John moved the hose from one marked spot to another, taking care not to get his hands wet on achilly November evening. as the water slowly softened the hardened ground, he kept remindinghimself why digging 32 fence post holes was worth his effort.
In only three weeks time, a tiny yellow lab would be running around the backyard. He dreamed of the sweet smell of puppy breath, playing fetchand hopefully the dog would scare away those pesky moles that have been tearing up the yard.
Even John’s father, who now lives quite the posh city lifestyle, reached back to days as a hog farmer and chipped in. His contribution was somebackbreaking work mixing and pouring cement and hanging support beams.
Over the course of the next two weeks, John’s closest friends helped raise each of the 32 fence-posts and hundreds of six-foot pickets on the corner lot at 7200 riverview avenue.
On the 5th of December, John stood on the back porch with a jack-n-coke in hand and his wifeMelissa at his side surveying his hard work. He only had 20 feet of pickets left to post and thegates to hang before the fence was finished.“Have you gotten the mail today Melissa?”“Nope, but I will. Be right back.”
Melissa opened the mail as John talked about his “Well, apparently the fence violates this laundryday at work and the progress on the fence until list of things and it has to be rebuilt or we haveshe came upon an envelope from the courthouse. to go to court on December 17th.“What is that?,” John asks. “Court? John said.”
John rolls his eyes and his face goes white. I thought only load bearing structures had toHe sits in silence before the white flushes have a permit in our area?”into a deep angry red. His wife calms him down and says well there is nothing you can do about it tonight. You might“What? What? How is that possible? as well enjoy your drink.
the next day, with a much calmer head, John dials the informs him that the inspector is out on vacation for acounty inspectors office to find out the specific changes week. “John gets off the phone and realizes that onlythat need to be made. gives him one week to fix the fence before the court sum-the receptionist picks up on the other end and mons date. again, he is fuming.
a week later, the inspector is “This side of the house is fine but three inches not six inches...” the pickets.”finally reached and shows up to the other side of the house can “What?” “What? I can’t use the $1400talk to John one-on-one about only be 4 ft.” “there needs to be at least worth of lumber I’ve alreadymaking the fence legal according “What?” 40% visibility and now there is bought, driven in cement andto county standards. “at four feet the pickets should be 0%. You need to move all hung up.’”
John proceeds to call the inspectors In the end, everyone agrees to align the backsupervisor and politely bickers on the pickets to the front and cut off the fence at fourphone in a tone that is much higher than feet. the inspectors decide they will let thehis normal speaking voice. 6-inch pickets slide, tHIS tIME.
after a week of scrambling extra work from friends and some help from a saw,the fence is finally finished two days before the court date. The inspector iscalled one more time to approve the fence.
After a final walk-through by the inspector he calls off the court summons and approves the fence. Because John hadn’t researched his designproject very thoroughly before he began construction, he is left to ponder his new puppy for a week or two while he burns a rather large pile ofpicket tops in his fire pit.