January 11, 2010

Sheets that don't rock

I spent a large amount of time over the weekend hanging sheetrock in the basement.

I honestly hate hanging sheetrock, in the basement or elsewhere.

It's not so much the act of hanging sheetrock that I mind; I actually find it to be somewhat relaxing. Rather, it's looking at a day's worth of sheetrock hanging and saying to myself: "That's it? That's all I accomplished?" Because, you know what? Hanging sheetrock is one of the most labor-intensive, nothing-to-show-for-your-work activities this life has to offer.

I mean, seriously. You'd think a sheet of rock that's four-feet-by-eight-feet in size would possibly cover some serious area. Instead, after you button that chunk of crap to the ceiling, you step back and marvel at how tiny that huge piece of shit actually is. It almost makes you sit down and ponder just how insignificant your life apparently is.

And that's just the hanging aspect; it doesn't include the measuring, an exact science which, left in my hands, would result in a room eerily reminscent of most Salvadore Dali paintings. Putting a measuring tape in my hands is like giving a monkey a hand grenade.

Instead, I leave all the measuring to my wife, which leads to an interesting sequence of events. You see, while I would never trust myself with measuring basically anything, that in no way diminishes my impatience with my wife's measuring process. While she labors to exactly determine where light switch openings need to be cut, I'll be circling the perimeter, sighing loudly and asking what's taking so long. I want to HANG the sheetrock, after all, not just stand there and watch my wife make pencil marks. My impatient behavior, though very cathartic to me, does not go over well at all with my wife. The end result of this sequence of events, ultimately, is a lot of bickering. We're professional bickerers.

After a piece of sheetrock has been adequately measured and cut, I then get to actually hang it, which consists of putting roughly eight million screws into each sheet. I don't have a definite formula for how many screws I dedicate to each sheet, but the number tends to increase depending on my mood. If my wife and I have just finished bickering, for example, there will be so many screws in the sheetrock, you probably couldn't throw a dart without hitting one.

And all of this doesn't even begin to address the areas of mudding and taping, which are such maddeningly mundane and repetitive activities, they actually prompt you to wonder if God Himself invented them as a sort of celestial joke on mankind.

Posted by Ryan at January 11, 2010 05:56 AM | TrackBack
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