Himself vs. The Evil Garage Door

Once upon a time, there was a single story suburban castle in a relatively nice village in a relatively nice kingdom.

Inside the single story house lived a husband. He was the best husband in the world. He woke his beautiful, amazing, talented, gracious and charming wife every morning with a cup of hot beverage that bore a distant resemblance to coffee.

The husband played in a blues band. The blues band travelled the countryside every Tuesday to come to the single story suburban castle to jam with the husband. And since the wife, despite her indisputably kind and generous ways, refused to allow them to jam with a full drum set and three amplifiers in the house, the band played in the garage.

To streamline the comings and goings and instrument unloadings of the band, the husband helpfully raised the castle portcullis directly into the garage. The husband depended on his band mates to understand the fundamental concepts of an electric portcullis opener.

One of these concepts being that things might go awry if anything is left directly under the path of the descending portcullis.

Of course, the electric portcullis opener has a job of its own, which is to know that if it encounters an obstacle that it should stop descending.

Alas, neither the band mate nor the electric portcullis opener got the memo.

Which resulted in the husband making an expression that looked an awful lot like this:

Using ingenuity and no small amount of force, the husband managed to get the newly acquired sheet-metal accordion flattened, closed and secured. But there was no going up and down again of the electric portcullis.

Which allows us to introduce a new character into the story.

Who is this, you ask?

This a very, very happy local portcullis and portcullis-opener salesman and installer.

At least someone in the kingdom is happy.


  1. A few observations:
    1) Your artistic talent knows no limits. Landscapes, architecture, portraiture. Nice work, you.
    2) You husband is a helluva dancer.
    3) My husband is bald also, and so I’ve not considered this is hard to draw. When and if the need arises, I will ask him to grow some stubble, to ease my burden.
    4) There are no #$%$# in this post, leading me to marvel at how no cursing was heard in the kingdom. Your kingdom is way more civilized than mine.

    1. Believe it or not, no %$#& was said in MY presence, although it’s likely that some was said.

      The happy portcullis salesman, however, was clearly singing “Zippidee Doo Dah” all the way through the village.

  2. I love your drawings! I’m such a decorating slacker this year my Halloween stuff is still in the attic so I’m totally jealous of your pumpkin. I hope the new portcullis opener has a sensor. It could have been worse.. It could have been your pumpkin that got crushed so thank goodness for good karma.

  3. I love your narration of the pics. So funny.

    We have had our fair share of garage, oh excuse me, portcullis opener issues. The most recent being right now.

    If I have to pay one more dime to the very happy local portcullis salesman, I will lose my ever loving mind.

    1. The fact that this portcullis is only just over a year old is part of the reason so damned much mead has been consumed in the castle recently.

      But the people who installed LAST year’s portcullis totally flaked out, so a new merchant gets the business.

      And apparently closing the portcullis down on a bass guitar case and turning into an accordion is not covered by any warranty.

  4. Our garage door broke in an eerily similar fashion this summer, but the culprit was a 4 year-old with busy fingers who pulled out the manual door brake, unbeknownst to us.

    There was a lot of &*^%$#!!

    Your drawings are awesome.

    1. Well, you just don’t get to talk about turning your garage door into an accordion every day.

      Which is a really good thing, cause eventually that would really mean that we were turning the garage door into a wall.

    1. I suppose this means that clogs must be acquired at some point.

      And you know…Himself actually has more shoes than me.

      He has a comfort obsession.

    1. He was somewhat less than flattered when he saw my artwork.

      I don’t look anything like that! He cried.

      It’s a STICK FIGURE, I answered. How great a likeness do you expect me to get??

      He was still irritated.

  5. I love this. You are incredibly gifted with Paint. Really, you are.

    We have no portcullis. I think we would be in one of those haystack-looking hut things. You tie your horse around the side of the haystack & stand out in the rain until we skootch the hay bale out of the “doorway” to let you in. The portcullis salesman has no interest in the likes of us. They hay guy on the other hand…

      1. The wandering bass playing minstrel sort of offered, but, really is not in a good position to offer any galleons for the replacement.

        Ah well.

        He did have LOTS of guilt though.

        Which I’m happy about.

  6. I would have thought the door would have just stopped. It really crumples like that? I love your illustrated stories. I think this should be made into a children’s book, I think it may become a cult favourite, chosen by the parents of course.

    1. Yes, the fault in fact truly lies with the opener. And the thought that it might have been a person or cat under the door is what prompted the rapid repair.

      And yes, I think the grown-ups would be who would appreciate a children’s book like that.

    1. I think I am going to put on the next application I have to complete for anything that discriminating readers of my blog think my artwork is “sublime.”

      Because that’s just not a word you get to use about yourself as often as you should.

    1. I have a fairly high degree of resentment over this.

      Eventually we’re going to be the “Jack Sprat” couple and I’m gonna be REALLY ticked off.

  7. Our little portcullis refused to raise one morning when I was running late with our jesters. I called the King and Queen (who used to rule my empire till I moved out of the kingdom) who live down the lane to see if we could borrow their coach to take the Jesters to their Tutors in our fair village….

