I hate carpet. This business of home inspection provides plenty of challenges with sensitive home buyers, controlling real estate agents, and barking dogs. The last thing I need to worry about is flooring that was chosen not for its functionality but because of its luxurious appearance and velvet-like texture.
The carpet was in a very nice, upscale home in an exclusive gated community that included its own tennis courts and golf course, of course. There was full attendance at the home inspection: the inspectors, the buyers, the sellers, and the real estate agents and their assistants. The pest inspector was doing his pest inspection, the pool guy was doing his pool inspection, and the appraiser was, you guessed it, measuring the house.
For my part, I was inspecting. I knew the neighborhood and mentally prepared to be extra cautious, to make sure not to bang into anything with my ladder, not to brush across tables that were adorned with expensive knickknacks, and to avoid walking through the mud.
Everybody in attendance was neatly dressed. You would have thought it was a wedding rehearsal dinner. The only things missing were the champagne glasses—oh, wait, there they are. People were milling about everywhere making small talk about the home’s fabulous features and throwing about the interior designer’s name like he was a movie star.
I finished inspecting the exteriors and the roof and then stood at the kitchen sink to rinse off my hands before inspecting the interiors. An odor had followed me in. I was subconsciously aware of it while I was outside, but it was a typical outdoor odor so I hadn’t given it any thought. The dirt on my hands wasn’t rinsing off.
Cheech and Chong would have been proud of the scene.
It wasn’t dirt. It was sticky and tended to smear. Yup, found the odor.
How the heck did I get dog poop on my hands! I quickly searched for soap under the sink and then took a quick look around to make sure nobody nearby was watching. This was a problem, and I mean bigger than the obvious problem. I needed to track down how it was that I came to have dog poop on my hands, and where else the poop may have been. Fortunately, I hadn’t touched anything inside the house except to wash my hands.
I quickly made my way back to my truck via a side door exit from the kitchen. The last thing I inspected outside was the roof. But there were no dogs on the roof. I inspected my tools carefully. What was the last thing I touched? The roof . . . my ladder!
Sure enough, there it was, the offensive icky brown goo on the bottom six or eight rungs. So how did it get there? I retraced the path I had taken with my ladder when I inspected the roof. Bingo! Fresh, smelly, and stepped-in brown goo right there on the front lawn. The remainder of the mystery was easily deduced. I stepped in the offensive goo while carrying my ladder to the house. That’s why I didn’t see it. I was being extra careful carrying my ladder. Then I went up the ladder dispensing said debris on the rungs as I climbed. Then, as I came down, the debris on the rungs transferred to my hands. From the ground to my shoes to the ladder to my hands. Mystery solved.
Pristine, velvety, pale white and, dare I say, virgin carpet that I had just walked across twice. Even before my mind could go into panic mode I heard gasps from inside the house. I dashed to the front door to warn them not to touch it. Too late.
I hate carpet.