it does make me feel less sorry for you!

  11. Anonymous10:57 PM

    It sounds like my kind of week. Monday was a City holiday, so Tuesday, in addition to being April Fool's Day, was also Monday. Just being Monday would make it suck, but the April Fool's aspect just took it to the next level. Half my staff gave me bad news about their continued employment with me. So much bad stuff happened that I kept praying somebody would say "April Fool's!" Nobody did. It was all real. Crap.

  12. Anonymous11:09 PM

    Fuck winter, dude. Fuck it.

  13. Anonymous11:59 PM

    I agree. Fuck winter, dude.

    I just replaced a tire from a blowout on a pothole. Pothole in Detroit? Um, yeah. We have plenty.

    First nice day? Not enjoying the weather...

    New hydraulic on the front door, new screen door on the patio, new screen I made myself for the front window, raked leaves, got stuck with a rusty nail, new handle on the sliding glass patio door and landing on my ass nearly breaking my hip trying not to step on our resident feral cat's little head. I fell three feet into a recycling bucket and hit the back of my head (the part that controls peeing yourself onstage -- note to Fergie) on the top step.

    So hang in there... It can only get better. I think.

  14. Anonymous12:07 AM

    Wow, that car-karma is a bitch. Treat your vehicles right from now on, ok?

    Love the ice-stories, makes me feel less homesick for the northeast. All we had down here this winter in the Deep South was a flurry. One. That was it.

    Hee hee hee hee hee!

    Have fun!

  15. Anonymous12:20 AM

    Johnny - I hate to tell you this, but I work for a roofing contractor, and you're fucked. I don't even let our roofers come work on my house, and we're actually pretty reputable for a roofing company. You wouldn't believe the ice damming we have, it's rotting out the soffits and running down the chimney brick into my living room. I suggest heat line. You can get it at Home Depot and install it yourself. But whatever you do...Never, EVER let a roofer on your roof. They'll damage more than they fix then charge you out the ass. Trust me, I do billings for residential repairs.

  16. I'd feel bad for you about your house, but crack addicts built ours. Who hardwires an outlet THROUGH the dishwasher? I need a drink just thinking about this.

  17. Anonymous1:48 AM

    "Aliens" (plural) IS the sequel to "Alien".
    I hope you were referring to Alien3 or Alien: Resurrection (the succeeding sequels); otherwise, that mistake is reprehensible.

  18. I fixed they typo. Originally, I had named the sequels instead of the originals, and forgot to remove the S.

  19. Anonymous9:36 AM

    What a week. I know you shouldn't laugh at someone else's misfortune but I'm afraid I did.
    Sorry about that but the mental picture I had of iced over tools. Too much.
    Hope the roof repairs go well and the car stops trying to kill you. You had better apologised to it before you get behind the wheel next. It doesn't matter if you don't know what you have done wrong just apologise.
    Hopefully summer is just around the corner but before the floor thaws please, please post some pictures.

  20. Anonymous10:08 AM

    nothing funny happened this week? i totally accused diesel of having you guest write his post of the talking lobster. it had your fingerprints all over it. i don't think he was amused.

  21. Anonymous11:31 AM

    Freezing? it was 82 yesterday, cold front came through it will be 77 today. God i miss cold weather. Plywood , nails, roof tiles you can do it, we can help. (Don't fall).
    colin in Houston

  22. Anonymous11:48 AM

    We have the same problem with our carport and driveway, add to that our propery has a very gradual slope...SIDEWAYS. Our street goes downhill and our house is right where it starts to slope downward. So the water that isn't pooling in my carport is washing my front yard into my neighbor's carport. WEEEE!!!!

    Dude, this post was worth it just to read FWEEEEPPP!!!!!!

  23. While I was wandering about in the bloggersphere I stumbled into your 15 Minute Lunch. I do feel for you with all your going-ons this week...but you did make me laugh. I will be coming back for more!

  24. Anonymous12:18 PM

    A sequel to the JC Penny post will probably force me into another personally embarrassing post like the one linked to my name. Thanks a bunch!

  25. WOW ~ what a week for you!! I hope things turn around quickly for you...
    I'm really looking forward the the JCPenny sequel ~ this time I'll buy some Depends before I read it, though!!
    Love your blog ~

  26. Do I need to express how disappointed I am that you didn't post a picture of you ice-bound garage. That would have been totally cool.


  27. Waaaah. Ice. Roof. Tire. Waaah.

    My dog had his nuts removed this week. Top that!

    (And you don't need to raise your garage or lower your driveway -- just put a drain trench across your driveway in front of the garage.)

