You’ve done this before

If you haven’t I don’t want to hear about it.

I’ve been working with weights for a while now, trying to build up a little strength. You can do a fair bit with free weights alone, but there were a few exercises I wanted to add that required a bench. The kids have finally grown to the point where I’m not worried about having my old weight bench sitting out, so I set out to harvest its parts from around the house.

Don’t ask me why I didn’t have all the parts in one place. I won’t have a good answer, and I’ll only get angry (again).

I had the main frame in the garage and the rest of the parts in the attic. I found the frame without any trouble, but when I went up to the attic for the rest, they weren’t where I’d left them. In fact, lots of things in the attic weren’t where I’d left them. I immediately thought back to the last time I saw the pieces up there, and the last time someone else had been up there – when the guys from Terminix treated our attic for termites.

Then I got mad. I hate it when folks mess with a carefully organized mess. It might have been a mess, but it was my mess damn it!

I shucked off my good clothes for some cooler ones, anticipating a long search through hell. There’s no other way to describe an attic in a typical Florida home. They’re incredibly hot, poorly ventilated, and hard to navigate. I suppose you could say that about a lot of attics, but in Florida they’re built like fortresses, with reinforcing beams crisscrossing everywhere. It’s a hurricane thing. It’s like a really hot, humid, Children’s playground – with roofing nails protruding everywhere – or a tetanus playground, if you will.

I’ve watched several home improvement shows talk about converting attic space with envy. The only thing you could convert mine into is a drying rack for the neighborhood’s clothes.

I won’t tell you how much mass I shed in sweat, though I know how much you’d like me to.

I came down from the attic exhausted, covered with insulation, and with no weight bench. I was all kinds of mad – as in not completely rational. First I was mad about the mess made of my attic. Then I was mad about having to hunt for my bench. THEN I was half convinced someone took it – those bastards from Terminix. No, it didn’t make much sense. Who would risk their job over half of a beat up, twenty year old weight bench? Maybe I’d inhaled too much insulation.

Now here’s the kicker. Cheryl had THE NERVE to ask me if I’d checked the garage! Of course I didn’t check the garage – not after all the times I saw the bench in the attic. “Don’t tell me where I put MY stuff woman! My mind is a vault of valuable information – impenetrable under interrogation and infallible in a crisis.

Mind you, I didn’t say those things. I kept them secure in the vault. Good thing too.

In this case, life was clearly mocking me. Naturally, it was in the garage. That’s the way these stories work. Didn’t you know that by now? Has life taught you nothing? My heretofore missing bench was in a big box marked “weight bench,” in big black lettering. I’m a big proponent of labeling boxes.

Now let’s go back and check the score. I assumed the worst of strangers, I dismissed the wisdom of my wife, I failed to yield to the “never say never” rule, and I (fittingly) tarred and feathered myself with sweat and insulation.

Maybe a little lock jaw wouldn’t be such a bad thing.


  1. Thanks Stephen. Make the girl that is recovering from the discectomy go up in the attic.

  2. i think this is a man thing, my husband does this kind of thing all the time.(Actually, he’s kind of given up and now just asks me where something is before even looking for it)

  3. I do it all the time. I’ll blame extraterrestrials for my missing pencil before I’ll admit the possibility I set it down somewhere else. It’s a guy thing. Your only mistake was searching the attic yourself. You should have made Cheryl do it, since the missing bench was, by process of elimination, her fault.

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