Friday, March 8, 2019

Help! I need somebody.

I’ve been in denial for months, hoping my many issues would somehow resolve themselves but they haven't, so today I admitted defeat and called a handyman.

I hate dealing with handymen. With the exception of one I hired years ago who has mysteriously disappeared like that Malaysian Airlines jet, the ones I have hired are undependable and inept. My theory is that every idiot handyman who can’t earn a living up north figures he might as well move to Florida where at least he can bask in his ineptitude in perpetual summer.

Another reason I hate calling handymen is that they make me feel inadequate. The reason they make me feel inadequate is because I am. I am completely clueless when it comes to fixing anything. That side of my brain not only doesn’t work, it doesn’t exist, so I don’t know enough to stop a handyman when I see him doing something my gut tells me is wrong. Two years ago when I called one to repair an electrical outlet in the dining room, he removed the toilet in the guest room. I assumed there was wiring under it and they were somehow interconnected. Turns out his boss had given him the wrong “to-do” list — he was supposed to repair the toilet for another client. After he reinstalled it, the toilet leaked so I had to call a plumber in, but he couldn’t fix it. So I called another. The minute he left the kitchen faucet started leaking. For all I know, it's leaking toilet water.

So, I wait until I have a fix-it list as long as my arm — and until my wife insists she can’t live this way another minute — before I make that call.

Right now we have, as mentioned, a leaking kitchen faucet. The pocket door to my wife’s closet has been stuck open for at least a year, leaving a 12-inch gap for her to squeeze through sideways. The termite guy, when he came for his annual inspection today, discovered that the pulldown door to our attic is broken so he couldn't inspect. The house, for all I know, is being held up by termites holding hands.The French doors between the kitchen and living room have swollen from all this humidity and won't shut so they need to be removed and the bottoms shaved off. 

There are burnt out can lights in our family room and living room ceilings. I feel like an idiot having to hire someone to replace light bulbs but the ceiling is 12 feet high and I’m 67. I'd no doubt fall off the ladder and break my hip, catch pneumonia from lying in bed unable to move, and die. I’ve been meaning to have the 21 can lights in those rooms replaced with LED fixtures that supposedly won’t burn out for 45 years so I’m going to have the handyman do it. That way I won't have to get up on a ladder and change the bulbs until I'm 112 but then, I'm sure he'll install them wrong and they'll all come crashing down. That's what happened when I had the last handyman change the fixtures in our bathroom. The new one can fix those, too.

A double-paned window is fogged over, the gutters are full of pine needles, the aluminum cage that towers 20 feet above our pool is covered with green slime and needs to be pressure washed, none of our exterior lights work, and the light in the swimming pool spa burned out after our two-year-old grandson turned it off and on 100 times. I watched a youtube how-to video and decided I could replace it myself but got the shock of my life. Someone told me I should’ve turned off the fuse box. How the hell would I have known that?

The locks on all three sets of sliding glass doors are stuck and we can’t open them. To get to our lanai, we have to go out the front door and circle around the house, then come in through the screen door to the pool cage. Which, come to think of it, doesn't close properly because that tube-like thingie that is supposed to make a hissing sound as it shuts is hanging off the door. Last but not least, we go on daylight savings time this weekend so the clocks in both cars will need to be moved forward. Or is it backwards? I'm never sure.

I’ve asked friends but they all laugh and say they fix those things around their houses themselves. so no, none can recommend a handyman because they, of course, have never needed one, but I'll bet dollars to doughnuts that none of them can conjugate Latin verbs as well as I can.  

And so, once again, I’ve chosen a handyman out of the yellow pages, the one whose ad has the best design and fewest typos. 

He said he will be here two weeks from Friday but he won’t show. 

They never do.