Thursday, March 15, 2007


photo of our roof, showing replaced cedar shakes

Regular readers know that we have had problems on a couple of occasions with field mice; we've also had to deal with ants on an ongoing basis. But our current infestation is completely different. As we came home one evening, I happened to look up at the roof of the house as we drove into the garage, and saw that about 10% of the roof tiles were gone. Not just gone, but replaced with new cedar shakes. I stopped the car, got out, pointed up to the roof, and announced to Mary and the family the only possible conclusion: "Oh my, we have elves!"

Yes, hard though it may be to comprehend, we have an infestation of elves. This isn't the first time they've shown up either, On a previous occasion, we'd returned from summer holidays to find the garage doors re-painted, and the doors to the garbage bin replaced. And about half the time during the winter, my sidewalks are shoveled before I even get home, and the garbage put out on garbage day before I get up.

Well, okay, it's possible the sidewalks and the garbage are my retired next-door neighbour, Ralph, or the neighbour on our other side who often seem to trade off taking turns shoveling -- it's that sort of neighbourhood. I try to keep up my share and do their front walks whenever I happen to be out there before them (usually requires a continuous snowfall where I've gotten home after they've already each had a go, but it's a couple of inches deep again.) But painted garage doors? Redoing the cedar shakes on the roof? That is clearly beyond mere neighbourliness.

Okay, it's remotely possible that these home improvements are orchestrated by Joe, the previous, previous owner. Indeed, Joe originally built this house for his own family and as the showplace for his contracting company. He loved this house. He still thinks of this house as his masterpiece. So, since I am as handy as a Homer Simpson, and am basically incapable of even recognizing when something needs attention, we've told Joe that if he sees work that needs doing, to just go ahead and do it.

But while that sounds like a reasonable explanation -- at some point one would expect a bill to show up. But the roof been fixed for months and no bill has how could that be the contractor? I'm telling you, we have elves. It's the only explanation.

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