Sunday, September 9, 2012

Exactly how rich ARE you???

On Lakeshore Drive there is a house.  Situated on the south side of the street, its back yard opens to  Lake Ontario.  I pass it every time I go for my extended walk.  The new owners seem determined to transform this 1980s homogenized architecture into... something... more.  I've been watching its transformation for months.

In the spring, there was a new roof.   (TA-DAH!!!)  An oddly shaped,  pseudo-Mansard, steeply-sloped roof was added ON TOP of the original, standard suburban roof.  ON TOP OF IT.  What the...?  First there were roof trusses, then plywood was laid upon that and then...  SHINGLES! And they weren't just crappy shingles, they looked like the faux cedar shake, much more expensive than regular type, shingles.  This roof was a high class call-girl in a roadscape of suburban housewives.  The windows were out of proportion with the house - it looked like it was wearing the wrong hat.  I thought, "It's missing something - maybe they're going to add dormers.  That MUST be it!  There will be dormers!"  Course then, it would just be a house with a weird roof that had dormers - for that to work, you really need a house that has at least 3 floors underneath, all with 10 foot ceilings.  Really you need to be in Parisian townhouse to get away with that merde.

The original roof, with the profile of the 'new' roof.

Then a few weeks later, the fancy roof was gone. The original roof remained, it was as if the more elaborate roof had (POOF!) never existed.    Had we not seen the remains of the trusses in the garbage bin out front, it might have been some architectural hallucination.  We couldn't figure it out.  Why would they put a roof up ON TOP of the original one, and then tear it down? Why would somebody do that?  I joked that maybe the owners wanted to see what it would look like, but that couldn't possibly explain it - who would do that?  It was a mystery.  It was killing us.  One morning, the construction crew looked to be on a break and were enjoying their double-doubles.  David and I HAD to stop. 

"I'm sorry," David said.  "I just have to ask... What was with the roof?"

Every person on the  construction crew rolled their eyes.  One older gentleman, probably the crew boss, closed his eyes for a moment in... could it have been... pain? "She wanted to see what it looked like."

"The homeowner wanted to see what it LOOKED like?" I asked, incredulously. 

The older dude gave a short, mocking nod of his head "Yep."

"You are KIDDING!"


"Was she unaware that there are programs on a computer that can do that sort of thing?"

"It was suggested to her."  He looked like he might have an aneurysm.  "She said she needed to SEE it."

"So, I guess she didn't like it?"


"And she asked you to tear it down again?"


It was then that I realized how rich these people must be.  They would rather spend...   let's say $20,000 as a rough estimate for a completely new roof with near-Mansard sloping and then the fancier shingles.  Who?  I ask you, WHO, has that kind of money to throw around to just see how something might look?  And then, THEN, she had them TEAR IT DOWN, which would be another day's work for a crew of demo people, so I'm thinking at least another $5K in demo maybe, plus fixing any issues underneath.  $25,000 JUST TO SEE HOW IT LOOKS??  WHO DOES THAT?  In theatre you don't just BUILD the set, first you build a scale maquette  to see what things will look like.  This woman was one of "THOSE wives."  The worst I've ever done in a one of "THOSE wives" moments, was when I made David move an armoire all around the house because I didn't like the way it looked in the 2nd bathroom. 

One day, I plan on being rich.  It will happen soon.  When it does, I vow that I will never be THAT kind of rich.  The kind that just throws money AWAY.  You, know, just to SEE WHAT SOMETHING LOOKS LIKE!  You could have an architect show you a computerized mockup of that roof for probably $24,750 LESS than the cost of building what amounts to a life-sized maquette.

Now if it were $25,000 to put on a show...  THAT is totally reasonable ;-)


  1. Wow, begs the question "How stupid are you?" addition to "Exactly how rich are you?"! Oh, those lottery commercials..."What are we going to do for week 32?"...I doubt anyone would respond with, "We're going to add a new roof, but just to try it out and then tear it down again, because we can!".
    HAVE MONEY, Will do stupid ridiculously outrageous and wasteful things, because we can!
    Yep, I hope I'm NEVER that rich!
    I'm so glad you and David stopped to ask! I bet the contractor LOVED watching your faces upon your receiving the answer to your question!
    Thanks again Heather! : )

  2. How about week 32 we have a big-ass party? With all our friends? We could rent alpacas and do swing dancing!