It's not about the house.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Bad News, Good News

I just got home and there is more bad news. I'm obviously not getting any work done this afternoon (sorry, Ms. M-C!), so I figure I might as well back up a bit and see if I can't find the funny. It's gotta be here somewhere, I just had it Saturday...

Last night Johnny and I stayed up way too late drinking way too many beers and watching Jesus Christ Superstar on some obscure cable network. We didn't watch much of the actual movie because we kept getting off on random and intense theological debates. We love to do this: he believes in the whole Apostolic kit and kaboodle, and me, well, I'm just morbidly fascinated with the entire business. He loves to try to stump me but I always pull it out, and he's constantly shocked at how much I know about it when it all means nothing to me. But that's what he doesn't understand: it doesn't mean nothing to me; I love it. I just don't Believe.

Anyway, so it was after twelve beers, eight nature-of-faith dilemmas, four hours of sleep and two packs of cigarettes worth of smoke in my hair that I had to go off to work without a shower. In what turned out to be 86 summery degrees. I sweated hops and nicotine all afternoon and came home to Andy (remember Andy?) passed out in the living room and Johnny with that manic grin he gets when he's trying hard to laugh away the pain.

"Do you want the good news or the bad news first?" he asked me. Bad. Always bad. Get it over with, like ripping off a band-aid.

"Boiler's dead. Kaput. Thhppp."

"No shower?"

"No shower."

Ew. And the good news?

"Andy," who collects junk even worse than Johnny does, "happened to have an electric water heater lying around." He hasn't given it to us, but he's lent it, and it's already in the basement. "He'll be by first thing in the morning to hook it up."

It means we don't have to buy the new furnace right away. We can take a couple months and save the money first, because we'll have hot water in the meantime. (If it gets to be, like, August and I haven't mentioned the new furnace yet, please remind me to get on the stick, okay?)

Johnny wanted me to go down and have a look at the new/used/not-really-ours water heater. I didn't think this was particularly necessary, considering I'm well aware of what a water heater looks like, but Johnny was in something of a fragile state so I went along.

The good news is the basement is still dry. It's a mess, but not a wet one.

The boiler, however, is messy and wet and just generally foul. It had been left at the time-of-death stage: top open, guts spewing out, all nasty and infected-looking in there. It's a Burnham. Pronounced "burn-'em." I'm just saying.

That Budweiser can is Johnny's. At least, I'm assuming that Budweiser can is Johnny's. Jack was here at eight o'clock in the morning for crying out loud. Then again, I smelled like a beer at eight o'clock this morning, so who am I to talk? Still do, in fact, and will again tomorrow. Anybody wanna hug?
(Jack still charged Johnny $80 to service the boiler, by the way, and Johnny paid him because he's the brother of a friend. But I'm having second thoughts about contracting him to do the changeover. If he charges $80 to not-fix it then I shudder to think what two days of actual work will end up costing. I mean, the hateful oil company only charged us $69 to not-service it -- but then again not-fixing is a bigger job. Plus, without him how will I ever get Keyspan to return my calls? )
So anyway while we're down there examining the soul of our old machine and the rust spots on our new one, Johnny suddenly looks up and sees a two-inch, black plastic crucifix, dangling on a bit of twisted coathanger from the pipe that feeds the boiler.

Jeez, what are you doing here?
We have to assume it's been there all along - we have to - and that we just never noticed it. But what we can't decide is whether he's supposed to be a comfort (telling us to hang in there, so to speak), or a warning (shape up or next time it's the -- what? Grass fires? Locusts? Frogs?).
Johnny just went out to pick up a pizza and tonight we're going to hash out this latest test-of-faith over the few beers in the fridge that escaped our clutches last night. Being a non-believer, I'm leaning more towards the Old Testament, wrathful, my-way-or-the-highway interpretation, whereas Johnny -- well, Johnny's still a little delicate, so for now he thinks it's laughing at us, but I'll go easy on him and he'll get his Good News thinking back tomorrow.
In the meantime, I'm not allowed to take the trinket down.


Robert said...

I haven't seen Jesus Christ Superstar for years, but I love the part where Judas sings, "Every time I look at you I don't understand, how you let the house you bought get so out of hand." Or something like that.

Courtney said...

I love me some Jesus Christ Superstar.

Just don't let Johnny take any advice on contractors from the Old Lady. You know how that turned out the last time.

Also, yay, pictures!

EGE said...

Ha! I knew that Judas was a baddy. Just call me Mary Magdalene while I hug my knees and rock back and forth, singing: "Everything's all right, yes, everything's fine..."