Last week there were men everywhere. In and out of my house like some kind of Big Girl Wonderland.
Only major difference is they all had tools. And I was not attracted to any of them.
It all started with me going into my daughter’s room last May and saying Why does it smell like a wet puppy in here? Did you adopt a golden retriever without permission?
Turned out the valve on her rad was leaking and had soaked the rug under her desk. Good times.
Three guys from We Hack At Your Beautiful Walls Until You Sneeze And Cry From Post-Apocolyptic Mess Inc. were in at the time, exciting me with the very sexy replacing of knob and tube. They helped me drain my rads to stop the leak.
Alan from Can I Get You A Lovely Bit of Brandy And An Aged Cheddar While I Write Up Your Invoice Co. comes in and tells me $1200 to fix the valve. But just for fun I need $150 for coming to tell you this.
I said Not now, Alan. I have a (knob and tube) headache (6k). Besides I dont need heat until the Fall.
Fall comes quickly.
Fall opened up with a visit by Jeff from We Have You By The Balls When It Gets Cold Inc. Dear, we are going to have to shut you down if you don’t put a vent on your furnace room door.
Shut me down? (P.S.Unless you are my grandmother don’t call me dear or I will shut you down.)
Yes. Cut off your heat.
Oh, heat. I forgot about that. Need to focus on that.
In comes neighbourhood handyman on a white horse. Mortimer cuts hole in door, places vent and leaves. Says what he does and does what he says. My kind of guy.
Next day We Have You By The Balls says please stay in house all day like a hostage and wait for our $70 visit so we can check that we like the vent we made you put in the door. We may not feel like coming and may blow you off, if we do that we won’t call you, but we may charge you, just for fun.
I waited all day. No one came.
In the meantime Horace from Why Did You Buy A Refurbished MAC For Your Daughter That Does Not Work & Sons has asked me to stay at home all day the next day. UPS guy, Freddie, will not pick up computer unless I am at home. All Day.
I am starting to feel like Howard Hughes. My skin is grey from Vitamin D defficiency and I am beginning to enjoy folding kleenexes into small swans.
I call Vince from My Goodness That Is Way Too Much Money I Could Do It For Less Co. He comes by to look at my valve. $200 tops, he says. I think it may be love.
I call owner of Forget About The Brandy Make It A Tequila Shot & Co. and ask him how he feels about his guy quoting several times the amount for the same job to a
fabulously sexy and charming single mother. He was speechless. I was pissed.
Next day Vince comes back with one wrench. Valve is broken. Need to repair. I can do it next week.
My teeth are chattering as my house is cold. How about if I go to Ontario Valve right now and see if they can fix the valve on the spot and then you can fix rad and maybe you can wait here for my UPS man while you have a bowl of really good soup I made?
Valve place does not disappoint. Two older gents are in swivel chairs leaning way back smoking cigars and discussing their fishing trip. They are expecting me and greet me with a seriousness that comes with a field this grave and important. While Gus is writing up my order I am glancing around this office covered with famous quotes, 3000 binders, papers everywhere and more valves than you could possibly imagine. He catches my eye. A little embarrassed for my curiosity, I say, I love your office, Gus. It tells me a lot about you.
Gus says I look real nice and stares at my kneecaps. Suddenly I am aware it is just me and the valves. And Gus.
I race back home and I give the valve to Vince and he replaces. We bleed rads together. So intimate. I give him some cash and I wait for water to make it to the second floor.
By the next day I realize it is never going to happen.
Vince from It Was Cheaper But Not Necessarily Better is not available for comment.
In the meantime, I noticed a quaint note on my furnace that I replaced in 2009. Annual maintenance is recommended.
Not only have I never looked at my furnace (it never looked at me!) – I have never had mainatenace call.
Then it hits me – If I get maintenance guy in (Please wait at home all day like a prisoner until we come-if we feel like it) and he is a gas technician, I can get him to sign off on the %$^&ing vent and avoid the $70 service call.
Aziz arrives the next day. Finds a broken blah blah blah and that is the whole reason I could not get water to rads. He leaves for Scarborough for a missing part that Darn, is not in my truck. TICK TOCK TICK TOCK I am paid by the hour.
Then Freddie, a lovely UPS man with a debilitating stutter, comes by just before Aziz returns. I feel like a two timer. Two in my driveway at once.
Aziz comes back, fixes the blah blah blah and “maintains” the furnace (you don’t really need to maintain it every year he says, we just say that). Naturally he can’t sign off on the vent. I think it needs a second vent, he cautions me.
Right now I am thinking quite seriosuly of selling
my body my house.
Called We Have You By The Balls and in comes Wally, the next day at the very end of the day of course, finding me rocking in the corner singing Christmas Carols. I jump up. Come see my pretty vent I say. You will love it.
I am trying to be positive because I don’t want trouble. Or any more men.
Jesus, I never thought I would say either of those things.