Adding handyman to 'rescue me' file — priceless

Oh the joys of home ownership — especially if your home is an aged riverside cottage that has survived myriad floods and the dubious attentions of hapless homeowners and incompetent carpenters.

Friday started with another visit from Bruce Almighty — my new favorite handyman. A few weeks ago, he and I had inspected my sagging deck from the yard. This time I actually let him in the house. (Yes. I'm careful like that now because of lessons learned the hard way.)

As we made our way through my tiny cottage, the nice man couldn't help noticing there is a very steep angle to the kitchen floor.

"Um ... is it just me ... or ...?" he said, cocking his head.

It's not just him. As my regrettably retired and former favorite home helper, Honest John, once said, "Girlie, if you set loose a marble at the top of this kitchen, that sucker would pick up so much speed rolling downhill it'd smash through your sliding-glass door."

I pointed out to Almighty some of the work done by previous owners, and Dastardly Dave, an unfortunate fellow who'd come highly recommended by someone who must have been drunk at the time.

Almighty laughed and laughed. Then shook his cocked head. After thoroughly perusing my deck's many dilemmas, Almighty promised to write something up and get back to me. Then, with a cheery smile, he left to go golfing.

I continued to toil away on new stories at my desk, and the mercury continued to rise outside. As did the temperatures in my normally cool abode.

Writing is getting increasingly difficult as my brain cells seem to be decaying faster than my rotting deck. But I don't usually break out in a sweat seeking the perfect synonym.

I headed to the thermostat, spun the dial downward and went back to work. About an hour later, rivulets of sweat were racing down my spine, disrupting my mental flow.

Perplexed, I headed to the hallway again. And discovered it wasn't my grinding brainbox that was causing me to feel overheated. There simply wasn't any cool air coming out of the vents.

I called The Englishman.

My erstwhile beau has been seriously MIA whilst doing serious rehabbing on a series of ramshackle shacks he purchased in California. Hence he has become geographically undesirable. At least for me. At least for now. But that doesn't stop T.E. from kibbutzing via daily phone calls about the ongoing disasters that occur at Ruin on the River.

Which leads me back to Friday afternoon.

"My air-conditioner has given up the ghost," I said, adding the obvious facts that it was after 4 p.m. And the anticipated, blisteringly hot weekend has already commenced for many.

T.E. politely pointed out he was in another state, six hours away. Disinclined to drop what he was doing and race to my aid, my un-beloved suggested I call a repair man.

Hanging up, I called Almighty. I have learned through tragic experience that when heading down scary Unknown Repairman Road, it's better to tell someone where you're going.

Almighty offered up the number of a fellow who, he promised, knew his capacitors from his crawdads.

"Do you want me to come tonight?" queried the unknown stranger, after asking a series of intelligent questions. Stunned to hear that was even an option, I stammered, "Yes. Please. The cat is hot. So are the parrots. Me, too!"

Miracle Mike arrived within a half-hour. The AC unit was back in operation in less than that. A new capacitor and freezy juice cost $249. Getting a good night's sleep — and adding another knight to my Rescue Me file — priceless.

Reach reporter Sanne Specht at 541-776-4497 or email sspecht@mailtribune.com.

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