Today’s roofing based journey of discovery started at a store I’m not going to name but rhymes with “Bone Despot”. After some time I arrived at the conclusion of… Fuck them.
The next store was more helpful; which is like saying it’s better to be groped by the TSA than shot by Stalin’s henchmen. Should I cheer for the TSA?
I already knew I had X square feet of roof. This was non-carpentry math and therefore made sense. I have a tape measure, understand the concept of “slope”, and mastered fifth grade geometry. Yay me.
“I need enough shingles to cover X square feet” I explained.
They looked at me like I had a face made entirely of armpits.
This is when I remembered that I was buying construction materials and was therefore no longer participating in a logical universe. I needed to speak their inane language of units based on astrology. A “square”, for reasons known only to carpenters and the Illuminati, is the amount of shingles that’ll cover 100 square feet.
I tried again. “I need X/100 ‘squares’ of shingles.”
They sprung into action. Soon I was looking at a “parts list”. It started with the “squares” and continued through endless picky little details right up to and including several huge boxes of coil nails. I liked the list. It looked complete. A job well defined is half done!
Then I read the price and shit myself. After that I started talking in tongues, smelled brimstone, and passed out. “Why not just bend me over the counter and have your way with me right here?” I wailed.
OK I didn’t actually say that. Instead I stuffed it all down inside for that heart attack all men have waiting for them.
I soldiered on. Apparently a “square” is no longer 100 square feet. Why? Because screw you that’s why. It’s about 97.9 square feet. Or maybe something else. Yep, it varies depending on which brand of shingle you select. (Is this what women experience with dress sizes?)
My fuse was lit again. What good can come of a unit of 97.9 square feet? Those Godless bastards had gone too far! I started winding up for a righteous speech about how 100 square feet is reasonable and everyone else needs to have my foot kicked so far up their…
At this juncture Mrs. Curmudgeon said some soothing words (“shut up fool and pay the man”). Well said dear. I mellowed my inner harsh and adjusted the order slightly to make up for suckitudinous unitage.
I was back on track. Like water off a duck’s back baby!
Then they asked if I wanted to put it on my “store card”. Screw that! I have my own resources. What’s this? I get a hundred bucks cash back? Well sign me up! I surrendered my personal information (and dignity) because I’ll get a $100 “rebate” in six weeks and daddy needs a new toolbox. Then I noticed the APR. 24%. Really? Are you kidding me? I started another rant. This time centered on usury and the appropriate reaction to a 24% APR. Mrs. Curmudgeon distracted me by promising to arrange the check within 24 hours. Whew! If I pay even one penny of good money on their evil card I’ll never forgive myself. After all, 24% would make Al Capone seem benevolent.
“Now about the free delivery…” What’s this? It’s not free? “I drop the price of a three karate diamond on pebble covered felt and you jackoffs want $79 to deliver it?” I harrumphed a bit and pondered the hassle involved. Finally I wavered. Sometimes it’s worth it to pay to avoid a tough job.
“OK, ship the stuff to my house at…” What’s this? The truck ‘aint here?
“Well fine, call the guy and have him deliver it to…” What’s this? Not coming until Wednesday? Can you say “blow me”!?!
Everyone at the materials counter came to a halt. Most people simply accept the delay while the delivery guy is gone. Why? Because we’re slowly devolving into a population of spineless chickenshits that’s why! I will not go quietly into that dark night.
More in Part III.