Entry 4: In the Gutter

For the past 25 years, here is how we’ve cleaned out the gutters of our home:

Step 1: Watch happily as the maintenance guys at our condo go up on the roof and clean
out the gutters.

Step 2: Tip liberally at holiday time.

Alas, the maintenance guys at our old condo have steadfastly refused to accompany us to our new home in Stamford. And I spent most of the month of May, and now the beginning of June, watching a tree in our backyard eject thousands upon thousands of pinkish blossomy things onto our roof. There have been windy days when I could stand on my deck and feel like the winning contestant on American Idol as these things literally rained down upon me. To make matters worse, these pod-like objects are sticky, and adhere to our patio furniture, our shoes and our dog, who then brings them into the house, so that we’re constantly picking them up off the floor.

Now I’m sure many of you can tell me what kind of tree this is, and I probably should know, since it’s my tree–the first I’ve ever owned–along with all the other nice trees on my property that don’t regurgitate pink fluttery things all spring. But I can tell you this: I don’t care what kind of tree it is. All I care about is that it is filling my gutters with flowery flotsam and I don’t have my condo guys to clean them out!

I know that I’m certainly not going up on my roof. It would be the equivalent of wearing a red shirt on Star Trek (those are the expendable crewmembers that always die), or being the guy in horror movies who says, “It’s probably nothing; let me go out to the shed and check it out.”

So I went online to research gutter covers and read all the reviews of products called Gutter Helmet, Gutter Guard, Gutter Glove, Gutter Topper, Gutter Protec, Gutter Pro, LeafGuard, Leaf Proof, Leaf Free, Flo-Free, and Permaflow. I discarded the last two immediately because they sounded like prescription medications that reduce the need to go to the bathroom. From the rest, I chose the model that is so technologically advanced it went up on the space shuttle to prevent space microbes from getting in its gutters. Well, not really. But it had surgical-grade stainless steel mesh and a hardened anodized aluminum frame and electric ice melters and it sounded like it could simply vaporize any leaves that got past its initial defenses.

Most of all it promised to “eliminate gutter cleaning forever.”

Yes! That was what I wanted!

Then I starting asking around locally–you know, real people who don’t spend their lives reviewing stuff online–and the consensus was that none of the gutter covers keep out everything, and they actually make it harder to get out the stuff that does get in. And besides, everyone told me, why would you spend all that money when you can just get some roofers in twice a year to clean them out?

I was overcome with joy. I had my condo guys after all!

See you Friday.

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One Response to Entry 4: In the Gutter

  1. Pingback: Entry 88: Son of “In the Gutter” | The Upsizers

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