It’s pretty fun to build a porch. I know that it probably doesn’t sound like much fun to build a porch, but it is. This I can say with the utmost certainty. As long as you aren’t getting paid for it and you get to drink beers all day, building a porch is about as much fun as you can imagine.
The first thing you get to do is the mostest funnest part, so I should probably save it for last–but that wouldn’t make sense, chronologically speaking, so I’ll put it where it belongs, which is, as I said, first.
The first thing you get to do is tear the old porch apart.
(See how that would’ve been weird to put at the end? I’d be all like, “And then, after I finished putting the stairs together, the most exciting thing I did was tear the porch apart,” and you’d be like, “What? That doesn’t make sense,” because it wouldn’t. Unless I messed it up real bad and didn’t notice until I finished putting the stairs together, which would make me mad dumb, dude. Mad motherfucking dumb. All I’m saying.)
Tearing the old porch apart is an exercise in catharsis. Had a bad day recently? You’re in luck! You’ve got a hammer, a flat bar, and a porch that needs to be torn to shreds, violently and immediately. Go to town!
That’s what I did. I went to motherfucking town on that porch. Had I had a particularly bad day recently? No I had not. Was I able to enjoy demolishing it very much anyway? Yes, I most certainly was. There’s something to be said about throwing 12 foot boards in the air and listening to them land on the ground. Thwack! What a sound. And there’s something even better to be said about smashing through rotted-out, carpenter-ant-chewed joists with a hammer. Boom-thud! Ahh! There goes a carpenter ant! You just hit the nest! Kill them all, before they kill you!
Boom! Thwack, thwack! Boom!
(Oh, fuck yes. I can get my torturous inner-child on in a big way when it comes to carpenter ants.)
I’d been expecting the joists to be not-rotten before I tore the deck apart. You can imagine the joy on my face when I discovered that they were as rotten as thirty-year-old-rotten-things, and that I would get to tear them apart. There was much joy.
But of course I didn’t have enough material anymore. Wasn’t counting on those joists being horseshit, you know. So, back to the lumberyard, get a bunch of shit, go home, call Dan. “Hey Dan, how do you feel about working for free? I’ll buy beers.”
“Yeah, sure. I got nothing better to do.”
“You’re a great friend, Dan.”
So Dan and I spent five or six hours drinking beers, using power tools–Saws! Drills! More saws!–and figuring out how to make a porch. It was pretty awesome. When you’re building a porch, you get to feel manly and bash things, like hammers, onto other things, like nails. You get to use a level, and scratch your stubble, and say, “Hmmmm” a lot. You get to swear, too. Whenever something goes wrong. Like, let’s say that you split one of your joists at the bottom edge because you hammered too close to a pre-existing crack. Let’s say that happens. You can say, “Fuck!” and no one will care because you’re building a porch, and it’s your God-given right as an American to say “Fuck” when you’re building a porch. It’s your God-given right as an American to say whatever the shit you want when you’re building a porch.
First amendment, baby! That’s what it’s there for!
So the porch will be done tomorrow. Or whenever. It’s a porch. It’ll be done when it feels like being done.