My friend Hugh Gilmore is a local Philadelphia celebrity and, I hasten to add, justifiably so, whom I met rather serendipitously about a year ago. He writes a widely read column, in one of our local community newspapers, that celebrates the quaint pastime of reading books. Imagine. So that’s how I first came to “know” him.

Of all the gin joints in all the world, we met in a local liquor store – go figure! – during the Christmas rush in 2010. I espied him, relying for markers on the Seurat-like pointillist portrait that accompanied his column, as I was checking out and asked “Are you Hugh Gilmore?”

He owned up to the make, even while expressing astonishment that it was even possible to do so, given the source. Not the first time I’ve been ordered to move to the head of the class!

He recently wrote a column in which he revealed a novel New Year’s Resolution. He’s resolved not to contradict anyone in 2012. You could look it up.

In the event, I’m pulling for him even as I admit that, in my line of work, that would be mission impossible. I’m constantly contradicting the knuckleheads who think a limited, non-invasive, visual inspection is a replacement cost all-risk insurance policy.

A few months ago, following the one-two punch of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, I predicted an avalanche of claims owing to roof leaks. You could look that up, too.

Recently, I got the first one.

The inspection was performed on August 1, 2011. The guy moves in in November. Five or six weeks later he has roof leaks. At the time of the inspection, the inspector found the roof to be in good condition but warned that roofs, regardless of age or condition, can leak. Five-and-a-half months and thirty-one inches of rain later, the client was shocked, shocked to discover that the roof would not last forever.

And so, now he wants the home inspector to undo the force of nature.

Fortunately, for this home inspector, I have resolved to continue contradicting folks who have no common sense.

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