I’m imagining a TV sit-com mash-up between the Tim Allen vehicle Home Improvement and the sketch comedy gem “Homey the Clown” from the early 90s classic In Living Color. It would be called Homey Don’t Improve That and would be about a down-on-his-luck clown who is forced into performing home improvements for pay because of a shortage of clowning gigs. Either that or it would be about a terrible housing contractor who is also a juggalo. Either way, the main character wears clown make-up and destroys people’s homes. Each episode would center on Homey’s failure to perform the client-of-the-week’s home improvement project for which he was hired, with hilarious results. There would obviously be a lot of physical comedy and pratfalls. Every episode’s resolution would be Homey eventually successfully getting the job done through some unconventional solution. Homey’s catch phrase, of course, would be “Homey can’t build that.” Someone call Fox—this stuff is gold.
I’ve been doing a lot of home improvement projects myself lately. Much like Homey, I tend to come up with unconventional solutions to problems I have created myself. Or problems that I did not create but whose conventional solutions would cost thousands of dollars more than what I’m prepared to pay. Or that seem too hard. Whatever the reason for the problem, I like to come up with my own solution and do the work myself. (I really have to do the work myself because my ideas are usually so convoluted as to be incomprehensible to others.)
Today’s project involves installing lattice into the frames over the screens on the lanai. The currently empty frames are supposed to have some kind of clear or tinted plastic in them but whoever owned the house before me tore the old plastic out (mostly—there are some tattered remnants) and didn’t replace it with anything. White lattice seems like the easiest and cheapest solution to the existing problem of empty frames that even the laziest of cats could push out and escape through. My cats are not the laziest of cats and have already demonstrated an eagerness to try their paws at escaping. (They’re pretty lazy, just not the laziest.) Also, there are a number of dead frogs trapped between the screens and the frames that need to be…uh...dislodged. I’m now accepting suggestions for how to extract dead frogs from window frames that don’t involve dissection. Seriously, I want them to remain whole. The cats seem disturbingly eager to help with this task but I doubt their feline inclination to abide by the “intact” clause. (Claws? Haha. I’m lame.) I already unsuccessfully removed a dead lizard from the air conditioning unit. It didn’t go well. The poor thing apparently poked its head through the grate, got stuck, and cooked to death in the sun. “Pull to remove” was not a good plan. I want to get the lattice installed so the frogs have got to go.
Clearly, the lanai framing project needs to be completed and before I get too busy with school to actually “git ‘r dun.” (Florida building codes require me to use that phrase at least once per home improvement project.) I measured the frames today in anticipation of going to Home Depot to purchase lattice. Then I measured again and discovered my first measurements were wrong. This is how mistakes are avoided. Dad always said measure once cut twice. Or was is measure twice cut once? Or was it Mom who said that? I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Tim the Tool Man or Homey the Clown. At any rate, I’ve confirmed my numbers and I even wrote them down on a piece of paper. Time to do the work. I need a sidekick like Al Borland who can keep me from electrocuting myself. Homey the Clown’s sidekick was less reliable.
In summation, my home improvement projects get weird. Frog removal suggestions are welcome.