    It’s really hard to write this way.

    Suffice it to say, that our garage door got stuck, I called my folks (who moved in down our street a couple years ago) and they saved my heiny.

    You are a genius. And I’m worn out!

    1. You are hysterical!

      And this comment got stuck in Spam. You are NOT spam! I have told wordpress this.

      And it was sorta hard to write that way, but after the first two sentences I was stuck!

  8. One time?

    With our two very young daughters in our brand new car?

    I drove through our garage door.

    Well, not all the way through it. But through enough to cause great damage to the garage door, the support beam for the house, and the brand new car.

    Maj chirped up from the backseat, “Daddy is not going to be happy. You are not supposed to do that.”

    It was not a good day.

    1. The support beam of THE HOUSE?

      That just cannot be good.


      I’m fairly certain that the support beams of our house are fine, what with the bolts shearing away from the wall and all.

      But crumpled garage door is such a tragic sight.

      And Maj has been astute about things like for a very very long time, hasn’t she?

    1. I could guess that you know about doors getting caught on your car due to your astounding visual perceptual abilities, but…I kinda think that maybe that’s not the answer.

  9. This was not quite the battle I was imagining, but it was a brilliantly told story nonetheless.

    And you KNOW I enjoy your drawings. Immensely.

    Plus also? ‘Round these parts? It’s not CLOG dancing, it’s Klompen.

    Just so you know. I may know how to do this.

  10. Dear Ms. Herself,
    Mother Hen is truly astounded by your artistic abilities. Really…totally…astounded.
    She has never had a guest artist at Mother Hen’s Nest, but she may have to consider the matter.
    Perhaps instead of a new portcullis you could have installed a moat. Moats are aesthetically pleasing, especially when sporting swans, or even ducks, and did you know that pumpkins float? Let your neighbor top that!
    MH would also like to compliment Mr. Himself on his extreme self-control in using civil language within the castle walls. One must set an example for the underlings, after all.
    Regally yours,
    Mother Hen

    1. Oh my heavens…I’ve never been asked to guest-artwork before!

      I’m flattered that you even had the thought.

      And I actually considered a moat.

      But seeing as how we JUST got rid of the atrocious hot tub, I think the peasants would have looked at me funny.

  11. I couldn’t resist your tweet about jeopardizing your marriage with your illustration. And then your post had me at clog dancing. It looks like the bass player is not your husband- just as skinny and bald but no mustache or glasses. In which case, does he have anything to say about this?

    1. “I’m so sorry!” about a zillion times, was what he had to say.

      And he offered to help us pay for it, but…he’s not really in a position to do that.

      And heck…what’s a savings account for if not to replace less than 15 month old sheets of metal?


  12. Oh, Lori, this is one of your BEST EVER. I can’t get enough of those amazing pieces of art that you draw. And clog dancing? I laughed. Out loud. Oh, band members…move the friggin’ case already!

  13. So, this post leaves me with all sorts of questions.

    1. Was the bass guitar okay, or was it crushed by the portcullis?
    2. Will a moat be installed around the kingdom to discourage further jam sessions?
    3. How can I get a prince to serve me coffee in bed in morning?

    1. Let’s see:

      1. The bass guitar was already out of the case when the portcullis descended upon it, and the case itself ended up with nary a scratch. All the damage was done to the door.

      2. We considered a moat, but since we’d just ripped out the hot tub, that seemed a little silly.

      3. It’s possible that the expectation for hot beverages in bed every morning needs to be established very early in the royal courtship. I’ve found that establish these habits is most effective when the prince in question still finds absolutely everything you do adorable. Time is not your friend here.

  14. Your illustrations are cracking me up! And the clog-dancing just may go along with the garage band theme….himself may want to consider that.

    I am pretty sure pumpkins-on-roof woman is jealous of all the goings-on you have in your garage. I mean, she just has pumpkins. Have any of them fallen off the roof yet? I mean, by accident of course…

  15. This is too funny! Since we’re currently looking at new ‘garage’ doors, I think I’m going to start using this new fancy word for them. Only I don’t think I can properly pronounce it. I’ll work on it.

    1. I am so, so sorry you are suffering the grief of garage door shopping.

      I always get really tweaky when we do major projects like that.

      Something about all the cash leaving the house, I think.

  16. Hahahaha!!! That was one happy man at the end. I loved your cartoons & the explanations beside them. Are you sure your house has more detail than that?? Your detail was extraordinary in your drawings. I can only IMAGINE what your house must really look like. You must really live in a castle.

      1. Told you that you needed a moat!
        You could float pumpkins, or swans, or styrofoam snowmen, or balloons…just think of the seasonal possibilities!
        Let’s see the pumpkin tramp top that!
        Mother Hen

      2. Mother Hen doesn’t think the moat is self-cleaning unless you put in alligators, in which case you would have to nix the swans.
        What a wonderful excuse to hire a moat-boy though (like a pool-boy, but less metrosexual). Bonus!

  17. OMG, I love this post. Your art work is awesome, and the added little captions really made me laugh. I think my favorite was bald is harder to draw than you would think. Thanks for making me laugh today!

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