Tack Strips and Barbie

As most of you may already know (most likely from my jubilant phone calls today), I FINALLY closed on my house last night. This was celebrated with disbelief, Corona, a trip to Home Depot ($210 and I just went in for cleaning supplies), and, finally, a anticlimactic collapse on the air mattress by 11 pm.

You see, the house needs just a bit o’ work before I can live in it. I spent the afternoon pulling up ugly brown shag carpet, itchy padding, and tack strips. Tomorrow I will pull up the rest of the tack strips and rent a sander and return the 80 year old hardwood floors to their original splendor.

Which makes me ask- why would anyone cover up hardwood floors, anyway? And why, dear god, would they hammer tack strips into the floor? Obviously, the answer there is “to cover up the hardwood floors”. This wouldn’t bother me so if I could have found my hammer to rip them up with, but I could not, even after a search of my apartment, the Money Pit, and my car. So I go to Home Depot (again), and have one in the basket when my parents call and say they’re on their way down and can they bring anything? Yes, I reply, a hammer. So I put mine back and check out.

They arrive 90 minutes later (my dad knew a shortcut) and they have forgotten the hammer. I run to Walgreens, where my two choices are a ten dollar cheap hammer and a five dollar even cheaper one. It’s dachshund sized and has flowers on it. What the hell, it’s a hammer, I get it.

Except the hammer part comes off of the stick after about 14 strikes; this makes ripping out ANYTHING very difficult. My dad started to laugh when he saw it but then saw my face and- wisely, I think- clammed up.

So, me and my Barbie hammer are at it again tomorrow, at which time my father swears he will remember the hammer. Anyone wanna help? It’s worth pizza and beer and even a tank of gas if you’re more then 20 minutes away (not counting if you take my dad’s shortcut). Hell, send me your teenagers, I’ll buy THEM pizza and beer, and given the neighborhood may even be able to score them some crystal meth or, at least, baking powder being passed off as coke.

Of course, no pizza place delivers to my neighboorhood, so I’ll have to run and get it. You just keep working on the tack strips with the Barbie hammer; I’ll be right back!

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I write. I take pictures. I love my dog. I love Florida. My 2016 book, 'Backroads of Paradise' did really well for the publisher and now I feel a ridiculous amount of pressure to finish the second book.