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“Who are we rooting for Dad?”
“The grey team?”
“Nope, the blue team.”
“But they have zero runs, and the grey team has five runs?”
“I’m well aware, son.”
It was a rare dreary Saturday morning in South Texas as the pair sat on the couch watching Grant’s father’s favorite baseball team presumably lose another ballgame. Grant wasn’t as plugged into the TV as his father; he was more focused on being terrible at the new racing game that had been downloaded onto his Fire tablet.
Their initial plan of heading to Six Flags had been dashed by the inclement weather of the past few days. Clouds and sporadic showers had been the norm since Thursday, meaning that a day of walking around a theme park staring at childhood obesity and jorts/wife-beater combos would have to wait a week.
He was stirred from his displeased stupor over the game by the pleasant sound of rain smacking against the windows.
Mmm, we needed this rain. God, I’m getting old.
Grant noticed too and piped up, “It’s raining! It’s really raining!” He ran over to the back door and watched through the window in amazement as only a small child could do.
His father went to the front door and opened it, then walked out on the covered porch. Rain fell luxuriously onto his already dark green lawn, caking it in a way that made him so immensely satisfied that he pondered momentarily that the meaning of life might simply be to have a beautiful lawn. Grant then ran onto the porch to join him.
“Can I go run out into the rain??”
Grant, if you run in my grass and tear it up, I’ll delete every single Paw Patrol off the DVR and force you to eat nothing but spinach for a month.
“Eh, probably not, bud. I think there might be lightning around, and that’s dangerous,” he responded about the lightning-free rainstorm. Grant, dismayed, ran back in the house to get back on his game. It was officially a lazy rain day.
Walking back to the couch to join him, he began to lower himself into his customary spot and heard a “tap…tap…tap” echoing from the upstairs hallway. Much like Forrest Gump, he wasn’t a smart man, but he knew that a sudden change in weather followed by a new sound was almost never a good thing. Grant had keyed into listening too, and said “Oh, boy. What is that sound Dad?”
“I don’t know, Grant. Let me go look.”
As soon as he reached the top step he got what he’d been looking for, as a consistent drip of water was peppering the upstairs carpet from a thin crack in the ceiling drywall.
Perfect. I can’t watch my shit baseball team lose in peace, and now I’ve gotta deal with this bullshit.
Grant insisted on helping him carry their old wooden ladder up the stairs, and by help he meant push on it just enough to place it at an even worse angle for his father’s weak back to carry.
They propped the ladder up, and as Grant watched he climbed, jarring the panel that led to the attic loose and setting it down. Some pink insulation fell as he did so. Getting his phone flashlight out to search for the root of the leak, he called down to Grant without looking, “Don’t touch any of that pink stuff that fell buddy.”
There was a pause. Then Grant softly said, “Well, why not?”
His father took his attention away from the lit beam hitting the roof to look down. Grant was standing at attention with two handfuls of insulation, smiling mischievously from ear to ear.
After journeying down to wash Grant’s hands and explain that insulation was in no way a good thing to touch, he was back to his mission. It didn’t take long to find the culprit: a small drip just to the left of the entrance of the attic like an eye-dropper being tapped repeatedly. Laying a towel down to stall the water from heading down through the drywall, he pondered his two options.
He could text his landlord, inform him of the situation, and just wait out until he could get a roofer over, all while hoping that the rain would lessen that weekend and he wouldn’t deal with more issues. Or, he could play a hero.
What would Phil Dunphy do?
He flew down the ladder and sprinted to his garage like Usain Bolt, grabbing his unused two-year-old can of Flex Seal.
I’ve been waiting for this moment and it’s finally come.
Grant looked confused as his father flew by him holding the can. “What is that stuff?”
He turned and looked at Grant. “It’s a can from the best infomercial ever, son. Now go stand over there by the wall.”
With Grant safe, he headed back up the ladder. He’d been suckered in by the Flex Seal infomercial as soon as he saw it, buying not one but two cans. Until now, though, there’d never been a cause to use it, aside from when he initially purchased it and stabbed holes in some Tupperware to test it out.
With one leg on a beam and the other resting gently on the edge of the attic entrance, he reached his arm as high as he could to get close to the source of the leak, ready to DIY the shit out of it. He pressed on the tube exiting the Flex Seal bottle. Then he pressed again. And again. With zero results.
Bringing the can down, shaking it, and trying again didn’t seem to do the trick. He was in disbelief.
Phil Swift, how could you do this to me? I trusted you, you bastard.
He’d later find that he was using the can wrong, but that wouldn’t matter, because just then he lost concentration and moved his foot resting on the attic entrance to a new location. He managed to grab onto a beam to retain his balance, but not before his foot had gone through the drywall and through the second floor ceiling.
He heard Grant from down below. “Dad your foot is covered in insulation! That’s not good!” .
If you’re enjoying following “PostGrad Single Dad,” be sure to go listen to the latest episode of “The DadGum Podcast,” live on Grandex Labs.