Zen & The Art of HVAC Maintenance

“Knock! Knock! Knock!” upon my door this morning.

“Who’s there?”

“Maintenance.”

Rot-Row.

“What did I fuck up?” Were the first thoughts in my head.

I opened the door.

Full-Sleeve’d Tatoo’d young HVAC Guy standing there.

“I’m here to clean your A/C.”

“Well, come on in. Sorry for the disarray; I am still moving in.” (After almost three months, I am still ‘moving in.’)

Together we cleared a pathway to my HVAC unit and had some chat.

Mostly ‘bout politics and the unsteady state of our union.

He was (seemed) engaged by my repartee.  But I suppose he gets paid to not only service HVAC, but also to put up with the broken folk who live here in Lion’s Den, Commerce America.

He took my HVAC away and said he’d be back in ‘bout thirty minutes.

I said, “I’ll wait; got no pressing engagements this morning.”

Presently, he returned with my brand-new, cleaned up, sanitized for my protection, HVAC Unit.

Reinstalled same.

He gathered his tools and his little ‘Go-Cart’ HVAC dolly and made his way to my Front Door.

I thanked him.

As I was holding the door open for him, Teresa, the House-Keeper was walking down the hall.

“What’s up Baby?” she exclaimed.

“Same ol’ same ol’ “ I said back. “And, Oh! Thank you so much for what you did for me while I was in Hospital.” (She had cleaned my hooch and taken out the trash while I was ‘On Sabbatical’ in Denton)

“No problem Baby. You need me, call me anytime.”

Then as I was about to close my front door, I noticed one of those “Do Not Disturb” door tags had been placed upon my door knob…

Seems word is out.

(This is a rather small community, as communities go and word travels fast)

Word is out:

“Do NOT Fuck with This Man.”

 

Leaf Lady, Brick Walls, Jaguar Engineering, And Driving While Blind

Leaf Lady was seriously raking leaves in the midst of a thirty-knot wind across the street from my house. Every time she managed to accumulate a pile the wind would sweep them away. (Leaf Lady looks almost exactly like ‘Granny’ from the Beverly Hillbillies–and probably about the same age)

“Goddamn Mother-Fuck!” she would scream as she shook her rake at the sky not unlike Scarlett-I’ll-never-be-hungry-again O’Hara.

Roberta and I drove upon this scene one Sunday morning.

Leaf Lady was no stranger to us, so we just ignored her and went about our business.

We parked in my ample driveway all the way forward so as to be closer to my back door.

We walked up to the steps and could still hear Leaf Lady screeching at the sky cussing about ‘People fucking up her yard!”

We made our way past my laundry cubicle and entered the kitchen. Our mission was to liberate some cookbooks of mine for ‘Roberta Purposes.’

I grabbed a stack of books from a shelf, placed them on the counter and asked, “Baby, will these do?”

“Oh, I NEED these,” she said, as she grabbed “Barbeque Bible” and “White Trash Cooking” from the stack.

As we were attempting to load up her Jag with these wonderful books, a station wagon came screeching into my driveway, stopping just short of ramming into ‘Berta’s Jag.

Out jumped Kenny K. Most likely drunk.

“Hey! What Y’all doin’?” He exclaimed as he made his unsteady way through my gate and up to the steps.

“Hiya Kenny” Roberta answered. “What brings you about this Sunday Morning?”

“I saw your Jag and thought I’d just drop in.”

“Well come on in; we’re having Mimosas.”

(Roberta had brought a jug of Mimosas, just in case our book expedition took too long)

Kenny said, “Great” and we all retired back to the kitchen to consume more Mimosas.

We consumed about three quarters of the jug when suddenly Kenny decided there was some other place he was supposed to be.

Probably Church.

(Just kidding)

As Roberta and I were gathering up the prized cook books and schlepping them to the car, we heard a loud, very loud ‘screech.”

And then a louder ‘crash.’

I had just caught a fleeting glimpse of Kenny reversing at a high rate of speed into Leaf Lady’s yard and almost destroying her prized pecan sapling. Tree bark flying all over.

Shit got real at this point.

Kenny Immediately fled (seems he was under some kind of Court Injunction Fun-Shun—something ‘bout DUI—or something. Probation, I suppose. Anyhow, he fled the scene.)

So, this left me and Roberta to placate Leaf Lady and try to forestall her calling the Police.

Leaf Lady was, at this point livid. (As you may well imagine)

“That Mother-Fucker has killed my tree!”

(Gotta love Leaf Lady by now. I’d bet she was never in the Navy, but she should have been)

Roberta tried to calm her:

“Look, your tree is OK. Just some bark, barked off… It will be fine.”

“Bullshit!” Leaf Lady retorted.

Roberta pulled a fifty-dollar bill from her purse and handed it to Leaf Lady.

This calmed her some.

I did same and handed her another fifty (which I could not afford)

This calmed her further.

We just left her there, counting her good fortune.

This bought us (me and Roberta) enough time to return to my house and retrieve and load up the cookbooks into the Jag.

In her haste, Roberta threw the cook books into the floorboard of her Jag.

(Foreshadowing)

We boarded the Jag and sped away, listening to Leaf Lady screaming, “I want that Mother-Fucker in Jail!’

