World Fence News

February 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 78 of 89

WORLD FENCE NEWS • FEBRUARY 2015 • 77 This fence job is for the birds… cats… dogs… whatever BY JIM HART, WORLD FENCE NEWS CONTRIBUTING EDITOR EMERITUS In memory of Jim Hart, fencer, storyteller, and world class humorist, we will occasionally reprint one of the many articles that he contributed to World Fence News over the years. Jim passed away a number of years ago in Florida, where he lived. This column first appeared in the September 1991 edition of World Fence News. • • • This week has been for the birds… with 50 cats and a dog pen thrown in for good measure. A lady, rather on the elderly side, wanted an estimate on a 6' x 15' x 6' "outdoor bird cage." It was for a couple of macaws, or parrots, or something. Anyways, she dies when I give her the price on the ¾" mini-mesh chain link she wanted. Literally dies, that is. She just keels over, and CPR don't bring her back. Sure, the price scared me, too, but not to death! Sheesh! The relatives told me she was like 98 years old, so I figure it was old age and not my bid that did her in. Well, the commotion led to a neighbor wanting an estimate on a "cat cage." She has about 50 cats in the house that need an outside exer- cise area. I give her a bid on an 8' x 16' x 6' cage with a top panel – 11½ gauge, 1-3/8" framework. She is a bit on the elderly side, also, so I tell her, "Don't take offense, but could you show me a certificate of health before I give you the bid? I don't want to take any chances… Two in a row would give me a bad rep!" We get the job, and she says she also wants a new carport out back. Her new French sports car cost $66,000 or so, and she don't want to leave it out in the weather. I tell her I'll figure it up, but I have to go give a guy an estimate on a dog pen first. The guy who wants the pen hands me a beautifully drawn diagram – to scale – with specifications included. It's a 15' x 12' x 6', two-runner, with slab. He says another fencer wanted $960 for a 15' x 12' hog wire job, so he was wondering what it would cost in chain link. It runs about $1,400 to build it to his specs, and he says go to it. "Do you need a draw for materi- als?" he asks. Well, hell yes! I got about 15 cents in the bank and the trucks are running on fumes. This must be my lucky day! He gives me cash instead of an out-of- town check, like the previous "bird cage" customer did! I notice he has a carport like the one the other customer wanted, so I ask if I could look at it for design ideas. He says, "I'd give anything to have that damn thing down. The wife never did like it!" The support poles were a little rusty, but the roof is welded stainless steel and it's beautiful. "How much would you take for the roof?" I ask. "Get it outta here and it's yours," he replies. About now, his wife comes out and says, "So these nice folks are going to get rid of this monstrosity for us!" With that, she gives one support pole a hard smack with her hand. The whole damn thing shivers. The post she slapped snaps at ground level, and the chain reaction spreads to the oth- er poles. The roof slides sideways, in slow motion, and comes off the back- side poles as they bend. The roof lays down in the yard as nice as can be! I wish I had a camera to get a pic- ture of the wife's face. Her eyes are as big as saucers. "What did I do?" she keeps asking. I ask if it's still mine, and the hub- by says, "Sure, get it out of here." Well, it took 10 people to lift the roof onto a lowboy we borrowed. I get home and figure out the cost of a carport with a wood and tin roof, add 50 percent markup, and call the "cat woman." I tell her she can get a stainless steel roof for the price of a wood and tin one. I tell her I got a good deal on the stainless steel, and it's just made to order for her. She accepts, and gives me another out-of- town check, of course. We borrow a big front end loader to set the roof on the support poles. It works great from down under, and we drive in and just set it down. I'm so damn smart I make myself sick some- times! It used to be called "American ingenuity" in the old days. We get back on the dog pen. The customer has changed the location. He moves it off a grassy area to a spot un- der some trees. This means we have to chop out five cords of roots before pouring the slab. No extra charge, of course. Customer good will. Bull! We set the posts ahead of the slab and order concrete for the next continued on next page Anyways, she dies when I give her the price on the ¾" mini-mesh chain link she wanted. Literally dies, that is. She just keels over, and CPR don't bring her back. Sure, the price scared me, too, but not to death! Sheesh! American Made – American Steel We Offer The Best Industrial And Commercial Chain Link On The Market! GBW or GAW You choose – Southwestern Wire makes it all! 11, 9 and 6 Gauge • Class III, Class IV & 2 oz. • 15 Year Warranty MEMBER 1-800-348-WIRE (9473) • Fax: 1-405-447-2830 MANUFACTURING LOCATIONS: Norman, Oklahoma • Sacramento, California • Warrior, Alabama

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of World Fence News - February 2015