My eyes opened wide when I looked out the office window that morning: 48' of billboard plastic spread across the front lawn. Going outside, I see three cartoon characters bigger than myself in action, the skyline of Paris behind them. One, a mouse, well, OK, an enormous RAT, wields a huge soup spoon, while the other two, a boy and a girl in chef's uniforms, gaze at each other with goofy smiles.
Whoa, this is going on our roof? Can we put it face up so the low-flying planes and helicopters looking for ganja plantations can spot a bit of Hollywood á la Pixar razzle-dazzle here on top of the mountain? Sadly, the top secret agreement via our friend and the billboard supplier, is no, all that happy color must go face down, onto the shingles, no longer serving as advertising, but keeping us from using our pots and pans to gather rain-water indoors during the Big Sur winter.
Over coffee, we discuss the placement of the three heavy duty billboard tarps, which should last us 3-5 years, so our roof-tarping work parties will no longer be an annual event. Pity. The plan is to divide the roof in thirds, draping each sheet over the tippy top of the roof, like strips of wide pasta over and down, tucking them up under the eaves. Voilá, a leak-proof home! Now we sleep under the roofs of Paris, which will doubtless inspire our dinner parties and our dreams.
So far so good with our new roof, with tempest winds last night rattling the redwood strips (that help hold the tarps in place) just a little. Since I have a touch of vertigo, I was exempt from the actual labor (thanks to neighbors Aengus, Bill and John on that one) but did manage to climb the ladder this morning (had only a minor fainting spell afterwards) to take this snap of our neatly finished "Ratatouille Roof."
And here's the best part: we saved the billboard section featuring rat and spoon for use as a water slide at our next Easter Party...