Friday, August 22, 2008

Remember that time Uncle Al fell off the roof?

Nick loves to tell crazy stories to random people, and he always starts with "Remember the time blah blah blah blah blah happened?" I'd love to tell him, "Hon, was this random person THERE what that happened? Then no, they wouldn't remember!" but the minds of pre-schoolers defy logic and it would probably just make him cry.

Instead, depending on which story he's telling (cuz you know he has an arsenal of more than a dozen beauties) I either turn a deep shade of red and laugh, trying to explain that we are not REALLY like that to complete strangers or I ignore him.

His favorite?

"Remember that time Uncle Al fell off the roof?"

Here is where I must tell you that these stories are real, every single one of them. Embellishing stories isn't something he's learned to do yet.

And we live in a very tall, 2 1/2 story house. Its a duplex, and my brother, Al, rents the upper flat from us.
This past winter, Will was less than a year old, and I was still fighting battles with putting both boys to bed at the same time. I'd resorted to rocking Will in the living room until he was asleep, then putting him and Nick in bed. (Gimme a break - its extra hard when your hubs isn't home nights to help divide and conquer!)

You may remember that the Midwest got a lot of snow this past winter. Well, one evening, the DirecTV went out as we were getting one heck of a whallop from Mother Nature. Because we lost reception on the dish, I put on a previously recorded show for Nick to keep him quiet because Will was just about out.

The phone rings. Its Al.

"Hey, is your TV out?" I might mention here that he also has DirecTV and that it runs through the same dish, so that's a stupid question.

"Yep. Out."

"Well, then I'm going to go out and see if I can knock some of the snow out of the dish. Just wanted to let you know that it'll be me making any noise you hear out there."

"Really? Al, why don't you wait until this storm passes? Its just going to fill up with snow again."

True to man form, he argues with me, and decides he's going to go out and give it a try anyway. Heaven forbid he be without TV for more than 10 minutes.

About two minutes pass and I hear a huge WHOOMP!!! toward the front of the house. Standing up with a sleeping Will in my arms, I look out the front windows, and see nothing. I went and put the baby in bed, figuring he probably hit the side of the house pretty hard with the ladder. I mean, not enough time had passed for him to get downstairs, get the ladder out of the garage, walk to the front of the house, climb up to the roof...

Just as I'm closing the bedroom door, Nick yells, "HEY! Uncle Al!!!" and goes running toward the kitchen.

Al walks in without greeting, saying, "Uh, you got a paper towel?" on his way to the bathroom.

Uh oh.

I get him the paper towel and see, as he's rinsing it in the bathroom sink, that the pad of his ring finger is cut and bleeding.

"I, uh, sorta fell off the roof," he admitted, wincing as the water hit the cut.


"Well, don't worry. I'm OK."

A single guy with no roommates, my mind races, worrying for my younger (though obviously dumber) brother. I begin to think of concussions and internal bleeding, freaking out that he'll soon go back upstairs by himself and fall asleep, never to wake up again. "How do you know? Did you hit your head? Does anything else hurt? What if you forgot that you hit your head? You might have blacked out. What the hell happened?!?" I'm launching questions at him as fast as humanly possible.

"No, no, I'm not hurt. I told you." Sighing and shaking his head, he's clearly annoyed that someone's showing compassion.

"Well what the hell, AL!?!"

He wraps his fingertip in the paper towel and turns to face me.

"Well, see, I went out the front window."

"YOU WHAT?!?" Here's where I'll stop and mention that there is a porch off the front of the house, and the dish is installed on its roof, only one story up. His front windows look out over the porch.

"Well, I put on my golf shoes so I'd have more traction."

"OH. MY. GOD. YOU WHAT???" I truly can't believe what he's telling me.

"...and I grabbed my broom. To, you know, sweep the snow out of the dish."

[Insert more unintelligable freaking out from me, and notice the small boy standing in the hallway, eyes wide, scared for his uncle and probably his Mom. I mean, I don't know if my face has been that shade of red before or since. Except when he tells this story to the checkout girl at the grocery store.]

"...and I opened up my front window. I thought I'd just walk out there [never mind that the roof is sloped and icy] and sweep the snow out. No big whoop. But as soon as I let go of the window, *whoop!* my feet slid out from under me [ya think?!!?] and I sorta slid down the roof and fell off."

[Insert the silent sounds of my jaw dropping and hitting the floor. Because at this point I was speechless.]

