Weekend Warriors

September 20, 2009 at 3:52 PM | Posted in Journal | Leave a comment
  Bunny said, "What are you doing this weekend?"
  I’m not a sucker.  Before, I would have said, "Oh, nothing." 
  Because then she would say, "Oh, we’re having a party–" or a get together or there’s a yard sale or some fun thing going on that would peak my interest and then she would say, "And I need you to shovel some manure for me."  That’s essentially what it comes down to.  But age and maturity and wisdom, et cetera, and experience dealing with her has given me a more wary approach.  So when she says to me, "What are you doing this weekend?" I know just how to answer.
  "No habla Englis."
  "You do so speak English."
  "No I don’t."
  She needed help.  Actually, this is truly a Friend of a Friend thing.  One of her good friends (I am actually her best friend–me and Lynn) had a complicated situation.  Her name is Laura.
  Laura got divorced about five years ago.  She has a new house.  Her husband lives in the old house, and…let things go.  It was in his name, so no harm to her.  But it got to a point where it is going to be foreclosed on.  In fact, the doors will be locked Sunday at midnight–that was last night.  She couldn’t get her ex, Bob, to talk to her, answer a question, or give her any information until it was basically too late.  Why should she care–his house, right?
  Yeah, well, it was full of her stuff that she didn’t take when they separated, plus it had some of her kids’ stuff in there as well.  With a deal made with a place called "Cash for Keys," they would give her two grand and deal with the foreclosure if she would get the shit out of it and clean the place up.  She could use the money.  She needed help.
  Selflessly I asked, "What’s in it for me?"
  Actually I didn’t ask, but before I could really get out a plausible excuse, Bunny told me her friend Laura was the one who could help me with my tax problems.  If you recall, I haven’t filed for the last couple of years.  Laura was going to help Bunny and the Big L with their corporate tax issues.  My three years of back taxes was no sweat to her, but worth several hundred to me if I had to pay to get it done.
  "Sure, I can help."
  I got with cousin Joey, and arranged for the trailer.  I told her that Saturday we could get the trailer and I could help a bit, and then Sunday afternoon I could help more, and I would have the boys–because I was going to make Alex and his buddy Mike help to earn their keep in the house.
  Friday after work I went to see Cousin Joey to ask about the trailer.  Of course that was a brief two and a half hour visit.  We drank a few beers and smoked and talked about religion and God and faith.  Seriously.  This is the life I live.
  Saturday morning was a good morning, and I took a nap.  Then Bunny called, and I met her for the trailer.  I followed her over to Laurie’s ex’s house.  I worked there for about two hours.  Laura was there, and she was very nice, and she was cute.  She did remind me of my fifth grade teacher, Mrs Kraus.  And her totally hot 24 year old daughter was there, Kelly.  I ended up helping Kelly load her truck up with stuff she would take to her south City apartment.  And there was this older guy helping that I thought was either Laurie’s Dad or maybe an older brother or an uncle or something.  He and I worked together on the heavy stuff.  I swear I didn’t know until today, Monday, that Bob was actually Laura’s irresponsible ex-husband.  He just looked older than maybe he should have, and she looked younger.  She looked 40, he looked 60.  Actually, she’s about 48 and he’s about 53.  That’s–that’s a bummer, for him.
  Sunday I get over there with the boys about 130.  We start with the heavy lifting.  I have to drag the boys in to start.  Once they get going, and I stay on them, they did a good job.  But at first, we were talking inside, and the boys went outside to hang out.  When we were ready to work I called out to them, "Whenever you’re ready!"  They were smoking.
  The Big L and I were downstairs trying to figure out this large, large object in the basement:  A 57-inch rear projection TV.  Big L and I are trying to figure out the logistics of getting it out of the basement while we wait for the boys.  Finally, we waited long enough.  What the fuck?  I go outside, and there they are, just leaning against the truck, having a smoke.  Still.  I yelled at them.  "HEY!"  I clapped my hands twice, hard.  "NOW!" 
  There was a guy across the street working on something, and he saw me.  He laughed.  "That’s pretty good.  I like that."
  The TV was a bear.  It was in the basement, for crying out loud.  We took the tiny wheels off to make it easier to slide up the steps.  We got it on the steps, and under the low-hanging protrusion of drywall covering the ductwork.  It was ready to go. 
  It wouldn’t go.
  From the top, we couldn’t get purchase to pull.  From the bottom, the boys had not the strength to push.  After struggling for a few minutes with no results, I had me an idear.   I slid past it to the bottom, and had Mike get on the top.  I said, "Mike, you need to steer it.  It’s going to slide over to the side, you keep it lined up straight and going up, and keep it going up over the steps as we get to them.
  With that, I ducked down, got on the floor, put my back against it, and pushed.  It moved.  I kept pushing.  The boys held it, I readjusted, and pushed again.  We kept at it, me pushing it with my back until it was up and out of the basement.  "Now what do we do with it?"
  I still wasn’t clear to me who had ownership on what, or who Bob was.  They wanted to sell the TV.  They had no place to go with it.  After much hemming and hawing and going back and forth and a call to Detroit–
  The giant TV is in my garage.  Pending disassembly of the fireplace, it will go in my living room. 
  I am going to pay for it, a hundred dollars.  Not bad, I suppose.  I will pay Laura.  In addition to that, I got some prizes for free:
  First, this thing in the basement on the workbench, it was a wooden cabinet with little drawers in it, exactly what I was looking for to put my nuts and screws and nails in.  Yay.  It’s pretty nice, and looks hand-made.  I’ve been looking for something like this.
  Next, I got a golf club.  A long left handed driver, a one-wood.  The big dog.  A have a bag, now I have a club.  I just need a few more clubs and I can take up golf.
  And finally, Bunny handed me a couple of shot glasses and said, "Here, nobody will miss these."  She knows I collect them.  That’s awesome.

