Cliff the Plumber returned to my house this morning, with some broad in tow. His wife? Sister? Just a random apprentice? I have no idea, but their working relationship was stressing me the fuck out. Cliff spent most of the time working through the hole in the ceiling while she was in the bathroom getting lowkey berated by him. I say lowkey because he maintained a monotone through it all, even when a piece of a pipe fell down and hit him (Henry said he thinks it hit him in the head lol) and she was like, “Are you OK?” and he very dryly said, “No. I’m not OK” and then continued working. Later, he quietly monotoned, “Ow. That went in my eye.”
I work from home, and my desk is literally in the dining room where he was working so this was awkward AF. I usually use Jabber to chat with my work-friends, but I didn’t want CLIFF to see that I was giving plumbing play-by-plays so I was covertly texting from my lap under my desk, like he was my manager or something.
At one point, Cliff had to go out to his van and when he opened the front door, he said, “Hi squirrel” so that was nice of Cliff to acknowledge that this is Squirrel Town.
But back to his plumber lady. He kept asking her questions through the hole and when she would respond, he would exasperatedly huff, “I can’t hear you!” like it’s her fault she has to communicate around a corner and through a hole, you know? My two least favorite moments were:
- when he slightly raised his voice and said COME ON, MAN. DO I HAVE TO COME UP THERE?
- when he lost his patience and snapped COME DOWN HERE NOW. And then he met her at the bottom of the steps (RIGHT NEXT TO MY DESK, FYI) and said, “You’ve done this a TRILLION TIMES. WHAT IS THE PROBLEM?” She sputtered out an excuse but he didn’t hang around to hear it – he was already on his way up the steps to DO THE FUCKING JOB RIGHT.
I kept furiously texting Henry (WHO HAD FALLEN ASLEEP ON THE COUCH, BOY I’M SO GLAD THIS FUCKING HERO CAME HOME FROM WORK TO BE HERE WITH ME DURING THIS TRYING TIME) things like, “Can you please turn the TV on so there is some kind of background noise, because this is fucking awkward!?” You know what he put on? Some video of someone walking around a town and not speaking. There was like NO SOUND.
The whole thing took a little less than 2 hours, thank god. Afterward, they were washing their hands in the kitchen and openly discussing all the stuff in there. “That is really cool.” “Look, it’s Pee Wee!” “Oh, that must be from a pinball machine.”
Then CLIFF spent some time admiring Henry’s Seoul Subway Sign and Henry kept saying, “I AM MAKING A NEW ONE. IT’S GOING TO BE BETTER” and Cliff was like, “OK calm down.”
I mean, he didn’t say that but he was probably thinking it. Or maybe I was just thinking it loud enough for all of us.
The good news is that we FINALLY have new pipes, can use the shower again, and THE TUB DRAINS IMMEDIATELY so we’re not basically standing in bath water when showering. It only took actual decades for this to happen.
The bad news is that there is an even bigger hole in the ceiling and we are at the mercy of the landlord and whichever one of his goons he chooses to send to “fix” it. Henry is certain it’s going to end up being him so he’s prepared to bill the landlord himself.
Our Christmas party is less than a month away and I have a pretty good feeling that this hole will still be there, so if you see pictures of a random swath of Christmas wrapping paper taped to the ceiling, that’s uh….JUST PART OF THE XMAS DECOR, MOVE YOUR EYES ELSEWHERE.