Tag Archives: comedy

Flying Gazebos and Other Perils of Life

My favourite season of the year is spring, when we begin to thaw out  after the long cold winter and things start blooming. It reminds me of a promise – the promise of a warm and sunny glorious summer! Until the wasps come.

Having once been stung more than 30 times, I can honestly say I hate them.

I discovered wasps had taken up residence behind my shutters on my house when I went to remove them to repaint them. So I offered my brother, who always needs money, $200 to go up and bring them down. He jumped at the chance for easy money. After climbing up the ladder to the second story of my house, he removed the shutters, threw them to the ground and quickly descended the ladder in a visible state of agitation.

“Holy cow” he exclaimed, there’s thousands of wasps up there!
“Why do you think I was paying you so much money just to remove the shutters?” I told him. “Consider it danger pay”. My next goal was to create an outdoor space on my back deck, so we bought a gazebo. It didn’t take long for the wasps to find it and start building a nest.

My daughter’s boyfriend decided he would earn some brownie points by offering to remove the nest. Armed with nothing more than a broom handle, he ventured outside and started poking the nest. I could see what was going to happen so I quickly closed the patio doors. As the wasps came out in force, said boyfriend ran for the door screaming “Let me in”. Well, there was no chance of that; if I opened the door the wasps would get in, so I quickly locked it. I’m not a cold hearted person though, so I did eventually open the door and let him in – after the wasps had gone away.

Wasp-free, my gazebo was now perfect for sitting out on warm summer evenings. I purchased a few comfortable chairs, some side tables, and plants, and surrounded the deck with solar powered patio lights. It was divine!

Until the first storm of the season, when the winds picked up my gazebo and tossed it about, twisted metal lying amid the devastation of knocked over tables and plants.

Not to be deterred, we purchased another gazebo – a bigger gazebo, a better gazebo. This one was screwed to the deck and had netting all around it. Paradise!

Until the second storm of the season, which was one week after we had put up the gazebo. Still fastened to the deck, the gazebo still managed to become twisted and mangled. We complained to the store and they gave us our money back.

Our next gazebo came from TSC which is more of a farm country type of store. Surely their gazebos were better. After we had put it up and fastened it to the deck, we added some carpeting and a beautiful chandelier style light in the middle. We even purchased more plants and some outdoor drapes to block the western sun in the afternoon and to give us some privacy. We were the envy of our neighbours.

Until the third storm of the season. The entire gazebo collapsed in on itself, destroying the beautiful chandelier.

Undeterred, my husband bought some metal bars to reinforce the parts of the gazebo frame that had broken or twisted. Success!

Until the fourth storm of the season. The reinforced parts of the frame held up very well, but everywhere that wasn’t reinforced was broken and twisted. No problem – we were pros by this time. More metal bars, more reinforcement. We were so confident by this time that we even put a new Edison light bulb in the chandelier and hung it back up. My paradise was restored.

Then the next storm hit. We were home at this point and as I heard the winds pick up from my office upstairs, I quickly ran downstairs, screaming “Protect the gazebo”. I wanted my husband to go out on the deck and loosen the canvas from the frame, believing that would stop the gazebo from damage. He disagreed and decided to hold onto the frame, to hold it down so that the wind couldn’t take it away.

I watched him through the patio door as the wind picked up and lifted him off the deck. Then I saw lightning. I asked him if he thought it was wise to be holding a metal rod with lightning happening. He assured me this was a better solution than loosening the canvas.
After checking the double indemnity clause on his life insurance policy, I decided he could do as he pleased. In the end though, he is fine.

The gazebo did not fare well – the final storm of the season destroyed it one last time.  I console myself with the knowledge that it was never up long enough for the wasps to rebuild their nasty little nest.

 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.

Another Day, Another Frustration

Today was a difficult day! It started with me putting in a cancellation order to Bell Sympatico. While each of my computers keeps getting faster and faster, my service with them gets slower and slower. Everytime I said I wanted to cancel, they would tell me my service was 5Mbps with unlimited bandwidth and they’d talk me into trying to fix the problem. Well, today, after almost 2 years, I got an honest person on the phone, who told me my line would only permit 1.1 Mbps. Well I don’t even think it’s that. I even tried to download their internet checkup software. The screen said it would only take 2 mins on a high speed connection, the download manager said it would take 34 minutes. So, I’m paying hi-speed prices for a connection that’s pretty much the same speed as dial up. Stuff downloads at 8kb/s. I actually remember getting higher speeds on dial up.

So anyway, I took the plunge and switched to Rogers Express service – 7 Mbps. I have limits on my bandwith (60 GB) but I usually only download 2-3 GB per month anyway, so I should be okay. It will be nice to have REAL hi-speed – for the same price! I picked up the modem tonight and set it up. Works great! Now I need to connect the router and setup the rest of my network which will involve moving printers, etc. because I’m now looking a cable connection instead of a phone line. And I don’t watch a lot of TV, so cable locations are limited… for now.

So, that was a bad thing that turned good. The rest of the day was not as kind to me. I tried to install the new VPN software from work, which is mandatory for me since I telecommute a few days each week. I installed it on my laptop first and couldn’t get it to work, so then I installed it on a desktop, where it did work. It emphasized how slow my DSL connection was though – working that way was brutal. Well, thank God that’s almost over.

After all the upset, I got a migraine just before my husband got home. We helped a friend with their DSL setup (and yes, I did give them my opinion of Bell DSL) and then went to Newmarket to get the Rogers modem. We stopped at Wendy’s for dinner – the one on Yonge Street just north of Davis Drive (in case anyone wants to know). ALL of the tables were filthy except for the one that rocked as bad as a circus ride. I remembered why I never go to that Wendy’s anymore, but too late. I did get someone there to wash the tables, but geez!! why did I have to ask?? In the end, I couldn’t eat the burger, I was feeling so nauseous. I hate unpleasant days.

Maybe I’m just tired from a late night last night. I’ve started going to a comedy workshop to learn how to be a standup comic. Ha-ha!! Can you see me being funny????

But that’s a post for another day!

Creative Commons License
This work by Suzette Leeming is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.