Hanging cupboards in the laundry room requires the removal of some open shelving that currently occupies the relevant wall-space. My plan is to simply pull the shelves off the wall, but Mark intervenes with exaggerated patience. “You’re going to rip the wall apart. If we’re going to do this, let’s do it right.”
My hands poised on the shelving, I look at him. “What does it matter if I damage the wall? We’re putting cupboards over any possible damage. No one will know.”
“It just sets the wrong tone for the whole project. I don’t want to remember, every time I walk through this room, that the wall behind the cupboards is all messed up.”
He nods. “It’s not that hard to do it right. Come down off of the ladder. Let me get some tools.”
He disappears into the garage for a moment and then reappears with several blocks of wood and the crowbar. He climbs up on the ladder and tests each of the blocks of wood, looking for the perfect thickness. He explains, “By placing a block of wood against the drywall beneath the shelving, I can rock the crowbar against the wood, which will protect the wall as I pry the shelves free.”
“You’re always in such a hurry. Sometimes doing things right requires a little patience.”
“What … ev … er.”
He takes the block of wood in one hand and the crowbar in the other. He carefully fits the crowbar’s claw beneath the edge of the shelving, checks to be sure the ladder is properly balanced beneath his weight, and then he pulls down hard on the crowbar.
I watch as the crowbar’s rounded heel and much of its length disappear into the wall.
I point. “I think you forgot to use the magic block of wood.”
He says nothing for a moment. Instead, he recovers his balance, having been caught off guard by the whole sinking-into-the-wall thing, and he looks down at me. He hands me the crowbar and rests the unused block of wood on the ladder. Reaching forward, he smooths the ragged edges of the gaping wall-hole with the edge of his thumb. He speaks with authority, “The new cupboards will cover that right up.”