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the door, the fan, the rat & the virgil


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after six months of living in my house, there have been a few things that i've been needing to get fixed. the side door no longer locked tightly, and could be shouldered open even with the deadbolt locked. the air conditioner didn't work the first time i tried to turn it on; it was working just fine in october when i first moved in, but haven't had need for it since the middle of november. (yes, i was still using the a/c in november, and have begun needing it in april - this is, after all, texas.) i have rats that i could saddle up and ride to work in the mornings, and my bedroom ceiling fan stopped working. all of these things warranted a service call to their appropriate service technicians.
friday, the air conditioning repair technicians came out, a woman named brandy and a man whose name i thought was virgil for some reason, and i kept calling him that. turns out his name was john. sorry, john. i don't know where the name virgil came from; i don't even know a virgil. i don't feel so badly about it because he never took the time to learn my name either and instead just called me "hey lady" over and over. incidently, he had bright red hair in a prince valiant haircut and a total of about a dozen teeth in his head, none of which seemed to be in their rightful place. but i digress. the a/c was fixed, and brandy & virgil left.
also on friday, the rat exterminator came out, bobby. rat guy bobby. that's what it says in my cell phone. bobby was a much older man, and i was so happy to see him. i had these delusions of grandeur that he might be leaving my house in an hour or two with several hundred dead rats all strung together by their tails, saying something like "well, little lady, all the rats are gone." but i was sorely disappointed when nothing like that happened. he came into my house with a small paper bag from which he produced two old fashioned, wooden rat traps and one snickers bar. he baited the traps with bits of snickers, and while he was placing them in their respective new homes, explained to me why it was that he uses snickers bars to bait the traps. apparently rats love chocolate. who doesn't? rats also love dogfood, bread, cream cheese, butter, margarine, newspaper, unopened bills, papertowels, unpopped popcorn and anything else that i happen to leave out on my kitchen counters for more than 20 minutes. so, it stands to reason that rats might just love chocolate. so rat guy bobby baited and set the traps, then left. and that was all she wrote.
well hell, i could have driven to walmart and spent $2.00 on two rat traps and a snickers bar, and come home with change jingling in my pocket. thank goodness i waited around all day on my day off for a professional to do it. sticking a candybar on the end of a wire stapled into a hunk of balsa wood should be left only to the most highly qualified technicians.
he came back yesterday however, and here's where the apology comes in: he told me that when i called him on friday morning for a service call and told him i was having a cocktail party the next night, he didn't want dazed, poisoned rats wandering out in & amongst my cocktail party guests, so he just baited a couple of traps in high traffic areas. good thinking, i mused. maybe these things should be left to the professionals. yesterday, he tossed about twenty bait blocks up in my attic, and said i should start seeing dead or dying rats within the next twenty-four hours for up to about seven days. even though the prognosis is gruesome, that sort of makes it seem like there might be a light at the end of the rathole.
and yes, i apologized.
the ceiling fan man came this morning because my bedroom ceiling fan hasn't worked for months. when virgil the air conditioning guy was here on friday, he tripped one of my breakers and the ceiling fan light started working, but for the life of me i still couldn't get the fan to turn on no matter how hard i yanked on the chain.
perhaps if i'd yanked the correct chain, it might have worked. which, it did, right there in front of the ceiling fan guy. sure, it was a little humiliating; i was embarassed for a while, but now i'm just cool & comfortable.
lastly, but certainly not least is greg the door guy. he came out yesterday and told me the door they'd bought was a 36", and my door needed to be a 32". easy enough to fix, right? nope. i needed a white door. apparently every building supply in the land was sold out of 32" white doors until this morning. so he arrived again at approximately noon today, and he arrived with a bang. literally.
he was backing his truck into my driveway, and smashed into the fence in my driveway - the one in question the other day when i introduced myself to my crappy new white trash neighbors from longbeach. he dented his chrome truck bumper when he hit it, then when he put the truck into drive to scoot forward a few feet, he caught his taillight on some big monstrous metal thing attached to the fence post and smashed his taillight into about a billion pieces, scratched the cherry red paint and dented the body of his brand new truck. he got out of the truck a'cussin, and throwing a little-girl fit; a grown man was throwing a hissy fit, right there in my driveway. throwing tools on the ground unloading a brand new door for my house with a less than gingerly approach...and he's still at it at 2:30. i was sort of hoping that mr & mrs white trash from longbeach were watching and might think i had a crazed boyfriend and then think twice about messing with me again. sure, my door is getting installed as i write this, but he hasn't stopped bitching about that fence since he got here. he's been installing a door while talking on his cell phone the entire time, recounting the story to anyone who'll listen. he even told the crappy neighbor when he wandered over to my side porch to see what the ruckus was all about. so much for the lunatic boyfriend theory.
i don't blame him, really. what a way to start out your workday.
he can cuss all he wants, just as long as while he's doing it, he gets my new door installed. right now, there's a huge, gaping maw where my old door used to be.
but my ceiling fan works.


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  • I'm melissa mcgee
  • From Temple, Texas, United States
  • photographer. singer. soapcrafter. herbalist. dogmom. godmother. fantastic cook. i kiss better than i cook. [all photographs on this blog copyright melissa mcgee unless otherwise noted.]
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