Thursday, August 27, 2009

Stuck Under A Ladder

My beautiful sisters in Christ!

Time to tell on myself a bit with a positively RIDICULOUS happening last week.

We have been working on getting our house trim painted, etc.

We have two ladders. One is a regular 6' ladder and one is a HUGE ladder that I think is 20 feet long, and that telescopes in on itself like a fire truck ladder. I needed this one to do a lot of the high trim on the house, as we have a 1.5 story house.

Ok, now TWS is still limited in his lifting ability, so it has mainly been me hefting this ladder. I am a fairly sturdy woman, so that had not been a problem. However, that morning we had put a new piece on the ladder. It is a large semi- circle metal brace thingie that is supposed to be wider than a window so that you can lean the ladder up at a window without the ladder top resting on the glass.

This thing is phenom. It makes the ladder much more steady. And heavy. Just heavy enough to tip the scales (pun fully intended) away from my ability to wrangle the ladder. I can lift it, but cannot really control it because of the extra weight. A couple of times the kids heard the ladder CRASH to the ground because all I could do was swing it away from the house, not guide carefully.

Ok I was painting trim in the front, and at one point I needed to move this ladder over a foot or so. In order to move it, I had to slide it under the edge of the roof, under two cross braces, and then back up under the roof edge all without smashing the ladder into our large, beautiful, and new triple pane windows (no, I did not break the windows!).

I was not strong enough to stand behind the ladder properly and pull the ladder to myself. So I got under the ladder and tried to "walk" the rungs to make the ladder stand up. However, the feet of the ladder were in soft dirt and kept sliding. I was afraid I would break the glass, so I figured I would just put the ladder on my shoulders and walk it out to the yard to adjust.

So I slid the ladder down until my head was in between two rungs and the ladder sides were resting on my shoulders. I walk out to the yard, away from the windows, with my head through the rungs and my arms just keeping the ladder steady.

Then I tried to lift the ladder off of my shoulders. Uh oh.

I soon realize my arms seriously had no strength left after toting, painting, and hefting all day. I could not budge the ladder over my head! Ok, no problem, just put the ladder back on my shoulders and rest a bit and try again....

And again....

And again.

Greeeaaaat. I'm stuck.

The ridiculousness of the situation started to hit me and I got an attack of the giggles, which makes lifting the ladder REALLY TRULY ENTIRELY impossible at this point. But I still do not get that it is entirely impossible. I keep asking myself "No, I really stuck? As in...stuck?? Cause I do not want to call out the cavalry just in time to lift the ladder off of my own head.". Try again. Nope, I am really seriously stuck.

So I called my mom who was inside, but she did not hear me. THEN I call to TWS who was in the garage on the far side of the house, but of course he could not hear me.

So much for cavalry.

"AHA!" I thought to myself "Just slide my shoulders through the rungs and slide the ladder down off of me like a skirt!". However, I soon found out that the...ahem...sturdiness of my shoulder means they do NOT fit through the rungs.

Then I start to panic just a little (ok, not panic, but get a bit concerned!). I have my head stuck through a ladder, my arms are too weak to lift it, and no one can hear me. My frame is strong enough to hold the ladder at the moment, but for how long? Do I need to flag down a passing motorist? Would YOU stop for a woman waving wildly wearing a 20' ladder around her neck like an accessorizing gone horribly awry?

I mull my options as my shoulders start to ache. I mean....can someone DIE this way? How long can I stand there? Should I sit? What if I cannot get back up??

I figured I would have to walk to TWS to get his help. But there is no easy way to get to him. My truck is between him and me and I do not want to accidentally hit my truck with this ridiculous piece of paint splattered bling. So that means I would have to walk off the property, down the street, and back up into the other side of our circular drive way, again the view of neighbors and motorists. What would YOU think if you saw this dreadful living see-saw ambling down the side of the road? Yeah. Well at least if someone called the cops, they might be able to get this blasted thing off my head.

I actually would have paid to see that see the police show up and extricate me from this ladder. They could also call the fire department...they know about ladders, right? Maybe I could get on the local news (we have a REALLY small town) "Local woman attacked by her own ladder! Chaos at the scene! The fire department worked frantically to rescue a woman from her own ladder which apparently turned on her as she was trying to transport it. After several tense minutes of uncontrolled guffawing, the ladder was tranquilized and removed from the woman's shoulders. The woman was taken to a local Ace Hardware as a safety precaution and was later released. Officials will not release the name of the woman, but c'mon, how many cross eyed, headcovering women do we see around here? She's the one who had those blue underarms that one time...".

Ok, so in the end, the police did not have to be called. The neighbors did not have a chance to laugh, and I did not get on the 6 o'clock news. It occurred to me that I might take the ladder off like a sweater instead of a skirt, and ducked my head until it slid off of my shoulders. Sweet Success!

(btw, I have not been on that ladder since. I am tired of painting. And it is raining, so I just play Bejeweled Twist all day instead.)


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