I don’t know about you, but I got tired of driving my car over and lurching down the giant potholes on the road. I even had one by my drive way. That’s how it all began. Well actually, I was just starting to repair my own asphalt drive way.
I watched a number of Youtube repair videos and found this one hole filler that appealed to me. You simply filled a hole with a couple of shovels full of this oily concoction of pebbles and then you even them out and then pour water on the patch to set it up and harden.
I started on my own with a $50 bucket of ooze. I bought a small garden shovel that was easy to dig into the dense asphalt like filler, I got a heavy tamper to pound the surface level. The tamper got heavier as the day wore on. After a quick trip to the dollar store I had a long handle floor brush. I turned the brush upside down to give me a flat surface to jab at the filler. I filled several different holes and cracks on my driveway and felt let down that I was through. I would look admiringly at my handiwork and then look at the pot hole on the road just a few feet from my driveway. It began to just plain irritate me. Why doesn’t the city do something about these potholes I kept asking my self. Finally, my wife got so tired of me bitching and moaning, my wife said, “Gerry, why don’t you just fix it yourself?” I answered back, “Well, it’s the city’s job . . . and besides there’s probably laws against defacing city property or something.” Maggie just looked at me and said, “So what.”
The “so what” ran through my mind for days . . . I went out to the road and walked innocently around the pothole glancing at the size and depth and my reflection in the pooled water. After working on my own driveway I figured I might just have enough filler to do the job. I waited for a dark and stormy night. I slipped out the back door wearing jeans, a golf jacket, a knit cap, and a scarf that half hid my face and went to the garage. Within minutes I was walking through the shadows carrying my little shovel, an open container of the filler, my cheap tamper, and a plastic bottle of Alpine Spring Water. I stopped by the hedge and looked up and down the street. I took a deep breath and quick marched to the street. I knelt down and emptied all my filler into the hole and ended with a little hill in the middle of the pot hole. I took the wood tamper and began stamping it down. When it looked perfect, I opened my spring water and emptied it all over the now filled pothole. Without waiting to admire my work I gathered all my gear and shadow walked back to the garage. I put my tools away and walked calmly back into the house never letting on that I had done anything.
We had nowhere to go for the next couple of days and then Maggie and I went to the grocery store. When we pulled back into the driveway, Maggie’s head popped around and she said, “Did you see that? The city filled the pothole.” I gave her a surprised look and said, “I never even noticed.”
A couple of days later, my neighbor Mark waved at me. And came across the street. I said, “How’s it going?” Mark replied, “Oh, fine . . . by the way, nice job.” I was crest fallen and went on and on about the pothole and how it bothered me and how I had taken all my precautions and was so careful to not be seen and thought there were no witnesses. Mark said, “Okay . . . I was talking about your drive way. I never even noticed the pothole in front of your house.” We laughed a bit and then Mark said, “I’ve got a bigger pothole . . . actually three in a row I would like fixed.”
Mark and I fixed his potholes. No one complained. The city never came after us. We keep our eyes open during the week looking for potholes in front of houses and on the weekends we take donations and tips when we repair them. All cash . . . no questions . . . and lots of happy customers. We’re just doing our bit for the community.
The views expressed in this article are the writer’s own.