Whatever.

We sped away, laughing at the reminisce of Leaf Lady.

Drove the three blocks to Robert’s house.

She sped into the driveway as she had done about ten thousand times before.

And applied the brakes.

‘Cept they did not apply.

(The cookbooks had fucked her—blocking her brakes—no way)

We crashed through some metal garden furniture and then a half-high brick wall, destroying it.

The Jag was determined to keep on keeping on, but I threw her into drive and killed the engine.

Once the car had stopped its forward progress, ‘Berta jumped out and did her best impersonation of Leaf Lady:

She (Roberta) freaked the fuck out!

“Oh my Gawd! Oh My Gawd! Oh My GAWD!

I got out of the passenger side and assessed the ‘damage.’

Weren’t none. (Jags are the shit)

There was just a little bit of white paint on the hood of the Jag.

Of course the garden party furniture was destroyed, as was the brick half wall, but other than that, no nada.

I tried to point this out to Roberta.

She having none of it.

“Look what you have made me do!”

“Excuse me?!”

“Look at this!”

“Look at what? Precisely?”

“This wall is a mess! The garden furniture is a wreck!”

“Three or four Meskins can fix this in two hours. You have the money. Sort it out manana.”

Wrong answer, Marine.

I finally calmed her and we went into the house and got very, very drunk.

She recruited some Meskins next day.

And they made ever’thang alright.

As they do (hard-workers them) Love them. 

 

UBH Chapter Two

So, after the ‘checking in’ process was sorted, I was led into the ‘Community Room’ and parked there.

“Wait! Where is the help I was promised?”

“The doctor will be about shortly”

“Okay. I’ll wait.”

I sat down in the corner and observed the people—my fellow in-mates.

The whole group seemed to be rather lethargic.

“What this group needs is a shot of Beam” I thought to myself.

As I was watching, I spied a young, Ornamental Girl who seemed to have some energy left in her body.

And I wanted to have some chat with her.

Turns out later, her name was ‘Ethel’ (fake name) but no way I could have known that at this time. I just wanted to get close to her.

And, eventually, I did.

Rest is history.

After about two hours of ‘inmate watching’ I sat down, introduced myself and announced ‘I am the smartest person in this room.’

Imagine my surprise when the laughter hit me like a slow bullet.

But ‘Ethel,’ ‘ET’ that was her nic…. Sat down beside me…

Thus began yet another unrequited love affair…

More to come…

She is not Chinese, but I could not find any Cambodian-American songs.

This will have to suffice.

William Henry

Back in 1974 I found myself at Warrior Stadium, Watching the HG Warriors kick the ever’ loving shit outta those Fannindale (dale?, del?)  Ladonia! I was born in that town, ’57! Guess I can call their football team what-ever-the-fuck I want…  Falcons.

I should have been on the field, but I had opted out my senior year, because I was tired of the whole “Friday Night Lights” shit.

And I was too busy.

Seated on opposite sides of me were Joe Whitley (Who was a math teacher and a rancher and father of my girlfriend, and also my employer) and William Henry—Local Big Boy and World – Famous Drunk.

We were seated near the top of the stadium, nearly to the “Press Box.”

William Henry looked behind and spied something that interested him.

Behind the stands was the ‘Practice Field’ of the Famed Honey Grove Warriors.

There was a ‘Blaster Machine’ parked there.

Joe and I watched William Henry navigate down the stands and make his way toward same.

We watched with great curiosity as William Henry studied this machine.

He backed up ‘bout fifty foot and charged head-long into it.

Boom!

It slid back ‘bout ten feet.

He shook his head.

Went back another fifty foot.

Charged again.

Hit it full force.

Boom!

Slid back another ten foot.

William Henry in earnest now hit it with all his might (and his head)

Boom!

Still did not get through.

(Blaster Machines are a one – way street)

Joe and I watched him navigate his way back up to our seat.

He sat down, and with blood running into his eyes, said,

“Ya know, you gotta be one tough sumbitch to play football!”

True Story.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_3yfyhmNc8

Life Is Just A Tire-Swing

With no great humility, nor trepidation, I submit the following profound statement:

“I have never been happier in recent/decent remote past memory”

I have become that…

“Happy Camper.”

Broke

No joke.

And laughing at my own…

Jokes.

Never Been Happier.

Life has finally given me a break.

(And a pass)

For Now.

Cheers

Y’all.

“Life is Just A Tire Swing.”

Swing High, Sweet Cheerios!

Or something along those lines…

Madness! And Sadness!

Madness is NOT a communicable disease.
As is WuFlu, or Mumps, or Measles, or even AIDs.
No!
Madness is just genetic.
(I am hoping)
And therefore, may be cured.

Vain fantasy.
Who am I kidding?
Madness is inescapable.
It cuts to the quick.
To the core.
It is ALWAYS with…
You.
For fucking ever.
No cure.
For sure.
No Nada.
Good Luck Cowboy

William, I Am, Shakespeare has ‘Madness’ running all around his drama.
Lear.
Hamlet
MacBeth
R&J (lesser, but it is there)
And on and on.
More of this later…promise)

To quote King Lear:
“Oh God! Please let me be not mad!”

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