Tuesday, April 29, 2008

an update in our ongoing studies of (a) hypochrondria in the young and (b) rudeness in contractors

On Friday morning, I was relaxing in my bathrobe with five year-old Lucy, when the doorbell rang. It was one of the workmen employed by the contractor building a home nearby, who has locked horns with me on a number of occasions. The worker asked me to please move my car (which was legally parked by my house) because a truck was stuck trying to get through. I told him I'd move it in a few minutes (there was no way I was leaving the house in my bathrobe; I didn't even have underwear on). The worker told me that there was a car stuck behind the truck which wanted to get through. (Funnily enough when one of those trucks trapped me in my car, unable to reach my house and meet our scheduled speech therapist, the contractor told me I had no right to complain as anyone who lives in a city must expect to get stuck behind trucks all the time).

After I got dressed, washed my face, and brushed my teeth, I went down and moved my car. The contractor was in a fury, pacing about in the street, but he didn't speak to me.

Six hours later I was driving the children home when I found a peculiar obstacle. The contractor -- or his minions -- had put five or six orange cones out in front of my house, arranged in a pyramid shape. It was difficult to get past them (this is a very narrow street), and they prevented me from parking in front of my own house (and mind you, there are two houses and an alley between me and his construction site. There was clearly no purpose to be served by the cones other than to annoy me).

I told the Sober Husband about this later, and he clearly didn't want to hear about it. "Why don't you write on your blog about this?"

"That must be a euphemism for 'shut up with your ceaseless yammering'," I said.

Meanwhile in that same day, Iris Uber Alles reported a headache in the evening and some nausea. I believed this, because she was wan, clingy, and wanting to lie down. However, five year-old Lucy would not stand for her big sister getting any extra attention. "I have a headache! And my stomach hurts, too!" she chirped, jumping up and down as she tried to get my attention as I felt Iris's forehead. Lucy then moved in for the kill: "And my tongue hurts!" She always goes one symptom too many, poor Lucy. She's a failure as a hypochondriac.


hughman said...

surely you must have some legal recourse to dealing with this contractor. isn't there some law about where they can randomly set cones or how far from the site? perhaps you should contact the owner of the property?

also, lucy is going to cry wolf one time too many at some point.

Silliyak said...

I'm still trying to figure out how you can relax with Lucy in your bathrobe.

the Drunken Housewife said...

The sorrow of it all, Hughman my dear, is that the contractor is the owner of the property.

Lucy has indeed cried wolf too many times. I haven't bothered to report the other two days this week she was allegedly ill (it was too banal to report). Of course, if I ever neglect a real illness, she can send me to hell where I'll have no friends. There's always that.

hughman said...

well at some point her symptoms will have to equal her ailment. i.e., if her tounge hurts, she can't talk.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I have to tell you, you make my day. Mom of 4 here, all under age 10. Too much coffee, not enough wine. When you think you might be fed up with your banal life, know that you gave me a good laugh and helped me make it through my often mundane but never boring day.

hokgardner said...

I'd have been tempted to "accidentally" sideswipe the cones and send them flying.

Freewheel said...

There must be something creative and mischievious that you could do with those orange cones.

Captain Steve said...

Last summer they were doing roadwork by my mum and stepdad's house. My stepdad likes to sit on the porch and watch people, so he would wait until no one was around or watching, and go rearrange the cones. Then he would get up early the next day to see what the people would do.

Missy said...

I hate all contractors, after our kitchen remodeling experience. I think they are genetically hard-wired to see the rest of us as miserable little objects getting in the way of Their Project while we are also Cheating Them of a Decent Living.

I'm not bitter or anything. I just hate them.

Let's all figure out some really clever way to get even and not get caught.

the Drunken Housewife said...

You know, Missy, one of the sorrows of my life is that my fingerprints are on file. It sorely limits me.

Also, I really would be Suspect #1 in this case. The enmity between me and the sociopathic contractor is well-established.

To be fair to contractors as a whole, I had a friend for awhile who was a contractor and a delightful person. He did some work for me on my old house, which turned out well.

I won a day's work from a contractor (a dad from Lola's pre-k) at our preschool's silent auction. Let us see how that unrolls.

hughman said...

maybe you should just have the contractor you won have a little mano-a-mano with the evil contractor. at least he might know more about laws in this case.

Missy said...

I know there are some good contractors out there, our pool guy was fabulous and we've had other good work done inside on the house. I just can't see it for the black fog that surrounds me as I listen to DH finishing the clean up work left from that SOB.

I am held back by the thought of being the lead item on the evening news, identified by my school district name as an employee...with my ID badge photo in high-def on somebody's 52 inch screen.

Congrats on winning the day's worth of work. That was definitely a great auction item!

Trouble said...

This contractor was why sugar was invented for gas tanks.

the Drunken Housewife said...

I love the idea of using my day of a contractor to get my contractor to go mano a mano with the sociopathic contractor!

My contractor is an extraordinarily fit rock-climbing maniac! Plus he wears really rad contracting pants from Sweden (I am not making this up). The other contractors all ask him, "Where do you get those pants?" I have no idea how he is at actual contracting, however, but his pants are brilliant.