Special Feature: A guest blog by Dave Gerry.
I’m sure some of you have wondered what I’ve been up to over the past few months.
Well, to be honest, I seem to be spending a lot of time in my crawlspace.
If you have a crawlspace, and you’ve been down there, you already know that it is the most appropriately-named area of your home.
I don’t do a lot of living in my living room. I eat at the kitchen table more often than dine in the dining room.
And those of you who have a so-called Great Room will have to admit that it’s very rare that anything truly great happens in there.
But, trust me when I tell you, there’s little else that can be done but crawl in a crawlspace..and it’s going to be one of those down on your belly, walking-on-your-painfully-splayed-elbows kind of crawl.
It’s a style of locomotion you haven’t experienced since you were in diapers or perhaps served in a combat infantry unit and had to deal with heavy enemy fire.
There’s also a fair amount of limbo involved with working your way through the subterranean confines of a modern house. You crab walk beneath furnace ducts and water pipes and gas lines.
No one should think of entering a crawlspace without a good set of kneepads.
I bought a pair the other day at a hardware store, showed them to my wife, and got the strangest look.
But that’s another story.
Once you descend into a crawlspace you will find lots to do.
I was replacing a dryer hose but while I was down there flailing and spitting about in a drift net of spider webs, I noticed that much of the tape on the furnace duct joints needed replacing.
So I did that too, even though the duct tape kept folding back on itself, would tear unevenly and snagged on everything in sight.
Good to know that you can curse to your heart’s content in a crawlspace and there’s no one to offend.
Eventually, I found that by systematically following the furnace ducts I had unwisely worked myself to the darkest, most distant corner beneath my house.
The dim light of the crawlspace opening was now an anxiety-provoking distance away.
And then my flashlight died.
It just browned out.
“Not now ! Not now !”
And, of course, I smacked it a couple of times as if I could shock it back to life.
But it had lapsed into a full D-cell coma.
I was alone in the inky, dusty black.
And so I crawled back toward the spectral light of the crawlspace opening with a rising tide of panic in my throat.
I tore through the cobwebs, dove under the pipes, skittered over the mouse droppings, negotiated through the spaghetti junction of telephone wires and tv cables until I was, once again, able to stand fully erect.
And I breathed a big, big sigh of relief.
It was like I had been on a terrible little journey.
The reason I went down there in the first place was to tidy up for the guy who was coming to install a water meter.
You know you’re anal retentive when you’re cleaning up a crawlspace for company.
* Dave Gerry is a Canadian writer/broadcaster/producer. He has worked for every major broadcast entity in the country and has produced 13 one hour documentaries, 26 half hour specials as well as countless feature stories for various newscasts over the course of his 33 year career.
Dave is currently working on several segments for CBC’s ‘Living Vancouver’, which airs at 3 pm Pacific Time, Monday to Friday. The first one is scheduled to air on December 9th