The Invasion of the Roofers; Quite a Spectacle

barry currin, stories of a world gone mad, beaverdamusa.comWe Americans love our summers.

Nineteen sixty-seven gave us the summer of love.

Bryan Adams sang about “The Summer of ’69.”

And if you’re a fan of the“Seinfeld” sitcom, you certainly remember the episode titled “The Summer of George.”

I’ve had lots of great summers. One of my favorites was my senior year of college when I moved off campus into an apartment. My two courses that summer were history of rock and roll and some kind of a geography class, which meant I had lots of time to hang out with Kim at the apartment pool.

This summer, however, has not made the top 40 list of favorites.

Allow me to describe to you The Summer of the Roofers.

Back on March 21, we had a historically catastrophic hailstorm. It affected a large part of town. My neighborhood was especially hard hit.

It lasted 20 minutes, and many of the hailstones were as big as tennis balls.

Cars were determined to be total losses, trees were mangled, and everyone’s roof was damaged.

When it was all over, the yard looked like a polar ice cap.

As soon as the ice cap melted, the roofers invaded.

Most came from out of town — if not out of state — driving fancy pickups with their toll-free-800 numbers painted on the side.

They were ruthless. They stuck temporary signs at every entrance to the neighborhood. They stole each other’s signs.

We had to wear camouflage anytime we were in the front yard and dive behind the shrubbery when we saw one coming.

The entire month of April was like a Jehovah’s Witness training camp.

One evening the doorbell rang while I was sitting in the living room, and without looking I yelled “we already have a roofer” through the door.

I had no idea a girl scout loaded down with Thin Mints could run so fast.

The next step in the roofing process is the ceremonial arrival of the shingles.

This is a procession where a truck pulls a flatbed trailer full of shingles with a forklift hanging off the back through the neighborhood at 4 mph while looking for the house where he has been dispatched.

This normally happens when I am trying to get somewhere in a hurry, which is most of the time.

Then, the truck stops in the middle of the road and the guy blocks the other lane with the forklift while unloading the shingles.

When the roofing crew arrives, they take their direction from the guy who brought the shingles and park in the middle of the road as well.

And heaven forbid anyone ever ride together, because if they did, there wouldn’t be seven vehicles at each job site.

Between the roofers and the mowing crews — who park exactly the same way — every time I leave the house I have to slalom out of the neighborhood hoping I don’t smash into a forklift parked crossways in the road.

The hammering and banging is a daily ritual from dawn until dark.

It’s seven days a week. It’s been going on so long I still hear it even after it stops.

The other day, a crew had mariachi music blaring from the radio.

After a couple of hours, I couldn’t take it anymore. So, just like Pavlov’s dog, I loaded up the family and had Mexican for lunch.

We’re now four months after the storm, and I would say not even half of the houses have been done. Ours hasn’t.

I told our guy not to hurry though, because when I get my new insurance premium, it’s just going to go through the roof anyway.

About Barry Currin

Barry tries to be funny and poignant, and he's usually satisfied when he succeeds with one or the other. (Being both is awesome. And sometimes that happens.) Email him:

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