A Note from Mr. Roof Monitor

To:  My fellow condo residents:

I am sorry about the tar on the stairs.

Here is my explanation. It rained and our skylight leaked. Since we have a flat roof, your roof monitor (me) got in my car and drove down to the valley and bought five gallons of tar and some plastic sheeting. I managed to get some of the tar on the area around our skylight. I got the rest of the tar on me.

I covered the tarred area and the skylight with plastic sheeting. While I was on the roof, I checked the pumps that void the low areas on the roof that fill up with rainwater. One pump was broken.

I drove back down into the valley and bought a new electric pump. I asked our condo manager, Bob, to call the electrical firm (that had given us good services for several years) to have them help us with the broken pump.

The next day, not one but two electricians showed up, and Bob introduced them to your roof monitor. I took the electricians up on the roof which is about three times the length of a basketball court. There is a walkway that runs the length of the roof. On one side of the walkway was the skylight. On the opposite side was the broken pump.

Mr. Roof Monitor said to the electricians:  “Please replace the pump unless you can fix it. Do not go on the skylight side of the walkway since we have a composite roof and if you walk on it you can damage it. Okay?”

They both go yeah, yeah, yeah.

Just to make certain they understood, Mr. Roof Monitor said:  “It’s really important to stay on the walkway as much as possible; promise you won’t go NEAR the skylight that has fresh tar on it.”

They go promise, promise, promise.

Mr. Roof Monitor went back to his condo and started working at his computer, typing away as I am doing now. An hour later a shadow fell across Mr. Roof Monitor’s computer. Mr. Roof Monitor looked up and saw both electricians peering down through the skylight. So much for promises, promise, promises.

Mr. Roof Monitor put on his shoes and went back on the roof. One of the electricians said:  “Mr. Monitor, we have inspected your roof and you need a new one.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” goes Mr. Roof Monitor. “A new roof would cost about four hundred thousand dollars. We had an earthquake here and all twenty-four residents had to borrow sixty-thousand dollars each to bring our condo up to code. Many residents are on a fixed income, some are retired, we can’t afford more expenses.”

But your roof will leak,” the other electrician said.

“It has been leaking, specifically around that skylight that has some tar on it. May I ask you why you went near it when Mr. Roof Monitor asked you not to?”

“Did you want us to electrocute ourselves, Mr. Monitor?”

“No,” Mr. Roof Monitor said. “Up until now I never thought I wanted to electrocute you. Why did you mess up all my work? Now the skylight will leak when the rains come tonight.

“We would have electrocuted ourselves if we had worked in the standing water changing your electric pump. We needed the material from the repairs of the skylight to stand on. As it turned out we were able to fix your broken pump. And by the way, your roof is going to leak. We know what we are talking about, we are professional electricians.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I am a professional roof monitor and it is my job to keep people from walking on our roof.”

“If you had a decent roof you would not have to worry about people walking on it,” said one of the professional electricians.”

You are fired now,” Mr. Roof Monitor said. “Please leave.”

Bye, Bye, Bye they go.

The rains come that night and fifteen or twenty gallons of dark tar water leaked into our den through our skylight. This ruined our Oriental rug.

Mr. Roof Monitor drove to the valley and bought more tar and again got some of the tar on the roof. The rain continued but the tar seal around the skylight held.

The pump the professional electricians had repaired did not work. Mr. Roof Monitor fixed it by using a rubber band to hold the “on” switch in place.

The rain stopped and the sun came out. (Mrs. Roof Monitor was quite cross with Mr. Roof Monitor. He was not allowed near Mrs. Roof Monitor’s bed since she did not desire additional tar on her sheets.)

Mr. Roof Monitor, who is still sexually frustrated, hopes this explains (for the people who complained) why there is some tar on the stairs.


Jaron Summers,
Mr. Roof Monitor


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