Friday, August 17, 2012

ROW 80 DAY 37 – THE HANDYMAN


I trip the light fantastic. I sail up to the stars. I journey to the moons of Saturn. I peek at the horizon of Mars. I visit the mountains of the Himalayas and journey to the Arctic snows. I watch the revelers in Time Square on New Year’s Eve and… Gah.

Thus began and ended one of the cheesier ideas I’ve attempted to put on metaphorical paper, as it were. I have no idea where I was going with it, but figured a swift killing was in order, before it got too overblown. And none too soon.

I’ve got the flu. Nothing major, but I always have a great time when I get sick. Since I spend most of my time out of my head, I’m used to this. This is just more of the same, only more so. Anyway, I picked it up at the Doctor’s office last week; irony of ironies and it’s a gem. Full-blown hack, ache, snork, cough. I’m sure the shits and barfing await. Oh, goody. Anyway, I had this dream that I ended up at a Justin Bieber Concert and had my purse stolen (again!) by that crack ho, lost what little I.D. I had managed to accumulate, all my money, and ended up in California, where it took me 3 days to steal a cell phone, call JC to let him know, that no, I had not been stolen by Gypsies, and that yes, I would be bringing the milk home with me when I returned.

The thing that pisses me off about all this is, that I woke up in fits and starts about every 15 minutes and would thrash around and when I went back to sleep, this same damned dream would start right up where it left off. It went on forever. It also wasn’t helped by the fact that we’ve been watching “24, Season 3,” for about 6 hours straight. Jack Bauer, Nina Myers and the Salazar Brothers, cavorting with the Beebster up on stage got a bit lurid. So, I was in a swell frame of mind when I woke up and started thinking on some of my father’s “handyman” projects around the house. I may have mentioned what a swell mechanic he was. He was equally good as a House Husband, my mother used to holler, only not that politely.

Like the time my mother went shopping or maybe it was drinking one afternoon, I can’t remember which. She charged my father and I with doing the laundry and gave us highly specific instructions on how to do the whites. We were living in Los Angeles at the time and had a built-in swimming pool, with all the attendant maintenance supplies, which were kept in the garage with all the other shit that never got used to maintain the house and grounds. Alas, when he and I went to add bleach to the whites, there was no bleach so we added about 2 gallons of pool chlorine. The whites were white all right. They also had holes the size of basket balls. My father responded to my mother’s carping, “What are you bitching about, Sheila? They’re clean.” The fact that you could have worn one of the bath towels as a poodle skirt was lost on her.

Once, when we were living in San Jose, my parents had these huge dogs that roamed around in the back yard; Great Pyrenees. They were really lovely dogs, but again, no one gave a shit about the state of the yard and the dogs were just in perpetual motion. The back yard looked like a moonscape. My parents would pick up the poop, or I would, I can’t remember. We just didn’t want the neighbors to bitch. Anyway, one of the big screens fell off the kitchen window and my mom was snarking at my father to pick it up and put it back on the window. When he picked it up, he noticed one of the dogs had eaten a giant hole in the screen. He slapped that sucker up on the window, looked at my mom and said, “There, that’ll keep out the big ones.” End of fixing screen.

He always had a comeback; once, he did fix a piece of linoleum that had been warped by water in front of the dishwasher. It was nearly perfect, but there was one tiny sliver at one corner that was short. You would have to look very carefully to see the imperfection. My mother, and God bless her, lest you think she was always trying to pick on my father’s failings, that was not the case, she loved him dearly. My mother, says, “Glenn, how come it’s short on that end.” My father says, “That’s to show that I’m not God.” 


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