© 2008 denise

HULK SMASH: Working Out Anger Issues AND Celebrating Fatherhood Through Unwieldy Tools

The story on The Stubborn Concrete Steps goes a little something like this: So we have these concrete steps located at the rear of our house. I’ve never much liked them, they have terribly inconsistent rises which makes me feel artificially unbalanced or drunk (or both) whenever I walk the steps. Also, there has never been a handrail, which makes it that much more precarious for those who have legitimate balance issues NOT related to booze consumption. So, after much discussion and several design iterations, I have the solution to these wretched steps: an elegant solution that will take the form of a simple set of wooden stairs that descend gracefully (WITH a handrail) to a low platform deck that will be a walkway to the driveway AND provide extra “living space” to our previously designed concrete patio. Nice, right? Looks good on paper so far. So what’s the holdup?

This. This is the holdup.


In this photo, you see the aftermath of what 2 NOOBs (ie. Me and C) and a rental jackhammer can do. But let’s back the story up to this past Friday, when I got a spur-of-the-moment lunch invite from my friend Scott (yes, this Scott):

S: It occurs to me as a dude with the day off who isn’t going anywhere til 2ish…You want maybe to grab lunch today?

D: Would love to. We might have a problem with the concrete steps. There is siding that falls below the top of the steps, so I might have to go out there and try to chunk off the top step. Wanna come over early and help? (Hint: bring the sledge.)

I know, I’m a total bastard for turning a lunch invite around into a “Hey why don’t you come over and take a few swings at that concrete for me?” — especially since that was Scott was technically on his day off. However, I offered to compensate him with lunch AND help him out with some cleanup/mulching/landscaping at his house later that weekend…so I think we’re even (D: we’re square, aren’t we? S: Uhhhmm. My hand still hurts…). I guess when it comes down to it: If you are my friend, don’t be surprised if I enlist you in hard labor from time to time (but I always try to make it worth your while). If you are my husband, don’t be surprised if I enlist you in tasks that you’ve never done before with machinery that you have no experience with that could SERIOUSLY HURT YOU.

So that Saturday, I get a wild idea that we surely must be capable of destroying the steps ourselves. I mean, Scott made it look so easy as he pulverized the top step. Well, he made it seem easy. Oh, who am I kidding, he KILLED that step, and it wasn’t without some serious effort and careful placement of a 16-pound sledgehammer. This I consider: If that is what can be done with a sledge, then perhaps we can destroy the rest of the steps with a JACKHAMMER?

Of course! Rent a jackhammer!

I make a few calls, and soon enough we locate a Home Depot that rents out electric jackhammers. The beast of a machine is heavy. Really heavy, and unwieldy. We start to feel a little less confident that we’re going to be successful in our venture with the jackhammer, as it takes a lot of C’s effort just to hold it upright and keep it steady. However, C had decided that we weren’t going to rent this tool and not use it, so he “cowboy’d up” and positioned the jackhammer for the first round of demo.

I’ll admit, I was nervous and I wasn’t even the one running the beast. Shortly before starting the jackhammer for the first time, I heard C mutter: “What have I gotten myself into?”

You mean, what has your WIFE gotten you into.

Really. I made him do this on Father’s Day weekend. The weekend of all weekends where fathers everywhere are supposed to kick back and enjoy life and be showered with gifts of appreciation, right? What sort of sick woman am I?

I made it up to him. I baked him a cake from scratch.

Comments are closed.