Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A funny story officer....

As I was moving into my new house, my neighbor was in the process of donating his house to the bank via foreclosure. As sad as that may sound, I wouldn’t feel too bad for the guy. He bought the house seven years ago as a project house and time and money just intersected at poor places over the years and he was able to work on it less and less, so the house had basically been storage for several years.

On his front porch was, amongst all the other junk, an A-frame porch swing that looked beatup, but very comfortable and I was going to offer to buy it from him, so here’s how the conversation went:

“Hey, that swing is pretty cool.”
“You want it? You can have the fucker.”

It was chained up to the house via a chain attached to a metal hook sunk into the stone of the house and he didn’t have the key with him. He said that if he found it, he’d unlock it.

That was several weeks ago and he hasn’t come back to the house since, leaving the yard in a tornado-like state of distress with tires, trash, broken glass, pots, pans and all sorts of other junk laying around. I can only imagine what the inside of the house is like. Honestly, whoever buys the house will have to get a dumpster to get rid of all the rest of the junk there.

I still wanted that porch swing, which, in my opinion, was now mine, as he had given it to me. Of course it was also still securely attached to the house. What to do, what to do…

So, one evening, feeling the confidence kick of two glasses of wine, I decided to go over and investigate the situation further. The lock and chain was solid, however, the screw in the house was, while not lose, could be turned with pliers, just not far enough to get it out of the house.

Resting against the porch, wondering what to do, an idea hit me. Amongst the scattered debris was a log about the size of my thigh.

It was semi-dark, I was dressed in a black jacket, black stocking hat and gloves and, now, holding a potential weapon wondering if I should do it. Wondering for about ½ of a second.

I smacked the metal loop that was connecting the swing, my swing, to the wall with a guilty ‘thump’ and immediately looked around me to see if there was a cop in the vicinity. There wasn’t, but I still felt the need to work fast. After hitting the thing and looking over my shoulder three more times, the piece of metal gave way with a ‘clink’ and the swing gasped free of the house.

Now that the thing was free of it’s leg irons, I had to figure out how to get the beast over to my house. Something I hadn’t thought of while attacking the chain with a stump. It was just too large for one person to deal with, but I was able to take it apart into two barely-manageable pieces, which was only true because I’m quite tall. It’s hard to take a 6 foot tall swing through one yard into the next yard and into the back yard while maintaining a look of innocence. Two pieces, two trips. Success.

While moving the chunks of rusty pink metal over to my back porch, I mulled over the story in my head, and honestly it didn’t sound very convincing.

“You see, officer….Johnson is it? Well, the previous owner of the house…”
“no I don’t know his name actually, the previous owner was foreclosed on. Right before he left, he told me I could have the swing, but he didn’t have the key.”

“No, I haven’t seen him for quite sometime, he said he didn’t actually live in the house, but he owned it.”

“Yes sir, I can imagine that you’ve heard similar stories before in this neighborhood, but I can assure you, it’s the truth.”
No sir, I don’t think I’m funny.”

Yes sir, here’s my identification…”

At any rate, I decided to try my hand at repainting the thing, thus beginning my long uphill battle of becoming ‘handy’. Two weeks later, fourteen days after realizing that spray painting in the same room as the thumping machine that pumps warm/sprayypainty air through the house is probably not a good idea, I pulled the beast up from the basement, signed, sealed and delivered and put it together in my living room (because it’s huge, empty, mine, and it’s still freezing outside).

This thing is comfortable! I still haven’t put the canopy back on, but check out a couple pictures of the before and after of my new backyard swing slash potential criminal activity, depending on the jury and my ability to tell a story convincingly. When it warms up, feel free to come over and lounge on it for a couple hours. Mint juleps on me.


Nancygirl said...

Boo. And I have the perfect material for that thing, too. So inspired to help but damn this distance.

Nice work. :) Cute story.

Well Hell Michelle said...

If you were stopped by the cops, you could have said, "I need this for my underground dungeon" and kept on walking.

After that, it would probably take them a few minutes to decide if they should come after you or not :)