So because the TV news weatherbabe predicts two days of rain/snow mix starting...well it's already started, I took the opportunity to get the ladder out and go up on the roof one more time to clean the last batch of gutter-clogging leaves out of the rain gutters.
Now this job entails setting up a stepladder on my back porch, climbing to the top of it, then pulling myself up onto the roof. It's not the most steady or stable set-up, and I always knew that sooner or later something bad might happen, law of averages and all.
Well today was the day.
I got up on the roof all right. No problems there. I cleaned out the gutter. Took less than ten minutes. But then came the descent. Here's where I always expected trouble, and true to form, trouble did not disappoint. As I lowered myself back down from the roof towards the ladder, the ladder shifted beneath the first foot to make contact with it and toppled over, leaving me hanging from the edge of the roof.
Now the drop wasn't a bad one, and I'd have just let go and dropped to the porch, but the damned ladder was lying on it's side right in the impact zone and I knew that wouldn't be a smooth or pain-free landing. So I pulled myself back up onto the roof, giving silent thanks for all of those chin-ups and push-ups that I've been hating in the gym. Then I got to my feet and looked down at the ladder lying on the porch, completely blocking that avenue of escape. Lagniappe, ever the helper, looked back up at me from the yard.
OK, I had a contingency. I always have contingencies. This one involved me calling a neighbor to come on over and reset the ladder. But alas, my cell phone had been dislodged from my belt during the roof's edge circus act and was now laying next to the ladder, quite out of the game. And Lagniappe was still looking at me from the yard.
Time for Contingency #2.
"Dog! Go get help! Get someone!"
And like a flash, Lagniappe ran off, returning a moment later with...his flat basketball.
"No, get HELP, you moron! Go find somebody."
Lagniappe dropped his basketball and barked at me. Damn dog.
"OK, how about putting the ladder back up? Come on, boy...you can do it...just stand the ladder back up....Come on..."
He just picked up the basketball again and dropped it. Useless cur...
So I headed over to the other side of the house where the roof was almost as low to the ground as the roof on this side was to the porch. I wasn't keen on making the drop with this particular leg on, but since I hadn't brought a book or a coat, it beat sitting up on the roof indefinitely.
As luck would have it though, a car came down the road. It slowed and turned into the drive of the house down the road a bit. It was my newest neighbor who just moved in.
When I heard the car door slam, I hollered over. In a moment, the rather attractive (but alas, married) new neighbor came over and re-set the ladder so that I could climb down and properly introduce myself. She's very nice.
So in the end, my gutters got cleaned, I got back down, my cell phone still works, I met the neighbor (who thinks that Lagniappe is cute with his damned flat basketball) and life is good. It's raining, but I've got a steak cooking on the grill and a cold beer. The only downside...my disappointment in Lagniappe, who, unlike real heroic dogs like Lassie and Rin-Tin-Tin, did absolutely nothing to help his boss out. Hell, just wait until the next time he gets stuck on the roof and needs my help.
On an unrelated note, great work-out today. Ran four miles in just over 36 minutes (still have to get that down to 32 minutes), swam half a mile, and got in half an hour on the weights. All in all, not a bad day.