Thursday, April 03, 2008

Qualifiers and Disclaimers

It has come to my attention that in a previous post, when I threw out a dollar figure of $600,000 for a house that we looked at, it could have appeared, to the skimming eye, that that house was within our consideration.

I must correct this impression. I mentioned the figure as an example of a house that was so far beyond affordability as to be understood to be laughable!

Additionally, let it be known that we have not yet bought a house, nor are we certain that we will buy this house or any other. We have embarked upon the path toward buying one, shall we say. No more.

Let me further correct the impression I may have given that my dining room wallpaper stripping job is a fait accompli. Nothing could be further from the truth, as I discovered last night at around 11 p.m. Thinking I would just complete the job by making sure the walls were completely free of glue where the kids had worked, I discovered that while the newer glue comes right off, the older glue sticketh closer than a brother to the drywall. Only endless scrubbing and scraping, square inch by square inch, will remove the stuff. Along with the top layer of drywall, if one is hasty, so one must proceed with restraint.

At 1:30 a.m. when I finally called it quits, I'd only managed to free about 1/5 of the area to be painted from this foul, rock-hard substance. I fell into bed dreaming of scrapers and scrubbers and sprayers.

And of perky British accents. And clear enunciation and amusing metaphors and polysyllabic words with Latinate endings. For while I'd worked on my walls, I'd treated myself to one of my all-time favorite audiobooks, Right Ho, Jeeves. I've borrowed this one repeatedly from the library over the years--would have bought my own copy years ago if one had been available--because I think it's the masterpiece of the Jeeves and Wooster stories. It includes P.G. Wodehouse's most hilarious achievements: a speech given by the drunken Gussie Finknottle at the Market Snodsbury Grammar School, and the French chef Anatole's "mixed English" speeches of outrage at the same Finknottle "makin' faces at me" through the skylight of his rooms.

Therefore a further qualifier is needed. Having "what ho"ed all night with the best of them, I can't seem to bring this 'round to what you'd call my normal "writing voice." Therefore if you've detected a slight wordiness, a tendency toward the passive voice, and a preference for the stilted--you're on to it. P.G. Wodehouse does that to writers. Take in small doses.


Anonymous said...

LOL...this post made me giggle :-)

In my neighborhood, sadly, 600,000 for a house - a very, very normal house (1500 sq feet, 3 bedrooms, nothing fancy) is actually about average. And there are many houses that are double or triple that. So, I didnt bat an eyelash at the figure ;-)

Many blessings to you!

Jen in Seattle

martha said...

I thought your descriptions were perfectly clear. Maybe our Wodehouse-loving brains just are on the same wavelength.

Our wallpaper glue came right off after a soak in cheap white vinegar. (Perhaps our wallpaper was younger and less thoroughly adhered).

Becoming Me said...

This is funny. Where we use to live $450,000 is what tiny duplexes were selling for. Best wishes as you continue these projects.

Anonymous said...

Having stripped wallpaper only once (and never again) I used both paste remover and liquid Downy on the walls. The liquid Downy (the blue stuff)worked best, but still required considerable elbow grease! Good Luck! By the way, I have never considered wallpapering a wall since that time.

Marbel said...

I just started The Code of the Woosters; what fun.

Carrie said...

Well after the explanations given in the front of your post - I would say Wodehouse was just the one to call on! =D

Annie said...

What about skipping the further glue-stripping and slathering on a thick layer of textured primer instead? It would be quicker...