Posts Tagged ‘ jim ’

Searching For An Untroubled Plumber

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The Sink That Started The Frantic Search

Here’s why I need a plumber.

Bill’s car died and has to be hauled off to a Car Cemetery.

Bill tripped over his feet and fell flat with a thud on the patio. I thought the thud was his head, but it turns out it’s his elbow which is black and blue. He smarts in many places but the good thing is his back was hurting for 3 months and now that pain is gone. We think the fall gave him an adjustment.

The drain in Bill’s kitchen sink is plugged up clear to the back wall and we need a plumber.

So. Now I am Bill’s chauffeur and he has to wash his many dishes in my sink, in my house. However, the body wreckage he’s suffered doesn’t affect me thank goodness, as I have my own.

Our first order is to find a plumber. The car burial can come later.

The plumber I always use is not returning my calls. I believe he has run off. My guts say his wife left him. I am sorry about that, but I can’t fix him and obviously, he’s not emotionally able to drain Bill’s sink and clear the pipes. He may be drunk some where, I don’t know.

Bill gets out the town’s yellow pages and begins the hunt for a good plumber.

As I am his landlordess, I give him instructions.

“Get the Senior Rate. Get a plumber who doesn’t charge to come out and look. Ask me before you choose one as I have lived in this town a long time and know a lot of people.”

Bill doesn’t want my instruction. He curls his lips and gets to work. From the other side of the door I hear him drop the yellow pages and turn to his computer. He’s making calls in his Studio. These darn walls are way too thin.

My brother Jim comes over to nap on my living room couch. (Oh come on now, I haven’t time to explain that one. I’m trying to tell you about looking for a plumber.)

Bill raps on the door between his studio and my house. He comes into my Great Room and says, “Hi Jim. OK. This guy I called will do the drain for $80 and he’s asking questions about the leak in your tub faucet and what else you want done.”

“Who is he?” I ask.

“What does it matter who he is?!”

“I may know him,” I say.

Bill turns and goes into his place and I follow.

“It’s Dan Donovan Plumbing, if you must know,” he says.

“Not him!” I yell.


“I can’t remember why. I just know I have a down feeling about it, some memory in the past.”

Bill snorts.

Then, I notice he’s on the phone.

“Ah..I’ll call you back,” he says and hangs up.

Darn. Why didn’t he tell me he was talking to the man?

“You can always do this yourself you know!” Bill snarls.

He gets all irritated and comes back into my house with the phone book.

Jim shouts from the couch, “Who? Dan Donovan!? He ripped me off! He charged me an extra hundred dollars and then left shit everywhere in my place! ”

“Oh,” Bill says as he turns around and goes back into his studio. (more…)

A Weekend With Jim

Wednesday, June 26th, 2013

We’ll Get To This In A Minute

Here’s The Jim News:

Jim is my brother who has All The Troubles. They follow him around like a cosmic, comic dark cloud. You can read about him in many other places on my blog.

Here is the latest from Jim.

I’m at our sister Polly’s house. Jim is living here at the moment while he is waiting for his life to make sense.

The three of us are sitting on puffy chairs, under a canopy, gazing out at Polly’s raucous flowers and a line of eucalyptus trees.

Jim says, “I just read a newspaper article about a mother and daughter who were arrested for breaking into a government building. Did you see that?”

No, we haven’t read about it.

“Well, the mother and daughter got arrested because they broke into some government building and then they broke into a freezer in there and stole 5,000 gopher feet from the freezer!”

Polly and I are stunned. 5,000 gopher feet?Why would someone want 5,000 gopher feet? We try and think of possible explanations and decide that there must be a bounty on gophers and people get paid to prove they killed them. But, why would the government feel compelled to keep the feet?

Jim has another story to tell. While looking for more permanent work as a chef, he’s cooking at a lovely Old Age Home. He cooks the old ladies gourmet meals.

The ladies in question are an interesting mix. All the way from Hospice care to fully functioning.

He says, “One lady, Julia, followed me all over the place a few days ago. She badgered me all day, making demands about the food and all kinds of things. She is usually pretty quiet and reserved, so I was surprised.

“Well, yesterday she wasn’t following me and nagging at me and I didn’t see her anywhere. I said to someone, “Where’s Julia?”

“Then, I hear all the sirens and up drives an ambulance and a fire truck.

“Now we know where Julia is. She’s dead in her bed and she’s all purple.

“I say, ‘How can this be?! She was so jolly and active the day before!'”

Polly and I remind Jim that Mom was like this before she passed. She was in a coma at home for at least a week with no eating or drinking.

One morning the hospice lady calls me early and says, “Venus! Come on over! Your Mom wants to have breakfast and coffee with you!”

All of us kids rushed to Mom’s house. Mother had coffee with ice cream in it and I made her a full breakfast. Which she ate. She was very talkative and we all laughed and had a hilarious time.

Later, she slipped back into the final good-bye.

Jim now leaves for work, but before the weekend is over, we have another Jim Story.

