Chuck is a drywall guy. Or Sheetrock guy, if you prefer. Potato, po-tahto.
He's been a drywall guy since he got out of the Marine Corps in 1983. He's mostly a drywall hanger (well, that's what he most loves to do anyway), but he's also a drywall finisher.
If you would have asked me before I met him if I thought drywall was interesting, I would have said no. After I yawned 3 or 4 times first.
But I've learned a lot! I can walk into a house that just framed up and wired, and tell what room is what (and if the job is going to be a bitch). I can walk into a room that someone has just hung drywall in, and tell if it was well hung (hehe) or if it was a shitty job.
That term 'swear like a sailor?' Hah! Should have been 'swear like a sheetrocker'. They have some fun terms for things:
You want to get the job done fast with lower quality work? You 'rape it and run'.
You get a bunch of drywall hangers together to get a huge job done faster? You're 'gangbanging it'.
The coolest skill Chuck has acquired through 30 years of experience with drywall work?
Chuck uses stilts for drywall finishing. The ones in that picture raise up to about 42in (or almost 4 ft).
He not only walks around in these things. He climbs stairs in them. He holds a pan of drywall mud in one of his hands, and a spreading knife in the other and isn't even looking at the ground as he's walking in these things, scraping mud on a ceiling.
Like I said, before I met him, I didn't know shit about drywalling. But when I saw him do this for the first time?
You don't even know how badass until you see it done.
I find stiltwalking sexy as hell. Thank goodness I have other options than circus performers!
Anyway, the other night we had our friends Sean and Andie over for beer and chicken wings. Chuck's chicken wings are more world famous than Hooters'! (Well, that's what I tell him anyway, to butter him up.)
After dinner, whilst we were sitting at the table in a chicken wing coma, Chuck walks through the door that leads from the garage to the kitchen wearing his drywall stilts.
Of course Sean and Andie had to try them out. That's why we're friends with these people.
Andie went first.
Andie is the only woman besides me that is allowed to be in this position with Chuck. She's lucky and she knows it. ;)
I think Sean got a little jealous (not really) because he had to come over and help "strap 'er in".
This is probably my favourite pic of the night. Andie with a Fonzie-style thumbs-up, Sean with a "sneaky Shocker", and a great smile on Chuckles' face.
There were (still are) handprints all over my ceiling. And a little nail polish.
Sean's turn next. As you will see, I didn't need a turn. Not only was I the camera operator, but I've been on Chuck's stilts before. No need to go again. Trust me.
This one's just funny. Sean looks like he's exorcising demons out of Chuck.
Then he got cocky. The bastard. He was a natural.
The stilts weren't at their full height. Chuck shamed him into raising them up to the 42 inches. Sean's short, but not that short. We had to go outside for this. Click on the pic, and note the completely unsure look on Sean's face (he almost ripped the gutter off).
Sean and Andie aren't married. They're just shacking up. I think they're perfect for each other, and Sean should totally have proposed from the stilts. Would have made a good story for future grandchildren.
"Yeah, I asked your Grandma to marry me at your Great Uncle Chuck's house. I was on stilts at the time. I'd been drinking. But it wasn't a mistake, thank God. Maybe.'
Had such a fun time that night. Who else has stilts just lying around, waiting to be played with? We're so awesome.
And next time, Chuck will remember to put the beer on top of the ladder before he gets on the stilts.