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Does your family have a "Cousin Ollie"?

You know, that odd duck who just seems to get himself into all kinds of crazy situations? That slightly goofy relative who’s always the first to offer help when you need it but is about two tacos short of a combination plate? Don't get me wrong. Ollie's a swell guy. Hard worker. But requires supervision.

Anyway, old Ollie was staying out a my mom’s farm this past summer, helping out with chores while her husband recuperated from some surgery. One of his projects was putting trim on for the new siding. Now, mom’s house is an old two-story farmhouse and Ollie wasn’t all that fond of heights--but he was game and climbed on up. Eventually, Mom went inside to start lunch after he reassured her he was doin’ just fine. Her last glimpse was of him with one elbow locked firmly around the top leg of the extension ladder way up in the end gable, screwing on trim to beat the band.

A while later she realized he hadn’t come in for lunch (he was never late for lunch!), and was on her way out to check on him when he showed up. As soon as she caught sight of his sheepish expression she knew something was up. He grinned at her painfully and held up his drill. It was covered in something that looked like steel wool. She was trying to figure out what was going on when he turned his face full toward her and she got a good look at a large patch of bare skin on his cheek.

Yep, you guessed it. While he was up there putting everything he had into pushing the drill against the stubborn screws, he caught his beard in the drill bit. Ollie mournfully explained he'd been hanging up there, arms looped around the extension ladder, one holding up trim, the other holding the drill, his face plastered against the side of the house, for an hour. Eventually, he came upon the brilliant idea to reverse the drill. Well, any of you who’ve used a curling iron know that when you get tangled in it, you don’t just roll it the other way--all that does is get a bunch more hair tangled up. By the time Ollie figured that out it was too late. He had to admit de-feat, endure de-pain of jerking his face loose, and try not to fall off de-ladder.

Of course, by the time he’d gotten to this part of his narrative, Mom said she was nearly on the floor. She was doing pretty good, though, because I had tears running down my face from laughing so hard by the time she got to this point in her narrative. Poor Cousin Ollie. At least his beard will grow back (but I was sure relieved to know Mom got a few photos first!)

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