All of us kids think Jim is almost deaf. We secretly think he may even be getting some dementia. Why else can’t he follow directions and conversations and repeats things? We tell him he must get his hearing checked, that how can he find a good job when he can’t hear?

Polly sends Jim to Cost Co for a hearing test. Jim comes back with surprising news.

“The woman looks into my ears..she was very cute..and says, ‘well, I know why you can’t hear. You have so much wax in your ears that it is all the way out to the edges of your ears and it’s so old, it’s black!’

We are aghast.

“But,”Jim says, “I told her I always clean my ears and she says that’s the problem. That I was always just pushing the wax farther into my ears and causing a total back-up. She told me to put this oil in my ears for a week and after that I will be shocked at everything I am hearing!”

To round off my weekend, I sit with a lady at lunch and watch her pour 2 packets of Saccharin into her glass of wine!

But, the most exciting thing for me this weekend is Albertson’s Grocery stores announcing that they have gotten rid of their Club card!

I totally dislike those cards we all have to get with some grocery stores and pharmacies, etc. We must have the cards, we must use them to get ‘deals’ or the ‘best prices.’ If we don’t have their card we pay lots more money for groceries and product. How dumb is this? Sometimes, I think that We The People should be in charge. Why are some corporations so inept at knowing how to keep customers and making good business decisions?

Oh well. On a brighter subject, like wine….Maybe there is a good reason why that lady puts Saccharin in her wine. Come to think of it, she works for Albertson’s Grocery store!

There must be some crazy connection. But, what is it? I’d like to know what you think. People love to read your comments so I hope you will post one.

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By Golly, It’s Another FOD!

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013


Jim, Wearing My Glasses, Fighting With The Air Hose

It’s turning out to be a FOD.

When my granddaughter was about 7 she mentioned that every time she’s with me we always have “Fun, But Odd Days.”

“We have FOD days, Babba,” she said.

Right now I am not having so much fun, but it is an odd day.

I’ve asked my brother Jim to show me how to check the air in my car tires and to show me how to fill them. I have 2 blinking lights in my car and when I look the symbols up in my car manual, it says tersely, “Pull over to the side of the road immediately.”

Eeeh gads.

Jim meets me at the gas station. He’s huffy and puffing around like he’s in a hurry to be somewhere else.

After I rustle up 4 quarters he gets the air pump going but he has forgotten his glasses. He can’t see what he’s doing without them and so he takes mine.

Now, I can’t see what he’s doing and the whole point of this is that I will watch closely and see what I need to learn.

Jim is busy unscrewing some little tubes on the tires and I try unscrewing one, myself. My hands are now streaked with black grease. So are Jim’s.

Next, he yanks and pulls the long air hose away from the pump and says “We gotta’ hurry before the air runs out. We only have 3 minutes.”

I wonder out loud why we started the pump before we got the ‘thingers’ out of the tires.

Jim is whipping the hose around and complaining about how his day has gotten all scrambled up.

I wrote a list,” he says, “and this wasn’t on the list.”

The hose won’t reach the back tires. Jim has a hissy fit.

I move the car.

The hose gets away from Jim and snaps in large circles in the air, like a champagne fueled horse whip. We both scream and duck.

Jim then leaps into the ethers like a ballet dancer, grabs the hose, subdues it and starts to fill the tires to 33 pounds of pressure. I’m hanging over him, trying to see where he puts the hose and trying to see how he measures the air. Of course, I can’t see because Jim is wearing my glasses.

I’m frustrated and run my hands through my hair.

My white hair is now streaked with black tire grease.

The pump stops. Our three minutes are up.

We have one tire left to fill.

“No problem,” Jim says. “Leave it.”

“Leave it?!” I stammer. “What if that’s the tire that is bad?”

Jim checks the tire. It’s at 32. “Close enough”, he says.

He runs his black-greased hands through his white hair.

I look but I say nothing.

The day continues in a similar vein, too vexing to even write it out for you to wade through. It’s just one of those days that I don’t have on my list and neither does Jim.

When our sister Candy was in college, one of her teachers was an African American man. One day, someone in class mentioned the lists we make that we think will take control of our days and keep us in order.

The teacher said, “Only white people make lists. Black people never do. We just roll with the tide.”

That made a big impression on me but it didn’t stop me from making lists and getting frantic and fevered when during a day I couldn’t cross most things off that piece of paper.

All these years later I am still making lists. You can always find an old list of some kind in all my jean’s pockets and in the washing machine.

However, sheer age and time have worn me down.

I now make lists but I am loose with my days.

Every morning I think, ‘OK, I have a day planned and I have my list, but I know today will go however it goes and it probably will take turns I never expected.’

And, unlike in my former, more harried life, I look forward to the surprises.

As for today, how many times in my life have I almost been horse whipped by an arcing air hose?


‘Dang,’I think. ‘That’s something I wouldn’t have put on my list, today. I did have a FOD after all!’

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