Friday, June 17, 2005

With Apologies To Any Of You Decent Contractors Out There, And If You're Reading This Can You Send Us Your Number

We are trying to get our backyard re-landscaped. I guess I should re-phrase that, as by using the words 're-landscaped' it would infer that there exists in some vague form an actual landscape that would lend itself to being re-done, when in fact what there is is a vast expanse of dying lawn, a hundred year old sprinkler system who's pipes are visible ("Very industrial!", I like to tell our visitors), a couple of annoying berry-pooping trees, and a four-foot tall shrub that resembles a hitchhiking thumb ("Pruning bushes into the shapes of animals is so passé!" I also like to tell our visitors.)

What started out as a fun, simple home-improvement project has turned into a brain-sucking chore, as it seems that finding a decent, affordable landscaper is about as difficult as finding a refrigerator repair man shy about showing his butt-crack. We recently called one who was recommended by a friend to come by and give us an estimate. He showed up for our initial meeting and looked around, took some time asking us questions, stroked his chin, grunted and said he'd get back to us. He seemed interested to do the job, but when I called him Tuesday to inquire about his fees, he acted puzzled, as if I had asked him to spell his name or something equally vexing for someone of his mental capacity. His response was that he "needed to come back and take a good look around" which I found odd - hadn't he JUST DONE THAT, or had that been his evil twin, casing the joint and plotting his heist of my substantial dead-plants-in-pots collection? I was eager to get an estimate though, so we set up a time to meet the following day. When he didn't show up, I called him and he apologized, saying he had forgotten, so we set up another meeting for yesterday.

Well, golly gee, he didn't show up yesterday either! Imagine that - forgetting to show up not one, but TWO days! I figure he must have had a Mensa meeting he had to hightail it to, and decided not to come or call, since everyone knows that women who work at home, with two kids have absolutely nothing better to do with their time but wait for troglodytes with big trucks and bad breath to invade their living quarters.

I immediately started writing him a nasty email, but Rigel forbid me to send it, fearing Mr. Contractor would get his thong all in a bunch and come burn a cross on our lawn. (I'm tempted to print his name, phone number and home address here but Rigel - he is serious about the cross burning thing.) Here is what I wanted to send - don't know what Rigel's afraid of since I tried to keep it subtle and professional:

Dear Jackass,
Thanks for coming by yesterday, after forgetting about our meeting the previous morning. Oh, wait – you DIDN'T COME. Anyways, thanks for calling to let me know you wouldn’t be coming, as, contrary to your behavior, my time is just as valuable as your time – oh wait, you DIDN'T CALL either.

So, I'm just curious - was there a TwoFer special on corn dogs at the AM/PM MiniMart you didn't want to miss? Were you not able to call because your dialing finger was stuck up your nose? Whatever your reason, I didn't appreciate wasting two whole mornings waiting for your hairy ass to show up.

Truth be told, we weren't going to hire you anyway - I have to admit I just wanted the opportunity to watch your almost-human form saunter around my backyard, your knuckles scraping the ground and your big paws leaving soft tracks in the earth. We were all amused by your advanced behavior - when you uttered, "Me. Do. Building. Stuff." it was all we could do to keep from clapping our hands in delight and throwing you some unpeeled fruit to drag back to your cave. And what a learning experience - to be able to show our children a living example of the impressive, yet unrefined capabilities of the early primate! For this I must say thank you, thank you Mr. Contractor!

A Fan

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