  28. Yeah, you got me on that one. Every time I think I'm having a bad week, I go visit Grunt and that puts a little perspective on it.

    On the garage thing, that's my plan. A drainage area with a grate over it.

  29. Ahh, owning a home really sucks sometimes, doesn't it JV?
    At times, I think it might be easier to rent just to be able to call someone else to fix all the dumb stuff that breaks.
    Good luck with it all!

  30. Anonymous10:04 PM

    My husband reads you to me and this post came as a shock. I didn't picture you a homeowner in the burbs. Granted, my husband usually reads me just the funny stuff, but from that I seem to have gotten quite the off-kilter view. I thought you were some barely thirty cubicle type who lived in a duplex in the city and suffered some short of toilet-training trauma, given the amount of washroom pieces I have been read.

    I don't think I can trust my husband's picking and choosing of your work anymore. It's very slanted, but it's nice to know that you are a more rounded person.

  31. Anonymous1:13 AM


    On the plus side, you've managed to make my house problems seem much better. I'm trying to find an electrician who will come over and thrill me, or at least come over and fix my electrical outlets so that I won't need to have my fridge plugged into an extension cord that plugs into my living room outlet.

  32. hahahah Annie calle you a homeowner!Have fun with those winters brother!I told my wife we were going to get stationed at Fort Drum as a joke she told me I'd be going alone, she is from upstate but she never wants to go back, its sunny SC for us. Thanks for the great laughs and I'll be looking forward to the JC Penney part DEUCE!

  33. Have you noticed that it used to be that if you to have anything done to your house, it was $500?

    Now it's $3,000. Honest. I swear. God, I hate Jersey sometimes.

  34. At our old house in North Hollywood, built in 1940, we got fucked once with a $3000 plumbing bill.

    I sat down on the front porch and wept in front of the plumbers.

    At least your house hasn't made you cry.


    Here's hoping it never does.

  35. Good luck with the ice. Our house faces north and we have a glacier every winter. Mom slipped on it and broke her wrist one year just in time for Christmas.

    I'm living on my own now but I suspect some day I will slip and kill myself on... frozen pigeon shit.

  36. Anonymous9:23 AM

    OK, this is what I don't understand... WHY WHY WHY do people live up there??? I spent a year in CT and 16 months in Jersey, both locations far from the coldest points up there. About the third big snowstorm in 2 months and I had already decided there was a reason God let me be born in Alabama. Say what you want about the south, but you can't beat the damn weather down here. I now live in western NC and have the benefit of all four seasons but none of them extreme. No air conditioning needed in summer, either.

  37. Yeah, renting might leave you thinking that it just gets fixed... tell that to my electrical outlet, which has killed two alarm clocks and a cell phone.

    The guy says it's all because the last tenant had too much plugged into the thing, and has made no gesture to the effect that he's planning on fixing it.

    I was told to just avoid using it.

    Oh, and we have next to no closet space. YEAH! Brooklyn!!

  38. Anonymous9:48 AM

    You got a tow truck in only 30 minutes in a middle of nowhere location?

    I am so jealous. Always takes at least 1-1/2 hours here in DC.

  39. Anonymous9:54 AM

    Being a home owner sucks....I'm glad that I live in Ohio and we have pay for the gas we use as we use it...but i've put out $1000 for Jan-March for my gas bill, which hurts.

    When I was a kid, we lived in a house that had the exact same driveway type that you described only it was not paved so we'd have muddy water in the garage. It sucked.

    As for the car and the spring...ouch...my CV joint on my van is bad and it clicks so loud that I'm waiting for it to go at any moment...like when I'm doing 60 on the highway with my kids in the car.

    I hope that the rest of the week goes better for you.

  40. Damn! The same thing happened to my tire! The tire fairies are out again! I'm laughing, but I was crying when I saw the bill.

    I too would have liked to see the frozen garage floor. It sounds like a work of art.

  41. Weekend at Bernie's Wheeeeeeeeee

    Oh boy, an 80's catalogue. :)

  42. I actually thought it was one of your better posts, Johnny. You had me with the sloppy seconds. And please, for all that is perfect in this world, bring on the tantalizing sequal to the JC Penney's Catalog...I wait with bated breath. (Was weekend @ Bernie's sequal really that bad? I saw Alien 3 on a blind date and was less than impressed. http://stephbobb.blogspot.com/2004/11/goods.html)

  43. Anonymous2:30 PM

    i dont know what sort of car you have, but if it's a taurus, ford did a recall for this very problem a few years ago.

    my mom had the same thing happen to her, luckily she was only going about 30 mph, right in front of our house.