(originally posted 5/27/2012)
I think you’d be hard pressed to find an industry with a worse reputation than the home improvement crowd. These independent contractors make used-car salesmen look reputable in comparison.
And who can blame them?
Is there anything funnier than the idea of working on someone’s home and doing a poor job? If I could do anything in the world I think I’d be a bad handyman. I am a true follower, nay devotee, of unconstructionalism.
I’d definitely be a doors and windows guy.
There is just something so awesome about agreeing to repair someone’s front door and then only completing half the work. Spend the morning taking down the door and then the frame, going off to the Home Depot to pick up the new door and then never returning. Just leaving the house with no door. A big hole in the front so the wind and small animals can just walk the fuck in. The homeowner assuming that I’ve gone for lunch and then sitting there all mad and impotent as the afternoon wears on and there is no sign of me. Nobody would think that I wasn’t coming back. It would be beyond their ability to process, they would just pace back and forth and then as the sun sets they would be calling the porn line I gave them as my phone number. Trying desperately to explain how I removed their door and didn’t return at the same time telling the girl who sounds like she just arrived in the country via a freight container from Eastern Europe that they are not interested in what she is wearing.
I would just go home and sit their doubling over in a fit of glee imagining this poor fuck trying to come up with some way to barricade the gaping opening in his once-secure home before a horde of mosquitoes and stinging insects starts to march in and have at his family.
The look on his face the next morning as he keeps looking out where his front door use to be waiting to see me pull up and apologize and put in a door. But I never show. Ever. It would be completely beyond him to think that I would take down his front door and not come back. He’d be frozen in disbelief. He might go six months before he finally accepts I’m not coming back and he’s going to need to hire somebody to fix it. I would be like some ex-lover in his subconscious. I bet by the end he blamed himself for me not returning.
If I really worked hard I bet I could remove both the front door and the sliding glass doors in the back at the same time. Same disappearing act but now I could imagine the wind whistling through the house in addition to all the other unpleasantries I would be heaping on these stupid bastards.
I swear, if I left and an hour later a terrible storm came through, with driving rain and lashing winds, I think I might die of joy. Just imaging the family scampering around trying to block the doors and mop up the rain and wondering where people get all those sandbags when there are floods, it might just be too much for my weak heart!
If I somehow came into a boatload of money I think I would hire a team of workers. That way I could find a nice elderly couple and stake them out. Waiting for the day before the first big snowstorm of the season. Then I could go in and remove all the doors and windows. Enjoying their tea and biscuits they would no doubt offer up, knowing that I was hours away from high-tailing it out of there with all their doors and windows in my possession. Back to my secret lair like some sort of hardware Grinch. Reading about them the next day. The two frozen corpses found the next morning, sitting in their living rooms waist deep in a snow drift. Pictures of their grandchildren buried on the coffee table where only hours before I had enjoyed a few Gingersnaps and tales of their exploits in WW II.
That may be the funniest thing I can physically imagine. The police wondering who the fuck would steal an old couple’s doors and windows. Old people are just gullible enough to let someone do that. Stupid stupid stupid old people. They almost deserve to freeze to death in their own living rooms.
I guess there is something so inherently vulnerable about doors and windows. The whole “house is his castle” thing. Take away the door and it’s like his fly is down in public. Touch his windows and that simple act of fenestration undermines his mental substrate and threatens to make him lose his tempered.
Anyway. I wonder how many people you need to do this to before you end up with your face all over the TV.
I think it’s time I found out.