Home > Lankville Action News: YES! > Longest-Running Home Improvement Project in Lankville to Continue

Longest-Running Home Improvement Project in Lankville to Continue

Jackie Sheds, Jr.

Jackie Sheds, Jr.


It began with an innocent beige-and-urine colored tarp, which concealed the “coming attraction” of a refurbishing project that has become the talk of this sedate neighborhood in Lower Lankville Heights. When Francine Tippit-toes (great aunt to Janice Tippitt-Toes, millennial entrepreneur with big plans for the Lanqueduct) hired Mutter and Sons to redo her front porch, she had no idea she was actually bankrolling a summer “hit” that’s been running for three months now, with no end in sight.

“What’s going on under there?”

“What’s going on under there?”

Mutter and Sons – operated by Karl Mutter with his two sons, J.B. “Jellybean” Mutter and Augustus “Auggie” Mutter – left the tarp up for a solid month before commencing work on the porch. This, they later revealed, was a tactic aimed at building anticipation and tension in neighbors and passers-by.

“What’s going on under there?” mused Mutter Sr., casting himself in the role of a curious onlooker. “You don’t know, but you want to know. It’s all part of our plan.” Indeed, next-door neighbor Glen Rumpus (brother-in-law of Genevieve Rumpus, but no relation to the Ida Rumpus who writes for this paper) made it his business to peek under the tarp on several occasions.

Finally the Mutters unveiled their work-in-progress. They quickly tore down the facade of the porch, using chain saws to dispense with the shrubbery out front that could only obstruct a clear view of their performance. Settling into their “one day on, three days off” routine – which became as familiar to home improvement aficionados as the intermittent Lankville postal delivery schedule – they put the porch through several stages of deconstruction that at first baffled area residents.

The “First Notion”

All the world’s…

All the world’s…

Auggie Mutter explained that their slow, careful process reflects the stages of man’s development, from a mere negative particle drifting in deepest space, to what the Mutters call “the First Notion” (represented by a seemingly chaotic scattering of dirt, rocks, and equipment), to conception, birth, puberty, aging, and death. Often, everyone is so moved by the process that they repeat it several times on the same project.

Dr. Kevin Thurston, Expert on Men’s Feelings, noted that the gestalt produced by the Mutters’ work resembles that of more primitive, but often effective, therapeutic strategies, such as Scream Technique or Intensive Hugging. He can often be found on the site during work hours, selling personalized folding knives and tickets to an upcoming event at Casa Montecristo.

While the Mutters recently installed a new porch surface and support columns, their “audience” hopes the show doesn’t end anytime soon. Glen Rumpus said he finds the work soothing, especially given that it usually occupies no more than an hour or two of every fourth day when the crew arrives with their truck and tools. Watching from his own front porch, he’s entertained by the sounds of grunting, sanding, sawing, and singing (J.B. is an accomplished interpreter of sea shanties) – not to mention titillated, amused, and informed by the Mutters’ witty repartee.

All the world’s...

“the first notion”

“There’s a presidential election coming up in Lankville, in case you hadn’t noticed,” said Rumpus. “When Karl and Auggie get to talking about the differences in policy platforms between some of the candidates, or unraveling the corruption of the Pondicherry regime, well, I have to sit up and listen. Honestly, I don’t know how I’ll make an informed voting decision without them.”

Thankfully, the Mutters confirmed that they plan to extend their run well into fall. “Gosh, there’s a good two months of home-improvement weather left,” said Mutter Sr. “This is a prime location, and we’re excited to take advantage of it as long as we possibly can.”

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