How’s it going? I am doing relatively well. I mean, I wouldn’t say spectacular seeing as how I am taking the time to write to you, but definitely relatively well.
I was writing you to tell you a story you might find interesting. It all started early this evening. I was watching the TV and my local weatherman appeared on the screen.
“Hey, you might want to take shelter if you are near the Westlake Ace Hardware inOlathe,” he said. This would not be of note except for the fact that I live very near the Ace Hardware. I have ridden my bike there on occasion. As I am not the most athletic person in the world, this would mean that it is no more than two miles away from me.
My wife and I huddled in the basement, watching “Seinfeld.” It was the one where Jerry buys an expensive jacket. We laughed. Oh, how we laughed.
After a while, it became obvious that there was not going to be a tornado blowing us away. We returned from the basement and had a seat. I began watching TV and, mere minutes later, my wife returned to the basement.
She began yelling. Now, this is very rarely a good thing. Sure, she might someday scream something like, “I found a million dollars!” or “Look at this adorable monkey that has taken shelter in our basement! We shall keep him and you can call him Archibald!”
This was not that day.
“!@$# @#%$%^%$ !#@$#!$^^$%^% !@#$!$ WATER!!!!!” she said.
“What was that?” I replied.
“!@$# @#%$%^%$ !#@$#!$^^$%^% !@#$!$ WATER!!!!! !@$# @#%$%^%$ !#@$#!$^^$%^% !@#$!$ WATER!!!!! !@$# @#%$%^%$ !#@$#!$^^$%^% !@#$!$ WATER!!!!!”
Naturally, when my wife starts shouting random symbols, I become very curious. I got up and went downstairs.
There was what can only be described, as a water fall leading to a brand new, indoor pond. Naturally, I was thrilled. I have always wanted to be able to go down to my basement and view a few peaceful koi swimming about. I’ve always thought that would be a great way to relax without having to leave my delightfully air-conditioned home.
My wife did not see it this way. For some crazy reason, she thought that having a basement full of water was not a great idea. Something about smells and it ruining everything we own. In this spirit, she called you hoping to get some help.
After being on hold for 5 minutes, roughly enough time for 150 more gallons of water to come into our basement, she was able to get hold of the answering service. I want to commend you for making sure you have a person to talk to in case there is some sort of major emergency. It is a very responsible thing to have and she knew exactly what to. She followed the directions she had been given by you.
Those directions were to call a person who lived an hour and a half away.
For the next hour and a half, we worked on bailing out our basement and debated on whether or not to build our own ark. It seemed like a good idea, but the logistics of finding two of every animal seemed a bit overwhelming. Having a dog and a cat, both fixed, would definitely not help us repopulate the Earth’s animal kingdom once every living creature had been wiped out.
Finally, the gentleman who was to be our savior arrived. The sight of his nasty “Hang Loose” t-shirt made me immediately feel at ease. He went to the basement and immediately came back up.
“Yeah, it’s what I thought,” he said. I eagerly waited for his answer. What could possibly fix this situation?
“It’s draining now,” he said, the look on his face showing a weird combination of annoyance at the fact that he had been called to do his job and annoyance at the fact that this WAS his job. “I was an hour and a half away, and got six calls and there’s nothing I can do. You’re just going to have to wait.”
Now, I’ve heard of not shooting the messenger, but that does not take into account the way the messenger delivers said message. When the messenger is the most condescending blue-collar worker to ever exist, it’s difficult to accept that message gracefully.
That’s why I punched him in the face.
No, of course I didn’t do that. I waited until he left the apartment and then said bad things about him. They were very mean and probably would have made him cry had he heard them.
Of course, that’s not fair of me to be upset with him. After all, it wasn’t his fault he lived an hour and a half away. It was the fault of the person who hired a maintenance man who lived an hour and a half away.
I realize you may think this is not a big issue, so here’s what we’ll do. Tomorrow, I will get a hose and start filling up your basement. You can call your maintenance man and he will show up to help an hour and a half later. He will then say, “That’s what I thought. You have a hose running water into your basement. You’ll just have to wait until the water in the hose runs out.”
If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you could just try to not suck at being landlords. Let me know what you decide. I’ll be waiting with hose in hand.