Out, Out Damned Steps

Their days were numbered from the beginning. You could see it in the arch of the North Adams building inspector’s eyebrow when he first laid eyes on them them.

He didn’t hold up the purchase of our house on their account, but neither did the inspector sugar-coat reality. Eventually — by which he meant significantly sooner than Eddie’s and my bank account would prefer — the aging, crumbling cement steps in front of our house were going to have to go.

So inexorably has their decline continued in the two years since we assumed ownership of our home that desperate measures have recently been called for to protect public safety. Specifically, since last winter Eddie and I have had to keep two flower pots permanently and conspicuously placed so as to steer visiting friends and pizza deliverers away from the most dangerously eroded portion of the ascent (see the top left photo below).

Such half-measures couldn’t go on forever, though, and as the succeeding three snapshots reveal, this was the week when we finally bit the bullet and set heavy yellow machinery loose to devour our familiar family landmark as Godzilla devoured Tokyo.

The worst was accomplished in less than an hour. Now, thanks to the expert carpentry of Lance Howard (seen above midway through his construction job), newer and decidedly better wooden steps are materializing to make the climb to front-yard level a breezier experience.

Our flower pots served us well and for that we are grateful. But it’s time now for them to move on to more conventional uses.

About Howard

I'm a cartoonist and writer, best known for my graphic novel, Stuck Rubber Baby, and my comic strip from the 1980s, Wendel.
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