  We worked for quite a while, emptying the house.  I’m glad I have a skill that I can help people with:  Moving.  I’ve done it alot, and my dad taught me much about it, how to move, how to hold, how to grab, how to maneuver, how to make things fit.  I did as much supervising and directing–of everyone–as I did actual moving.
  The real test was the couch in the basement.  It was going to go in the dumpster in the driveway.  Problem:  It had a hide-a-bed.  And the hideaway was broke.  We tried several different ways, getting it all the way to the top but not through the door.  Finally, I got a flashlight and a screwdriver (Oh, yeah, the power was out.  I had some natural light coming in the basement windows, but by sundown this pig roast would be over.) and I removed the hide-a-bed from the couch frame. 
  No problemo.
  We took two trailer-loads of furniture to Bob’s brother–or maybe it was Laura’s brother–and then loaded up the TV to go in the truck we drove.  The house was basically empty by then, and mostly clean.  They were good to go.  The boys had been cranky and beligerant for the last hour, but I squeezed every last drop of work I could out of them, until they started to get pissed at me.  I would be a good foreman.
  Today Bunny explained the holes in the story that I hadn’t figured out.  She also said Bob was upset about the people coming over to help and the embarrassment associated with it–I don’t get that, not that much.  But Laura told him that if it wasn’t for Kim being able to raise an army–if it wasn’t for me and the boys getting in there and getting it done–it would have never been done, so suck it up.  It’s good to feel appreciated.
  As I promised them, I got pizza and beer for us.  When I finally–finally able to sit back on the couch with a beer in one paw and a piece of pizza in the other, I was so exhausted and hurt that I was done moving for a while.  But I felt a real sense of accomplishment.  Laura had been really appreciative of the work.  Not, you know, "blow job" appreciative, but close.  She said to get my tax shit together and get it over to her.
  So that’s cool.  I helped out a friend of a friend, and maybe made a new friend, and am one step closer to getting my goals for the year accomplished.  Go me.

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