The 40 Foot Ladder

The Forty Foot Ladder

Sometimes I can’t remember if I came up with the joke first, or if I got the idea from someone else.  Whenever I would come home from work, my wife would ask about me day; “How was your day?  Did you have any trouble?  Did you get hurt?”  (Why would she ask that?)


One day I planned to reply; “It was O.K.  I just fell off of a forty foot ladder.”


After an appropriate amount of screaming and concern I planned to say; “It’s O.K.  I was standing on the bottom rung.”


However that day one of my wife’s old friends was visiting.  When she visits with an old friend everything else is forgotten.  I knew that she wouldn’t be concentrating on what I said, thus she wouldn’t say the words in the right way and the joke would probably fall flat.  But I am persistent.  So I walked in and just blurted out; “I just fell off a forty foot ladder today.”


My wife’s friend said in a very dry way; “Did you bounce?”


I never tried pulling her leg again.


Another person I would never mess with was an old painter.  He was very particular about his work.  He wouldn’t stand for anyone messing it up.  When he finished a hardwood floor he would holler; “Take off your shoes.”


My boss at the time wasn’t as particular.  He wore those rubber overshoes with the buckles, and he would leave the buckles unfastened.  He would walk through mud, snow, rain, heat, whatever, and charge right into a building without a second thought.


One time as he was about to enter a room with a floor the old painter had finished, the painter called out to him; “Are your feet clean?”


The boss retorted; “They should be, I washed them this morning.”


I was headed out the back door to get something out of my pick up and heard a sound up front.  I went to investigate and saw my boss rapidly exiting the building, … with the old painter holding/directing him by the scruff of the neck.


I quickly snuck around the back of the building so that no one would know I had observed the whole event.


When I got back to the shop I told the boss; “I didn’t think to tell you that the painter is rather touchy about his floors.”


The boss said; “He is kind of fussy isn’t he.”