Friday, November 14, 2014

One Plumber, Two Cracks

Everything was cool while the handyman ranted on about silicone, threading water tubes, calcification, old houses. Fine, whatever, have no idea what he's talking about, job done. He managed to make the Magical Refrigerator generate Magical Water again, all that mattered. Ta daa! Rabbit out of the hat, get out of my house now. Thanks.

A final flourish, he thrust an electronic pad toward me to sign, the last step. I scratched indecipherable hieroglyphics on it because who can really write on those things anyway? Whatever it takes to get back to normal.

But the handy-guy had an itch in his craw, a metallic glint in his eye.

Crap. Trouble.

Just my luck to connect with a handyman who wanted to do a thorough job. For this self-proclaimed hermit, it felt like an invasion. Big time.

A seeming afterthought, the handy-guy decided to check the ice-maker. Battles have been won over weaker appliances and clearly I lost.

Parts were torn out. Indiscriminately, frozen food was dumped into the sink. A wrrrrrnch drew black marks across the floor when he yanked the fridge from the wall. No way out, no help, no mercy.

Dave--by this time, we'd reached first name status--told me the ice-maker was WAY off. Parts were out of order, not connecting, a screwed up puzzle where the pieces didn't lock together. With a sad shake of the head, Dave asked, "Has your fridge EVER made ice?"

I had no choice. Like being drafted into a war I was politically opposed to, Dave enlisted me into service. My duty as a home-owner. Handy-man's soldier.

Together, we unloaded the rest of the food from the freezer. Shelves were dismantled, nuts and bolts unscrewed. Frozen syrup draped my arms, gross and sticky and invigoratingly manly. We swept webs and sweat from our brows. Then we cursed, laughed, reveling in our recent shared good times.

I put on music. Manly working music. We sang Hall & Oates songs. I was tempted to don a pastel colored sports jacket, roll up the sleeves, and pump my arms like a jackhammer. Just like Hall did in that awful '80's music video (or was it Oates? I  can never tell the difference. They're pretty interchangeable except the shorter one bebops around "oohing" and "ahhing" on occasion). My dog howled, joining the fun. At that moment, nothing mattered except appliances.

I felt empowered, mechanically apt for the first time, well, ever. Flipped a wrench and actually caught it. Muy macho. Then the job was done. As were my dreams of finally feeling useful around appliances.

Without so much as a smile, Dave left. Grabbed my money off the table, no looking back. A cough of smoke from his truck's exhaust and he vanished out of my life.

I felt so used.


  1. Love em and leave em. Used and abused. The question remains. Does the fridge produce ice in its veins?

    1. Okay, Heather, love your poem dedicated to my lost love of appliances. And the things that could've been. Hall & Oates haunt my dreams. Oh, woe...

  2. Spent half the day changing out the garbage disposal that stopped working for a new one. Then the blasted thing leaked. I took a closer look at the instructions and realized I put a gasket on in the wrong order so I had to take all the pipes off and reconnect them. Ugh! I don't like plumbing.

    1. Jeff, I know a great plumber. Just don't know if I want to share him. Or pay his air-fare. You got any Hall & Oates 8-tracks?

  3. You're so funny! There's nothing I hate more than workmen in my house. (My hermitage -- violated!) Luckily, my hubby's as handy as he is cheap, so he fixes just about everything himself. ;)

    1. Hoorah for hermitage! Lexa, you wanna' start a "hermit club?" Um, I guess the joining already goes against the charter. Never mind.