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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: The Comedy of Errors (not about the play) (08/18/11)

TITLE: One Day I'd Like to be a Bricklayer...
By Noel Mitaxa


As a kid, I had so much fun playing with my plastic building bricks that I thought: One day I’d like to be a bricklayer...

Fast forward thirty years; now married with four kids and our own home; or at least sharing it with the bank!

Enter a grand vision: transforming a thirty-foot square shed at the rear into a rumpus room; across from a paved courtyard with an in-ground swimming pool; sheltered by an overhead pergola draped with ornamental vines!!!!!

We excavated a hole, wide enough for the pool and a surrounding brick wall to support the soil that would be packed back against it – to be levelled as a base for the paving stones. The wall, which no-one would ever see, would need a few hundred bricks.

When I saw I could get them for less than a hundred bucks, my testosterone-fuelled logic simplified the whole deal: a half-hour trip with my son and my trailer; another half-hour of loading and maybe forty-five minutes to get back home.

Slicko! We left at ten - to be back by lunchtime!

As we passed the trailer-hire signs near home, I thought: Fifty bucks for a steel-framed double- axle unit? No way! My trailer only has a wooden frame, but it will do just fine …

We arrived within the allowed time and we loaded the bricks: three layers neatly stacked to prevent slippage – and maybe wind resistance???

After I paid for them, a flicker of idle curiosity alerted me to how little air seemed to be residing in the trailer’s tyres; so we slowly drove down the hill to a garage to reinflate them. Now those soft-walls held forty-five PSI; to support what I was gradually realising was almost four thousand pounds of bricks!

We had barely moved when one of those soft-walled tyres loudly proclaimed: “BANG!”

Reverie interrupted; we off-loaded the top layer of bricks – promising to return. Then we jacked up the trailer; attached the spare wheel and set off.

Reverie resumed; we’d driven to within twenty-five minutes from home when – “BANG! LURCH! SCRAAAAAAPE !”

Glancing back as we stopped, we were treated to the sight of a complete trailer-wheel; gathering speed as it rushed past; until it launched itself into a small tree. When we got out, we saw several bricks lying on the roadside; while my wooden-framed trailer languished at an angle that precluded its featuring in any sales brochure!

Enter a Good Samaritan with an empty steel-framed trailer, offering to carry our bricks – free!

We accepted and loaded them on. Happily.

With the bricks loaded, he announced he could only take them to his side of town - with us living fifteen minutes further away on the other side!

We followed him to his house and unloaded the bricks. We thanked him and went back to a trailer-hire place near home, where I paid Fifty bucks for a steel-framed double- axle unit? Okay!!!

We returned to the bricks we’d loaned to the garage manager, and after loading them we turned for home. Then, about twenty-five minutes from home, we discovered a forlorn-looking, one-legged, wooden-framed trailer at the roadside. We stopped and, as we surveyed it, another Good Samaritan helped us to load it on the hire-unit and – having no ropes - weigh it down with several bricks!

Sometime later we returned to our first Samaritan’s house, where we completed reloading and turned again for home; back across town in the gathering afternoon peak-hour traffic...

The intersection near our home was encrusted with vehicles, but one kind motorist paused to wave us through in front of him to enter our driveway.

Which I now saw was blocked by my wife’s cousin’s car!

This was wonderful news!

Now she and her kids and our kids could help to more quickly unload the steel-framed, double-axle hire-unit of its load of bricks and a forlorn trailer relic. This gave me time to return the rented trailer before having to pay an extra day’s hire; which would have meant another Fifty bucks for a steel-framed double-axle unit!

“Slicko” had not materialised, but I gained some valuable insights:

Male hormones cannot accurately predict a project’s timing;

There are better ways to bond with a teenage son – though building the wall together afterwards did 'cement' our relationship;

There is ‘mortar' renovations than meets the eye;

And - above all - one day is quite long enough to be a bricklayer!

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This article has been read 606 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Janice Fitzpatrick08/25/11
Nice job! Great humor packed into some good 'ol lessons that we each can relate to in some way. I really enjoyed this piece!Just one question-did the narator pray for patience beforehand?GRIN!(Usually that sort of thing happens when I have.:)
C D Swanson 08/25/11
Good story with things with a scenario we can ALL relate to. I took it to a deeper level of "building a relationship with the Father and the Son" - laying the solid bricks of foundation which cements our relationship with God. Nice job. God Bless you.
Danielle King 08/27/11
This was a real comedy of errors. The humour in the way you wrote it was outrageous! I started to chuckle when 'the soft walled tyres loudly proclaimed "BANG"' and by the end I was hysterical! You took a frustrating situation and made it sound hilarious! It will be interesting to see who you are!
Colin Swann08/27/11
This must get first prize for the overload of comedy of errors. I wanted to be there to help, and to sort them out. Thanks!
Patricia Protzman08/27/11
Life can be "a comedy of errors" especially when we look back at some of the "laughs" it has given us. Enjoyed this humorous tale and your use of the word, 'slicko.' :)
Virgil Youngblood 08/27/11
All I can say is, it's a good thing you didn't try making your own bricks.
Sarah Elisabeth 08/28/11
This WAS a comedy of errors! How many can there be in one simple little job?

If I may, one suggestion: eliminate the majority of the exclamtion points. Your sentences and humor are so strong, I think they could stand better with a simple period.

Perfect ending line. Great way to tie it all together!
Leola Ogle 08/29/11
Oh, I had such fun with, visualizing it all the way through! Great take on his week's topic and well written! God bless!
Author Unknown08/30/11
If I didn't know better, I'd be asking if it was my husband who wrote this story. Not because he writes, but because this sure sounds a heck of a lot like something he'd do, only there'd be a grumpy wife next to him saying, "I told you we should have sprung the $50 for the other trailer." :)

well told. really. and I agree with commenter (forget who now) who said, easy on the !!!!'s :)
Lillian Rhoades 08/30/11
Great story with lots of action. Sometimes I got bogged down with detail, and the "we" factor could have been downplayed (25 of them). I had to reach across the Continents to scratch my definition of "encrusted.":-)Always love your play on words; you have a real knack for it.

Verna Cole Mitchell 08/31/11
One of my favorites this week--pun included!
Linda Goergen08/31/11
Such a comical read…but…it is so good you can look back on this and see the comedy in it now, but I doubt it was anything but comical at the time! LOL I really laughed at your “insights” at the end! But I guess all well that end’s well as it seems you did end up with your rec room and pool…sometimes dreams come, just not as easily as we imagined! LOL Enjoyable read!
Linda Goergen08/31/11
I meant I doubt it was comical at the time! (please excuse my senior moment)
Kelvin Fowler09/01/11
Well done, great read and yes there is 'mortar' male hormones than most men understand. lol
Linda Goergen09/01/11
Congratulations on your well deserved HC win!!!
Fiona Stevenson09/01/11
Congrats on your placing, Noel. Oh how much you recalled trailer times in our past days. Thoroughly enjoyed your yarn, (and I love my !'s as well so don't mind yours!) God bless you.
Carol Penhorwood 09/01/11
Congratulations on a well told tale! I suspect this is one of those "family stories" that will know no end.
Beth LaBuff 09/21/11
This is perfect for the topic. :) I was smiling the whole time I was reading your third paragraph and the grand vision. :) I've seen our pickup loaded with floor tile, so can imagine the scene you describe perfectly. :) (and yes, we had to make several trips too) You thoroughly entertained me this evening.
Beth LaBuff 09/21/11
...and super congratulations on your Highly Commended award!!!