Sunday, November 06, 2005

New Floor Order

I’m sure everybody’s father is the same – able to harp on endlessly about subjects of little to no significance whatsoever for weeks at a time. If conversing aimlessly on dull topics were an Olympic event my farther would be Jesse Owens.

I imagine that as everybody gets older and move into their twilight years, their interest wanes towards the smaller things in life. These minute droppings on life’s canvas of memories becomes more important and the ultimate basis for conversation. Who has time to ponder on the future when the Reaper is breathing down the back of your neck? Suddenly, it’s the insignificant details in life that you take most pleasure and interest in. Embracing the moment as it were - whether it be the weather, the season finale of ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’, or just over having saved a whole 30 cents on dented cans of fruit cocktail down at the local supermarket. It’s these types of things that my father relishes in discussing in great detail.

My father’s rate of conversation progresses at the rate of a special Olympic hurdler. It seems like only yesterday he was hell-bent on continually raving about the “magnificent” steak he had for his birthday back in July – when in fact it was. To hear my father go on about this steak and sniff the air proudly, and of course by all accounts of the story, it was so rare that you’d think he worked it over first with a blowtorch and pliers before it was slaughtered and delivered to his table.

Lately, the preferred topic of conversation with my father is his new fetish for click flooring. He and my stepmother had this click flooring installed three weekends ago and I’m doomed to hear about it until the end of time. And if his genuine enthusiasm for this new click flooring is anything to go by, this was about as good an idea to my father as selling chili fries at church services.

For the past 14 days I have had to endure the entire saga of this new floors progress as it unfolded. This incredible click-flooring epic leaves no detail unexposed or unexamined. From the initial ripping up of the old mildewed carpet in the family room to the shrewd deal he struck with the flooring installer. To hear him revel in telling the story you’d think that this new click flooring was the second coming of the Messiah. It’s all he talks about these days, and I’d be lying if I said that I didn’t feel a slight twinge of jealousy for this stupid fake wood paneling floor every time he brings the subject up – which is always! The sun literally rises and sets on this new floor according to my father.

Yes siree - my father sure does love him some click flooring tiling!

The initial stages of the story began weeks ago with the monumental task of ripping up all the existing carpet in the house prior to the prodigal flooring arriving. This was not exactly the most enjoyable part of the saga, but a part that my father relished in telling repeatedly nonetheless. I now know more about the historical strata of this particular worn carpet - from every bleached piss stain from past bladder-challenged pets to every cigarette burn from falling asleep in front of the hockey game. I even discovered the origin of those odd smear marks in the corner of the living room that were made during the great worm pandemic of 2001 and from which Sparky never fully recovered. I could write an essay on the evolution of this carpet.

But still the epic continues…

From here my father’s story took a different turn two weeks ago towards the actual click-flooring installation process and what a remarkable job the installer did for only $500 - a real bargain my father assures me. This part of the story amuses me. Considering my father doesn’t know a hammer from routing saw, or that he once built a birdhouse out in the backyard only to have the Fair Housing Commission condemn it afterwards due to anonymous complaints – I highly doubt that my father is a good judge of anything that involves “installation” in the first place. You could unroll a bundle of slatted bamboo and fasten them together with bubble gum and my father would only brag that it’s ethnic and that you just can’t get that kind of workmanship here in Canada.

The way my father praised this click-flooring installer you’d think he was paying him with sexual favors or something. Honestly, the boxes of delivered click-flooring tiles were marked with a big “EASY TO INSTALL YOURSELF” sticker that promised you wouldn’t even need the brain of a parakeet to put it together. Hardly! If it’s so easy why do they recommend you still hire an installer? Shits like working out coldwater fusion. At least my father was shrewd enough to fork out the $500 instead for the installer to assemble something that a pre-kindergarten class could supposedly have worked out before Nap Time.

Honestly, my father never, ever, bragged to anyone about my prowess on the baseball diamond, curling sheet*, badminton court, or anything else for that matter including anything I’ve ever accomplished as an adult (which sadly, is limited as well). But this particular installer, who, for all intensive purposes, was a stranger until he showed up Monday morning in his overalls ready to click together some tile. The guy could have been a serial killer or diddle little boys in playgrounds and my father would have welcomed him into his home as part of the family providing he had the right tools to install click flooring. But according to my father: “he’s a genius with his hands”. Definitely not something a grown man should ever have to hear mentioned by his father (or any parental unit for that matter).

Most recently, this conversational opus has become all about the click flooring worship and how beautiful the finished product it looks. Shit, it’s just snap-together fake wood paneling not the Sistine Chapel ceiling. Now every time I talk to my father it’s the same thing: “Have you seen the new click flooring?” or “You should come over and see the new click flooring.” I bet he’s more proud of that damn new flooring than he was when I first came home from the hospital. I’m half expecting him to start popping celebratory “It’s a Floor!” cigars in people’s mouths and start showing them wallet-sized snapshots of the new baby.

The fact that I have visited their home at least half a dozen times to see this click flooring since it has been laid and even made the token slide across it’s slippery surface in my stocking feet and boxers with a cucumber microphone at the speed of light, this doesn’t deter my father from continually inquiring about its supreme majesty.

“It really looks nice and the installer did a great job didn’t he? You’ve seen it, right?”

Ugh. Somebody stab me!

* Don’t laugh - in my day I could throw perfect draw weight to the tee line or hit and roll a shot rock onto the button without breaking a sweat. Makes ya hot just thinking about it, huh?


Blogger Wandering Coyote said...

I don't even know what click flooring is...Is it similar to pergo?

Great post. I can tell you're fond of your old dad despite your complaints.

Remember: you'll do the same when you're his age! We all turn into our parents eventually.

11:02 AM  
Blogger Ash_G said...

I found somemore of your "Notes from Ground Zero at Corporate Hell" I can honestly say I've never laughed harder. Reading this while everyone in my house is trying to sleep, not a very good idea ... # of times I've been told to shut up, 3. The best, is the fact that you were thinking about pimping out your cat! Poor Miso, but you could totally make a reality show out of it, I'm sure some network would be all over it *cough 'FOX' cough* "PIMP MY CAT" you could even get some washed up rap star to be the host. I'd watch it ;)
...You've officially been pimped!

10:09 PM  

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