Writing is like being able to put life into a snow globe. It takes the things that are too big and scary and reduces them into a form that I can put away when I want and look at from a distance. It also takes all that’s good in life and captures it into something I can take out when I want and look at close up and keep forever. It makes the bad things into something I can hold…and the good things into something I can hold onto. Both help so much that I need that little souvenir of life.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Like, Lighten Up the Whole Neighborhood

A few weeks ago I was on Craigslist looking for a handyman. Next week I’ll share with you what else I found when I got distracted, as so often happens when I’m on Craigslist. But with this week’s theme being fireworks and all, I’ll tell you about the handyman I hired.

Handydude is young and doesn’t charge much. Handydude is quite chill. Too chill. I later decided I wouldn’t be hiring him again after he assured me it was, like, fine if his cigarette hovered over a container of explosive chemicals in my garage, because he had this theory that flammable liquids don’t blow up easily or he would have blown up long ago! So no worries, ha ha!

It is clear Handydude thinks I’m a slightly hysterical mom-type. A helicopter client. Nemo’s nervous dad. As he was explaining to me that “combustible” doesn’t really mean combustible, I watched the cigarette that was balanced on his lower lip bob along with each word right over those chemicals: bounce-bounce-bounce.

“But thanks for worrying about me, Sweetheart! Ha ha ha ha!” Bounce-bounce-bounce-bounce!

Handydude also calls me “Sweetheart.”

So I was on Craigslist before this conversation. Also before the one about at least turning the light switch off while he was rewiring the fixture. Urk. Also before watching the ladder he’d left leaning against a low-hanging rafter fall into my car, where—by the grace of the same angels who must be preventing this kid from going up like a Fourth of July fireworks finale—it barely grazed the side mirror and avoided the car next to it entirely.

I fervently hope young Handydude survives long enough to become an old Handydude. And he is, like, SO lucky I’m not his mom!


F is for the fire that burns down the whole town, U is for uranium bombs! N is for no survival! ~Plankton in “The Fun Song,” Spongebob Squarepants




12 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    .....cripes.... &*/ YAM xx

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  2. Oh my. Handydude sounds like someone I might not hire a second time.

    Pat
    Critter Alley

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    1. Yep. Sad, because he was reasonably priced and readily available. Guess there's a reason for everything.

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  3. You are taking your life in your hands, one Craigslist at a time!

    We had a carpenter we used for adding on a bedroom, bumping out a computer nook, and framing our new house. He did excellent work, but it took twice as long as normal, because some Mondays he didn't show up, and we wouldn't see him for a few weeks. Then we read in the paper that he had been getting locked up in the county jail for bar fights on the weekend. Once his common-law wife raised bail, he was back out and working to fund his next incarceration-springing. At least he didn't explode anything in our employ. Didn't find him on Craigslist. He was a friend of my husband. Don't get me started on the ZZ-Top/Meth-Bearded Concrete Finishers.

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    1. Good point! Craigslist has many ways of killing!

      What an interesting assortment of handypeople you have there. I'm not sure why, but I can't get past the image of the ZZ Top worker's beard dangling into the concrete and getting cemented in place.

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  4. Handydude sounds like he should be called "He**-No-Not-Again-Dude.

    It sounds like this was quite an adventure!

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    1. In my world, it sort of was. Guess that's kind of sad, huh?

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  5. Wow. He sounds like a great character to put in a book! And I think you're brave to use Craig's List for anything. Angie's List, maybe?

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    1. Good idea, Lisa! I think Angie charges, though, right? Craig is free. Which I guess helps explain it....

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  6. You tell this story so well that I can see every tool in HandyDude's toolbox. I agree with Lisa: great character for a book! But dangling the cigarette over the chemicals in the garage? Eek. I'm afraid I wouldn't be very chill :)

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    1. Thanks, Theresa! Normally I let handymen go about their work, but this time I did hover after I discovered some of the things he was doing. Each time, I progressively got more frightened.

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