Tuesday, July 28, 2009
How Long Have I Got?
I was in my roof recently. It's not something I do for pleasure, in fact it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I was laying insulation batts and let me say this: it's very bad for your health.
Firstly there's the dust. The dust that had been lying there since the house was built in 1935. The dust that was laced with mercury, ammonia and other popular carcinogens of a bygone era. Who could forget the famous Windsor paraquat scare of '39? It wormed its way deep into my lungs despite the mask and laid itself down quietly in the dark recesses of my retinas. It was black and foul and surely deadly. It had me coughing, spluttering and spitting before the first batt was in place.
During a particularly crippling attack of gasping, I spotted a misshapen lump in the feeble light of my 25 watt bulb. I picked it up, held it close to my face, shook it and finally, still unsure, tasted it. Of course! It was lead! A roof isn't a roof without a generous smattering of lead. Moving further into the darkness I found several broken pieces of our old friend asbestos. Lovely. This project was really going well.
Upon entering the roof I'd been more worried about the fibreglass particles from the batts which I knew would enter my bloodstream via the numerous scratches and splinters I'd surely receive from the ageing joists, and which would undoubtedly lodge themselves into my bronchioles and alveoli via my heavy, panicky breathing. It was all this and more. After 20 minutes my forearms were covered in angry welts of allergic reaction. My scratching, although somewhat satisfying at the time, appears to have left me severely scarred. And the large, painful red spot on the back of my neck could only be caused by the bite of a redback.
So I've enjoyed my time here at TSFKA, almost as much as my time on this earth. Nice knowing you all. I'm going for a whisky now and then a little lie down from which I probably won't wake up. The lesson: avoid manual labour at all costs. It'll kill you.
And yes, Perseus, you can have my matchbox cars.