26. Throw Junk on the Roof

This flip flop was on my roof when I got home from work today.

Not surprising.

Boys are masters of throwing junk on the roof.  You name it, I’ve had to drag it down – from balls, bats and frisbees to shoes, socks and shirts.  Somehow they can make anything go up there, and think it’s just great fun. After tossing stuff on the roof, boys run around giggling at each other as if it’s the grandest new joke ever, even though it’s the fourteenth time they’ve done it so far since summer vacation started.

Thank God I can’t afford to put gutters on most of my house, because the one gutter that came installed on the screen porch is jammed up like the Hoover Dam every time it rains. Whiffle balls, nerf footballs, some jacked-up IronMan guy with only one arm left… IronMan made out of plastic, anyway – what did they expect was going to happen when boys got ahold of him?

I always end up on a ladder after a storm, digging down through four inches of water and leaf muck to dislodge whatever item boys have sabotaged me with this time. Did you know that one of those soft pink rubber balls that feels like a school eraser is the perfect size to plug up a downspout tighter than a cork in an 800-year-old bottle of wine? Nearly impossible to remove without serious power tools. And when you finally do get it free – watch out. Sixty gallons of gutter sludge goes rushing down those spouts in a hurry. I’ve almost been sucked in several times.

There was a three inch figure of Ernie from Sesame Street stranded in the middle of the roof in back of our house for like two years at one point. It was one of those spots that’s not quite slanted enough to really scare you, but still much too steep to consider risking to save Ernie.

Elmo? Maybe.

Ernie, meh.

I tried sending one of the boys up there several times, to no avail. You know, that method where you go “What, you think it’s funny, throwing junk on the roof? Fine, YOU go get it!” And then you hoist them up there all wiggling around while you’re shoving on their rear to push them up and over the eave while they’re screaming. It never works.

Finally I ventured out there last year after we’d gotten a humongous trampoline and stationed it right under Ernie’s rooftop position, where he was already faded on top until he was nearly white. Florida summers are brutal – I’m surprised he wasn’t melted into a little blob of Sesame Street grease by then.  I was already up there pulling down some rubber band-powered airplane and a foam boomerang or some such junk, so I figured I’d go for it. Made it out there, rescued Ernie, then decided to jump off the roof and land on the trampoline, with the entire family watching. My wife was NOT happy. She said it set a bad example… Pretty sure that if she’s right, you’ll be hearing about it later on this blog.

As for the flip flop in the picture?

Still up there.

We’re practically to winter at this point – that thing can stay stranded until spring. Or maybe until I shove a howling boy up there while I’m hanging Christmas lights.

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14 thoughts on “26. Throw Junk on the Roof

  1. I LOVE the picture of shoving the howling boy up on the roof! You never knew they could fold in half so quickly to avoid the sand paper shingles. Now…if they WANTED to get up there it would be a different story! By the way, did you know you can jump high enough on a trampoline to jump up on a roof? Just sayin…just in case… don’t put the trampoline too close to the house…we know your boys…

  2. We live in a mobile home, I guess the thrill of throwing stuff on the roof doesn’t compare to throwing things in the tall pine trees. We had a remote controled flying disk about 40 feet in a pine tree. They tried to get it down by throwing footballs, baseball bats, basketball, and shooting arrows with rope tied to them. They all became stuck. We went through hurricane Katrina and the toys were still there. A thunderstorm a few years later knocked everything out except a lone basketball that brings laughter every time I see it..

  3. If anything, you probably gave them a few pointers. My heart goes out to Ernie – at least he doesn’t refer to himself in the third person.

    Perhaps you can coerce your boys to up on the roof if instead of retrieving the item, they have to hammer it in? You know how boys love to add destruction on top of destruction.

  4. Fantastic post!

    My relationship with the roof was the exact opposite. I used to use the roof to practice fielding fly balls, and it made me upset when one got stuck in the gutter. When I got older, I used to climb out on the roof to get away from homeschool life and the restraints of the same four walls.

  5. I vividly remember playing ‘toss the ball over the roof’ games. Incidentally, I just bought a toy helicopter. I’m 35 years old. It may end up on the roof at some point…

  6. We have the identical flip flops, and I have a picture of something on our roof too LOL only our object was tied to a very long string, but the string blew onto the roof too. The string was needed because it was lasso practice time, don’t you know?

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