It's not about the house.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Final (I Hope) Kid Update

When the Kid finally finished doing the heat conversion (I guess it was two weeks ago, about?) he left us a whole pile of his crap. Brought it out into the yard to put it in his car, then didn't put it in the car and drove away.

We called and told him it was here (or, rather, called and left a message saying it was here, because you don't just get the Kid on the line when you ring him -- what are you, nuts?) but we resolved we wouldn't bring it in. We didn't want to deal with this Kid anymore; bringing in his stuff meant scheduling a time for him to pick it up; and we all know what the Kid thinks about a schedule. No. It was his own damn fault he left it, so it was not our problem if it rained.

But then, after about a week went by with no response, Johnny noticed a bag of asbestos the Kid pulled off the old pipe and was supposed to have properly disposed of. Johnny was furious. I mean, neither of us were kidding ourselves about what Kid might have meant by "properly dispose of" -- it was only a few feet of the deadly fluff, even Mr. Suit Guy from the gas company said something along the lines of "if that stuff disappeared before my guys arrived, it would make this job a lot easier on all of us." So we know the Kid was probably only going to take it out and throw it in a dumpster somewhere, but that dumpster wasn't supposed to be in our basement.

(And y'all can keep your boo-hoos. I ate, breathed, bathed, sucked and snorted lead paint for two and a half years. Johnny's been doing it, and plenty worse, for thirty. We're both going to die horribly. What does it matter if we take a few dumpster-rats along for the ride?)

So Johnny pulled the Kid's tools in and we got a bit obsessive about checking doors. We didn't used to do that, see. Lock doors, I mean. Not always, anyway. Not since we moved out of the city. The front one sticks really badly and the back one, well, it's the back one. Who breaks into a house through the back door?

For that matter, that person who does want to break into your house, by whatever entrance -- do you think they just walk up and try the knob? And if it's locked then "By gum!" they exclaim, "this knob surely does seem to be stuck mighty fast. Almost like something's bolting it. What is this magical dee-vice? Goll-y, it seems my nefarious intentions have been thwarted. My mission is a failure. I do believe I will give up my extreme lifestyle of petty crime and debauchery once and for all. I wonder where the nearest church is at?"

Bah. But it sure does confuse the hell out of friends who are used to just walking right in. Especially outies, who aren't always 100% on top of things. They just stand there trying and trying, kicking and wiggling, unable to embrace the thought that it is locked now, and maybe they should ring the bell. Which we don't have a bell, but you know what I'm saying.

So Johnny put the Kid's tools on the porch, where the Kid could see them if he came, but would be magically unable to retrieve them. Johnny called and left a message telling him to come pick up the bag of asbestos in the basement and also, oh yeah, his chit, then we sat back and waited for him to call.

Well, apparently the Kid knows older magic than the AssVac, because one day last week we came home and the tools were gone -- poof.

I stood there gaping and pointing like Nicollette Sheridan in Noises Off. Box! First there, now gone!

But bag-bag? Still right where he left it at the bottom of the stairs.

"Oh well," I declared, sick and tired of chasing not-nice people to get them to not-keep simple promises. I resolved to one day surreptitously throw that bag in some construction dumper my ownself. Or get Andy to do it. And also to continue locking everything for a little while, even though it obviously does no good at all.

But then today, I got home from the dentist's office (again, on which more later) and found a message on the machine from the Kid. "John," he says.

"I picked that bag up yesterday. So unless you're talking about another bag, in which case I don't know what bag you're talking about, you might want to look before you go calling me. All right?"

"Urp," I declared.

Yesterday, you say? You mean yesterday when we came home to find the door to the cellar from the kitchen open inexplicably, and an odd pile of white shavings in the middle of the kitchen floor? An odd pile of white shavings which I picked up, rubbed between my fingertips, and sniffed?

I told you I was going to die horribly. If not from lead paint then asbestos poisoning. Or irresponsible, ex-con, spider-web-tattoed Kid plumbers who apparently know secret ways into my house.

Spider-web tattoo! Why didn't I take that for the note from God that it obviously was, saying "Hey Erin, you -- you, in particular -- might not get on so well with this one"? I am an idiot. But at least we got our heat done for short money. And I suppose you get what you pay for. Plus a little creepy-ass intimidation, if the universe loves you as much as it does me!

I called him back. So help me, but I did. I could not just let it go, and I really don't want Johnny getting all pissed off and I'll-show-him about the whole thing. So I called him back. I knew I'd get the machine again, so it wasn't like I had to be all brave or anything.

I told him Johnny left that message like two weeks ago, so the fact that you picked the bag up yesterday only makes me nervous because we didn't know that you were coming and all our doors were locked. I told him: you and us, we're all done with each other, right? You've got your tools and the bag, and I don't have to worry about you coming in my house again? Okay, then, good luck to you. And thanks for all your help.

I sure told him, all right.

Well, hell, I didn't want to hang up by going all Louise on him -- well, okay, yes I did ("You better watch your mouth" pchew). But I chickened out at the last minute, afraid if I went Louise he'd go all Jimmy, showing up where I don't want him and throwing furniture around. Because the truth is I suspect I know how he comes and goes.

One of the basement windows had to come out to put the furnace through. It went back in, but it's only propped there, and he knows it. We were/are putting a new one in before cold weather comes -- John B. says he'll get one cheap, Andy will help us put it in -- but it looks like we might have to step it up.

I'd better stock the beer fridge. This sounds like a job for The Outie Show.


Anonymous said...

You were very nice to him. You don't want to alienate a good plumber, even one with spider web tats. You never know when you'll need him to do some dirty work for you...

braveheart said...

I read yesterday that spiderweb tatoos are a symbol of white supremacy. Never would have occured to me, but that is what is posted at Time magazine.