Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Payback Time

Today I learned why it's important to make friends with your neighbors.

On Sunday, in a huge rush to get to friend my Ashley's bridal shower, I filled my arms with supplies and tried to push the door open with my foot, as I've done probably a hundred times before. That time, it kicked the whole metal panel that makes up the lower half of my screen door out of the door frame. I just started laughing. "This would happen to me," I thought. With no time to spare wondering how to fix a broken door, I set it to the side of the porch, locked the main door, and texted my roommates not to be alarmed that the door was kicked down. Just another day in the life of Olivia, I explained, and I'd figure out what to do later.

Well, later needed to be sooner, because I realized at the shower that our landlady would be returning to Ohio from China on Wednesday, and the last thing I wanted to do was show her, "Look how well we're taking care of your house! We bashed in the front door! Guess what the inside looks like!"

So tonight I took a look at the door and the panel. The beveled tin sheet was warped and curled on the corners and edges, with seemingly no hope of it ever getting straightened out. Plus, from the look of it, the door had been built around the panel, and I saw no way of getting it back in. I contemplated duct tape.

As I was scoping out the plausibility of the ultimate handyman's solution, my elderly neighbor David, who always yells "Hiiiii Olivvvviaaa!" from his front porch across the street when I get home, and whom I had delivered chocolate chip cookies and muffins to during my first few months of living here, hollered at me.

"Do you need help fixing that door?"
I told him I thought it was beyond repair. He walked over to look at it, and he laughed and said, "You're in luck, my handyman is here, and if he can't fix it, then it can't be fixed. But he can fix it."

As I expected, his handyman is his roommate/son/lover/really good friend, I haven't figured out which yet. But Ronny-of-the-unknown-relationship-status came over to take a look at the door. He pointed out what needed to be done and how you would fix it if the panel weren't so warped and dinged, but he said we could try.

"You know it's going to cost you some chocolate chip cookies," he said. I laughed.

I fetched a screwdriver and he retrieved a length of 2x4 and a hammer from David's garage. Twenty minutes of hammering and flattening out the panel's 100 year's worth of dents later, we managed to slide the panel back into the door frame, and then replaced the screen and voila, good as new, just in time for the skies to open up with an impromptu cloudburst.

And yes, the smell wafting from my oven as I write this is fresh chocolate chip cookies. :-)

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