I consolidated the stories about Fred.


...long live, Hill Blocks View. I miss writing. But the thought of one more round of "welcome backs", or obsessing over stats, or thinking of the clever response to a comment, or the obligation to read everyone else's blog... not so much. So I'll try and write. No pressure. If you feel the need to respond, you can email me. I like email. flipaul@yahoo.com

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Home Improvement, Sometimes, Involves Loss.

Lately my friends and family, (and friends of friends, come to think of it) have been clamoring for my services as a home remodeler/handy-man. I don't mind, I always help out if I am able. The odd thing is the timing of the requests. My home repairs have had some less than desirable outcomes lately.
     It started off in the spring, when I went to shut down the furnace at my Aunt Hazel's house. I'm not sure what happened, I mean it's an old rundown house and all, but the next thing I knew it was engulfed in flames. The house was totally destroyed. She was pretty mad, but when she got her check from the insurance company her mood improved considerably.
     The next mishap involved her daughter, my cousin Liza. She lives in a pretty new house that doesn't really need much work. Her and her ex-husband are underwater on their loan. She asked if I could come over and work on her furnace. It seemed weird seeing as how it was in the middle of summer and all, but she said something about getting it ready to be repossessed, so I said OK. Wouldn't you know it? Her house burned down also. Good news is she had just upped her coverage, so she got a pretty good check.
     I accidentally burned down four more houses (nobody really seemed that upset) before I swore off trying to work on any more furnaces. That did seem to upset some people, but they all said they needed water heaters installed, instead.
     There was a rash of house leveling water heater explosions.
     I don't let it get me down too much. My friends and family are very forgiving. Encouraging even. One of the things I don't understand is why they are even putting money into their houses. Most of the ones that I am working on are houses that they don't even want. They are ones that they can't sell, that they are upside down on the loans with, or sometimes it's somebody that is completely desperate for cash. It just doesn't make sense, but I always get paid.
     Last week I even had to turn down some work. Some guy named Fat Vinnie Vincenzo wanted me to look at the stoves in the kitchen of a restaurant a friend of his owns. I told him I couldn't because my Cousin Amy had already bought me a ticket to fly out to San Antonio and help her get her house ready to sell. The trip went OK, I couldn't take my torch with me so there weren't any explosions. I did learn however that there are things called "load bearing walls", and that if you cut out sections of "load bearing walls" to put in a door for instance, that the whole house could possibly fall down. Probably fall down. Definitely fall down.
     Again she seemed pretty OK with the whole experience. Surprisingly, she had already bought a new house and moved out her personal effects, except for several expensive flat screen TV's she said she had in the living room, (I must have missed those).
     I boarded my plane tired from a weekend of hard work, and learned one final thing on the flight home. According to the nice federal officer that was waiting for me when I got off the plane, the air sick bags are only for emergencies. And more importantly, he informs me, you can't use them just because the bathroom line was too long. After talking for awhile, he seemed touched by my plight and said he thinks he can help me out. Nice guy. In return, he has this rental house, and just he wants me to swing by and look at his furnace.