Monday, October 7, 2013

Being the Bad Guy

"The plumber's back," Mr Wonderful said peering out the window and setting down his coffee cup.
"Good," I said emptying my tea cup.
"I'll be the bad guy."
"I'll be the bad guy."
"I said it first."
"I'm more diplomatic!" I said elbowing past Mr. Wonderful.



The hardest thing for DIY fixer uppers like Mr. Wonderful and I was letting someone else do the work on The House while we sat idly by. The short--and long--reason was: We didn't trust anyone to do the work as well as we knew we could. But the plumbing and electrical projects we needed had to be done by licensed, bonded professionals. So after we dug a formidable trench, we contracted a plumber who came, installed pipes and left. The only problem was said plumber did the work while leaving said pipes sticking out of our house like the bolts poking out of Frankenstein's neck. The short--and long--of it was: It wasn't pretty. So now Mr. Wonderful and I were debating who would to talk to the plumber about this Franken-house problem.

"Morning, Michael," I said waving to the plumber.
"Hi--" Michael said smiling.
"My wife wants to talk to you," Mr Wonderful said deferring to me. Ahhh, I married a wise man.
"What a beautiful morning," Michael said flashing his pearly whites. Note to self: everyone in L.A. has gorgeous teeth, including the plumbers.
"That's right, I want to talk to you," I said leaping between my spouse and the plumber.
"Your house is so beautiful," Michael said looking around. "When I was here yesterday I spent all day in the trench and attic that I didn't get to experience how nice it is here. It's really nice."
My anger faded. My heart melted. The plumber liked my House? I loved this plumber!
"Thank you," I said blushing as if he'd complimented me on my hair, eyes or stellar sense of humor. "You did excellent work," I added. Behind me I heard Mr. Wonderful roll his eyes. Without a doubt, he is the loudest roller of eyes I've ever known. 

"Okay, I'll be going then," Michael said turning on his heel and heading back to his truck.
"Wait," Mr Wonderful said in a slow, deep voice. My spouse's vocal chords were well suited for a radio announcer, a story-book reader or a hard-baller giving someone a big-time reprimand. Now I thought--now!--Michael's going to hear how unhappy we are with his work, see how it looked like a Frankenstein plumbing job, and know that it had to be redone like, yesterday. 

Unfortunately Michael was either a rebel or terribly hard of hearing because he kept walking. He walked away from Mr. Wonderful, away from me and toward the back gate which would give him total freedom from our wrath. Once he passed through that gate, we'd never get him back to fix this horrible pipe job. 

When suddenly, a miracle happened.
"Meow," Jackson said rubbing up against the offending pipes sticking out of the house wall. "Meow."
"Hello, pussy cat," Michael said bending down to pet our tuxedo feline. Jackson plopped down on his belly right in the plumber's path causing the workman to freeze. He looked at the pipes, coughed then said, "Why didn't you tell me I did a bad job right here?" 
"Ahhh. Well?" Mr. Wonderful and I said in unison and shrugged. Michael tsk-tsked us.

The short--and long--story is: Michael removed the pipes from sticking out of the facade of our House and relaid them so they were hidden and flush with the wall, just like we wanted. And they looked great.

Ahhh, Jackson. He had freed Mr. Wonderful and me from being the bad guy. Next time we need a hard-hitting complainer to talk to the contractors, we're going to the ultimate baddie: Jackson our tuxedo-wearing cat.