Tlellagraph: Shame, shame on you — you really should know better

By Janet Rigg

Fall is in the air, and it’s busy time here in Tlell. It’s time to prepare, check, service, repair, preserve, slaughter, and cozy in. That chimney needs to be checked. You know this. So check it. Insert a bristle brush into the top or the bottom of the chimney shoot, and make sure nothing is there. Because if something is there, it could catch fire, and then you have a chimney fire. You don’t want this, so just look at the thing. Check it.

Shame on you.

As winter sets in, check the roof too. If it’s shingles, take a look and clear any debris. A metal roof? Check the screws. Switching up the size of your roof screws can add years to your roof. This is good. It keeps you dry and warm. That’s obvious, honestly.

Crying shame, a leaky roof.

It’s time to smoke the salmon, can the fish, and the other foodstuffs you can … can. Whatever you’ve carefully raised over the summer, or caught, or tended. You’re not canning? Really? You live in Tlell! Missed opportunity. At least slaughter the animals you’ve raised, because we all know living in winter is a terrible thing.

No animals? What a shame.

Now you can check the traction on your outdoor decks, too. It gets rainy here. You’ve noticed, I’m sure. They get slimy, and you can slip. I’ve done it and it hurts. Check your lighting out there too. It’s getting dark earlier, and earlier… and earlier. So dark. You want to be able to see where you are when you slip on your slimy decks because you couldn’t be bothered to get that pressure washer. As you feel deep shame radiating from your lower back, remember, it’s probably because you’ve broken something.

And when it’s raining, again, check those gutters and downspouts, check the drainage around your house, make sure the ground is sloping away from your foundation, because you want your house to be dry. We get a lot of rain. Again, that’s obvious, and you don’t want it in or under your house. A wet house is shameful.

Your house needs to breathe — it’s like a living organism that relies on careful homeostasis to exist as long as it can. But sometimes you can’t fully prevent the march of time. Sometimes things need to be replaced or repaired. Check your vents, check the flow of air. Don’t choke your house. That’s like the best form of self-sabotage there is.

You are a master of shame.

We all have shame, of various degrees. We carry it as our burden, but what purpose does hauling that weight really have? Is it just self-sabotage that holds us back from being the better people we know we probably could be? Is it a physical sensation that can’t be ignored or avoided? Or is it our greatest weapon that we expertly wield to control our behaviour and conform to a greater system of norms for society? I don’t know.

I do know that if you have a steep roof, or any roof, don’t go on the roof. You could fall. That’s why professionals need harnesses and ropes and various other safety enhancing things. So get someone who knows what they are doing to go on your roof. Clearly. Call someone like Roeland Denooij at 250-637-1888. He knows what he’s doing.

Yes, this is shameless promotion. If you’d like to shamelessly promote yourself, email me at sewnart@haidagwaii.net. I’d happily shame myself for you, and I need story ideas. A writer that can’t write… so shameful.

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