"Yeah, I kinda fell on the front steps. I'm sorry, but I landed on your planter out there and its kinda broken."

"Who cares about the planter! Come sit down, are you sure you're OK? How'd you cut your finger?"

"Well, see, I was sorta scared, so I twisted around at the edge of the roof and grabbed on to the gutter. It cut my finger, so I let go, but it slowed me down a little bit." Now I'm looking closely at the cut to see if it needs stitches.

His hand is now 2" from my nose and I'm concentrating on it as he continues. "So I landed on your planter and I'm sorry, I'll buy you a new one. Then I heard this sliding sound, so I got out of the way. I thought it was my broom, cuz, you know, I dropped it, and I didn't want to get hit with it - OW! Dammit - don't touch that!!!"

"Sorry," I say, "I think it'll be OK. So did you get hit with your broom?"

"Uh, no. It wasn't my broom."


"Uh, I left the window open when I came out. It was my dog."



I'll let that sink in, people. His friggin' dog is so dumb that it followed his master out onto a roof and FELL. OFF. TOO.

He goes on to say, "Yeah, I'm kinda worried about her. She's limping. Do you think I should take her to the vet?"

Are you laughing so hard you're crying yet? I will say, at the time, I was honest and truly still worried for my brother. I was still concerned about any as-yet-undiscovered injuries. I made him promise to call me in half and hour, and I called him half an hour after that, too.

Only later, when explaining to my hubby why he should look to see if our gutters had been damanaged did I completely break down, laughing till I was folded in half, tears streaming down my face.

His dog was OK, by the way. But you know what I found, the next day?

A single swatch of rooftop, as wide as a man's ass, swept clean of snow on our roof.


Shannon said...

This. Is. Too. Funny.

Heather said...

Oh. My. God. That is a hilarious story. Glad to her your brother and the dog were okay.

Tracy said...

I just found your blog linked from We Are That Family. I am still blowing soda out my nose from reading your story. But I have to tell you, I have an 11 year old, that still loves to tell complete strangers about the time that Uncle Eric wet his pants, or their grandfather let the kids shave his back! At least it is complete stranges, who hopefully won't remember the next time you come in!

We are THAT Family said...

What an awesome story! I laughed so hard! Too funny. (Of course, since everyone was okay)

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

That is too funny! The dog too! Oh man! Well, they say dogs resemble their owners...

Happy2bme said...

I am laughing HYSTERICALLY!!! I'm glad to hear he was ok and the dog too!!

Jennifer said...

that is so funny. the man and his dog.
thats great! i have a strange sense of humor.

Anonymous said...

You are an amazing story teller.

Anonymous said...

Holy crap that made me crack up!!!

Burgh Baby said...

The poor, poor dog and it's lack of enough sense to never follow a crazy man sporting golf shoes out on to the roof in the middle of a snow storm. Poor dog.

Christy said...


Anonymous said...

That is a hilarious story! And, I'm sure your son will be telling it for years to come. Poor uncle Al!

Karen MEG said...

Okay, GOLF SHOES??? OMG, that was hilarious... and the dog, just topped it off!

Brothers and their TV, sheesh ;)

Mia said...

That is hysterical. I'm so glad for your brother that you live in the same building. He obviously needs some looking out for! :)

Kim said...

You are hysterical.. I wish there was a picture of the butt swipe..hahahaha


Colleen said...

that had to have been one of the funniest stories I've ever read! I was laughing and could barely stop laughing long enough to coherantly share it with my hubby. :D Glad that Al and the dumb dog are alright after their fall.

Debbie said...

Now that is a truly funny story. Stupid dog. What a riot.

Anonymous said...

OMG that is one of the funniest stories I've read in a long time. It made me laugh as much as Jon Stewart.

I'm glad your brother and his dog were okay. And leave it to a man.

texasholly said...

That is some serious funny. OMG. You had me at the golf shoes and the dog was just a bonus.

Thanks so much for linking today!

OHmommy said...

Oh LOrdy.... and no picture? That is hysterical!

gina said...

lol and the dog part just did me in. as the girls and i would say ..."good times, good times."

Jess @ NBP said...

LMAO!! That was hilarious. Glad they are both alright.

maggie said...

I was almost OK until the dog. Too funny!

Penny said...

Oh my goodness, I have not laughed so hard in a VERY long time. I live in the Milwaukee area, have DirecTV, and had to clean off the dish more times than I care to think of last winter. Glad your brother & his dog were OK!!