Though it’s painful to admit, there’s no other way to say it: our dad was a liar — plain and simple!
The incident that proved it happened around noon on Saturday, two days before school started. Twin Brother Mark and I were finally joining Big Brother James and The Sister at Briarwood High School, home of the Mighty Buccaneers. We both were entering the eighth grade and starting football on that Monday.
Guess I could blame starting football for the incident, but no. Dad lied, and that lie was the reason one of us got badly hurt and had to be rushed to the hospital.
As I was telling this story to The Wife, she first started laughing, then her laughter quickly turned into shock, then shock into disbelief. By the end of the story she said, “I can’t believe your dad said that.”
Believe it, Dear Reader, for this story happened just as written below. I should know — not only was I there, but I’m also the one with the scars to prove it.
Throughout our teenage years, Dad owned a small apartment complex that always needed repairs. He’d do most of the work himself, but there were times he’d let us kids help so we could earn a little extra money. When he decided to reroof the complex, instead of paying a roofer, Dad decided to do it himself.
The Saturday morning before Mark and I started high school, all the roofing materials were delivered to the parking lot. Before he could start nailing them down, Dad had to get the bundles of shingles up onto the roof. That’s where us kids, and the lie, come into the story.
After calling us outside just after breakfast, my brothers and I met Dad standing next to one of two huge pallets of shingles that had been dropped next to the building. He gave us our instructions, “One of you hold the ladder down at the bottom; another hold it up at the top. One of you will then carry the bundle of shingles up the ladder, across the roof and then lay it across the peak. After that, you’ll switch positions. It’ll be a great leg workout to get you ready for football on Monday. The roof isn’t steep but be careful. I’ll pay you twenty-five cents for each bundle you put on the roof.”
And then the lie, “If the ladder starts to fall when you’re climbing, don’t jump off. Hug the ladder and ride it down to the ground. As long as you’re holding onto it, you …….