Freudian Slips: A Family Coming Unglued

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

May 08, 2005

A Family Coming Unglued

It seems there is a running joke in my family that I go overboard in my actions. In my wife's family, my nickname is "Joe Too Much". I will admit to high expectations and a meticulous nature when I put myself to work. I work slow but I have often worked through the night to see dawn after a lesser man has tired. "Too much" expects no less of himself and a man can be called a lot worse by many.
About two years ago, my sister-in-law, Chris, discovered I was on vacation so she asked me to come over to hang wallpaper in her son's nursery. We setup a day and time for my free labor. I brought my tools and materials. I held vigil all day. I am a slow paperhanger and the pre-pasted glue backing dries before I can align it to perfectionist standards on a wall. Call me Felix Unger. In name calling standards, it sounds better than "Joe Too Much".
To counter my slow hand speed, I used a professional pre-pasted adhesive(see picture above) and followed manufacturer's specifications to the last iota. When it was all said and done, my sweat alone could tell you that wallpaper would hold up the house during an earthquake.
Now the wallpaper is being asked to come down, which wasn't part of the original plan or work order. I recently fielded a couple of complaint calls from the homeowner because the wallpaper wasn't coming off. Not with toil and trouble, not with warm suds and bubbles. Apparently, my sister-in-law wanted her money back but all I had received in commission were a few once proud suits that her husband had eaten his way out of.
The debate raged on through the week. Hecklers even asked me to confess to the sneaky crime of using Super-glue. I have never seen family members bond like this! Before I could suggest the wonders of Magic Eraser(See posting 2-3-05 Mr. Clean Magic Eraser), enter my brother-in-law, Joe. Joe owns a painting business and has prepped a few walls in his day. So he became the invited houseguest to take down what I put up. I don't think he has been the same since. It is like Chris James replacing Mike Schmidt at third base for the Philadelphia Phillies.
A day later, I received a call from my brother-in-law Joe. I figured he wanted to report his progress on the demolition but there wasn't any. He asked, "What did you do to that wall?" as if I was a mutt dog who pissed on new furniture.
"I just did my job. That's all." I shrugged off any guilt. "I am getting worried that I won't be allowed back to wallpaper on my next vacation."
Joe tried Dif Wallpaper Remover, sponges, spatulas, scrapers, razor blades, everything but a hand held torch. In the end, my brother-in-law rented a steamer and cursed my work ethic all the live long day. He felt so inspired by my wallpapering talent he scribbled out the following proclamation in King's English then published it amongst family members. So my very first guest blog comes to you with permission from my brother-in-law.
Here are the players in his improbable satire:
I am playing the part of Sir Ripley of Ballantree
My brother in law Joe is Sir Royal of McKinley
The home owners are Jeff and Chris, the Lord and Fair Maiden of Pine and Fritz( I say Chris should have been casted as the damsel in distress but on with our story).
Jake, my nephew, is Master Diego, whose room was armored with the wallpaper.
Here ye those of our clan convene to discuss matters of importance. Recently, Sir Royal of Mckinley journeyed to the far away land of Pine And Fritz. There, was uncovered a viscous deed had been bestowed upon the hallowed walls of Master Diego's Chambers. It seems several calendars ago, Sir Ripley of Ballantree had bee-stowed upon Master Diego's walls a curse that has come to haunt the trade of Sir Royal of Mckinley forever. This banner of decor had become a permanent identity. The Fair maiden of Pine and Fritz took it upon one self to eliminate this unsightly permanence only to be cast aside by the difficulty of ones task. Summoned to Master Diego's Chambers, Sir Royal of Mckinley ( ax, sword, bow and arrow in hand) begins a butcher's march around those dreary walls, cursing the one who banners these walls with such permanent decor. By candle light and torch he floods the walls of Master Diego's chambers with a rain soaked down pour only Noah could weather. And when the last drop had dried, the Fair Maiden and Lord of Pine and Fritz could be heard echoing, "Stone him, Stone him, Stone him". The following morning Sir Royal of Mckinley summoned his army to fortify Master Diego's Chambers and unglue the curse sir Ripley of Ballantree had bee-stowed upon thee. Be forewarned, those that summon the services of Sir Ripley of Ballantree ( sitting at his self-constructed alter with a Grinch-like demeanor), what he built will not crumble, what he attaches will not fall, what sounds bellow from his cello unfortunately are heard by all. Let it be written, let it be done.
Let the Name of Sir Ripley of Ballantree never be mentioned in the same breath as vacation and free labor again.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sir Ripley of Ballantree,
I wish to say, my sympathies go out to the Fair Maiden and Lord of Pine and Fritz for the foul, evil deed that you surely did inflict. My compliments to the Lord of McKinley for his hilarious narrative of your good intentions gone awry. ET

11:06 AM  
Blogger Lost said...

Seems to me that you get what you pay for. LOL I'll bet there was no complaining when the "cursed banners" went UP.

3:52 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

It was a sticky situation all around.

5:49 PM  
Blogger PaxRomano said...

"It's too late
He's gone too far
He's lost the sun
He's come undone"

8:07 PM  
Blogger Joe Tornatore said...

I give up. What is the name of that catchy tune?

9:47 PM  

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