Chip and Chop
“I almost cut my thumb clean off” I hold up my hand, the second knuckle is dashed with a bit of blood.
“There’s no way that you almost cut your thumb off with the tile knife,” Ellen responds. We are standing in the near pitch-black night. Staring at each other with the dimly lighted assistance of two, 10$ headlamps. In order to get the job done before snowfall, we’ve had to begin working after nightfall.
“If the knife had been actually sharp, it definitely could have taken my thumb off and I probably have tetanus now.” A bit earlier, a spray of rust filled dust flew into my eye from a the stripped screw that once held on the vent cover by the bed.
“One of the symptoms of tetanus is lockjaw,” Ellen eyes me seriously, “Can you open your mouth?”
I test it. Opening my jaw as wide as it can go and wiggling it from side to side.
“Okay so you’re fine,” Ellen has become a pro at dealing with Sara’s and my obsessive hypochondria. Especially in the era of COVID-19, we pretty much both assume that we are dying three times a day. It would probably help if we would wear gloves and safety goggles but we never do. On the first day of demo, Ellen wore flip flops.
After a lengthy debate about what should stay and what should be taken out (and an even lengthier debate about which character we would be if we were all on the popular television show Fixer Upper) we had finally started demo-days on the trailer.
We went at the job, assuming we would be able to swing two sledgehammers around for a couple hours and empty the whole thing out.
Trailers are put together sturdier than we assumed, with lots of hidden fasteners and tiny staples that scratch the bejesus out of your hands. Also, the walls are paper thin, so the act of removing all the fasteners has to be done more delicately. In addition, the carpet was not put in using tack board, like you would use in a house, it was installed with glue. This meant that I had just spent the last 30 minutes on my knees with the tile knife and a set of needle nose pliers, cutting and prying the beige carpet out of the walls.