The Outsider: Summer lovin’ in mid-winter
|By Will Jones - The Outsider | January 18 2018|
The wind is blowing icy blasts across the lake and as I stoop, ankles and knees ache, fighting the steep gradient on which I’m standing. My gloves are soaked through and my hands numb with cold. My waterproof pants are ripped all down one side and my leg is frigid and wet. The constant, almost freezing rain has finally soaked its way through my winter jacket, hooded sweat top and thermal underwear and I shudder as I feel it running down my back. And still there’s another three hours to go.
This could be the worst day ever but somehow me and a couple of other chaps are having a fine old time. Laying shingles on a garage roof in midwinter is not your average person’s idea of fun, I have to admit. And, during last week’s torrential rain and flash freeze it could be seen as downright foolhardy but there we were strapped to the windward side of the roof, bent double, nailing down half frozen asphalt and singing at the tops of our voices to ‘Summer Lovin’.
If Olivia and John could have heard us they would have cringed (that’s Newton John and Travolta, not our clients in the cottage next door) but we didn’t care because against the odds life was great and we were in fine spirits.
That was last week and now I realize who I have to blame for my aching back and frost withered fingers. You see, I work for a fellow who has a superpower. He doesn’t have the ability to read minds, nor leap tall buildings in a single bound. He’s not got spidy senses and he can’t move stuff with his mind. What he can do though is make you unerringly cheery almost all of the time.
No matter what the job, and we’ve had some crappy ones. No matter how horrible the weather, how difficult the task, he can put you in a great mood and make you have fun while doing it. Even when you realize that he’s doing it! Even when you’re stood on a roof, soaked to the skin, as the ice rain starts and you turn to your colleague, who’s now belting out the lyrics to Saturday Night Fever, and ask, “why are we enjoying this?” Even when you see your predicament for the shit show that it is. Even then, his superpower doesn’t wane (no he’s not Bruce Wayne) and you carry on with a smile on your face and a cheesy song in your heart.
Now, some of you will undoubtedly be thinking I’m either lying or a lunatic. You may be right about the latter but I speak the truth and I’m very grateful for my boss and his superpower that is a constantly cheery disposition. He makes the challenges of hard work and a harsh environment pale into insignificance and the 40 hours each week that we battle through it somehow fun. So, bring it on Canadian winter, we’ve got you licked. There’s no stopping us because our boss is Happy Man and we know the words to way too many songs from the ‘70s!
WILL JONES - is The Outsider