The Suck-Fest Continues in Three-Part Disharmony

To fully enjoy this post, you really should review the previous one, if you haven’t already…

I heard the Air-Conditioning Tech Guy begin descending the attic stair-ladder deathtrap.

I peeked out of the home office where I had been pretending to be busy doing whatever, in that weird stasis that exists when service personnel are banging around in your home. Do you stay nearby in case they have a question? Do you stay away in case they don’t like you breathing on them? It’s a wretched quandary, exacerbated by the fact that someone you don’t know is banging around in your house in the first place.

As his head came into view, I studied his face to determine what might be the next phase of our relationship. Did he just need something else from his company truck, filled as it was with mystical devices that meant nothing to people who didn’t do mystical things in attics? Was he about to announce that he had found an astonishing malfunction that would cost more than a liver transplant? Did he even remember me as the one who opened the door and pointed at the attic?

I couldn’t tell. His sweaty face betrayed nothing, other than an obvious desire for a beer and a new career. (I could help him with the first part, well-stocked afficionado that I am; he was on his own with second part. Good luck with that during the pandemic.)

Pause for editorial insertion: I haven’t yet given the guy a name because I don’t know what it was. I’m sure he announced it when he first arrived, but I was vibrating with joy that he had showed up on time and my giddiness caused a few mind-slips. Later, after the horrid journey had come to an end and he was gone, I scanned the invoice and spied nary a name, although I did spy the fact that he had never won a spelling bee. But I’m tired of typing out Air-Con Tech Guy, so we’ll go with… Hubert.

Hubert stepped off the final step and looked at me, with my inquisitive eyes peering out above my pineapple-motif face mask. (Long story on the origin of the mask, maybe we’ll get to that later.) “Your drip pan is full.”

This was an interesting pronouncement, especially since I spent the first half of this torrid tale describing, in unnecessary detail, that my personal drip pan was, indeed, full. How did he know? Did he hear me in the bathroom? (I tried to be quiet, swear, but you can’t always get what your orifices don’t want.) Time to clarify. “By drip pan, you mean…”

Hubert: “That it’s full. There’s a trigger on the pan, and when it gets full of condensation water, the unit shuts off.”

Wait a minute, that rang a bell. And a flashback to another experience. “But the last time we had the unit serviced, we had the same problem. And the tech connected the drip pan to a French Drain that he installed on the side of the house. Is the French Drain not working?”

Hubert paused to study my pineapple-masked face for signs of imbecility (and can you really blame him, considering my masking choice?), then he continued. “The main drip pan is connected. The emergency drip pan is not. They are similar, but not the same.”

I had another brief flashback, this one involving dialogue in “The Princess Bride”. Then I lobbed back. “So, what’s the purpose of the emergency drip pan?”

Hubert: “It’s there in case your main drip pan gets full.”

Me: “But the main drip pan is connected to the French Drain, right? So why isn’t the main pan draining?”

Humbert grimaced, not used to encountering clients who lobbed back. Most of them just want to know how many figures to write on the check so they can be done with it. “I will have to investigate that.”

Me: “That would be swell.” I beamed brightly, as if we had just bonded at summer camp.

Hubert did not appreciate the bonding, especially the insinuation that I knew what he did last summer. “But first I have to get something mystical out of my mystical truck. I cannot go into detail. Union rules and all.”

Me: “Terrific. I’ll continue to hover in the office and pretend that I’m doing something important.”

He went to his truck. I went to the office and moved things around on my desk, belching slightly, as my own drip pan had no intention of going softly into the dark night.

Hubert returned and traipsed up the rickety ladder stairs, dragging along wicked-looking implements that normally only appear in murder trials where the defendant is sent to prison forever. I moved things around a bit more. He banged on something in the attic for a while, presumably doing ghastly things. I refilled the stapler, one staple at a time. He tromped down the stairs and out the door multiple times, often staying out there for extended periods, presumably checking on things like the insubordinate French Drain or the outside compressor or the availability of sessions with his anger-management counselor.

At one point during all this, I tried to speak with Partner, who was still doing his “work from home” thing in the front room. He made hand motions that indicated he was on a very important conference call that required his full attention and my intrusion was not welcomed in an appreciative manner. To soften the blow, he gave me a thumbs-up signal that I was doing an admirable job, we’ll talk later. I scurried away, making a mental note of his abandonment, something I could bring up during divorce proceedings, should they occur.

Hours later, or perhaps minutes, the timeline gets a bit fuzzy when it’s so hot in the house that one’s love nuggets have descended to one’s knees, Hubert accosted me in the hallway. “It looks like your compressor has a leak.”

Again with the odd reference to my own internal turbulence. (I tried to be quiet, swear.) “Can you fix that?”

Hubert: “I can try. It might need to be replaced.” Then he ran out the door, and I’m fairly certain he was smiling.

I was not smiling. Replacing anything in the Circle of Life of an air-conditioning system is not cheap. There would be no more drunken revelries at Ojeda’s House of Tequila and Enchiladas in the near future. I went back to the home office and plopped in my desk chair, not even bothering to move things around as I contemplated all the wrong decisions I had made in my life.

Hubert continued to bang on things and run in and out the front door.

I composed a sonnet entitled “The Masque of the Pineapple Death” and then promptly placed said sonnet in a folder entitled “Crap That I Will Never Share with Anybody”. Then I dumped the contents out of the stapler and begin refilling it once again, single staple by single staple. At one point, I hummed a Natalie Merchant song concerning the deprivation of the soul.

Hours or minutes later, Hubert had some news to share. “The compressor is fine. I didn’t have the mystical device connected correctly, but then I read the manual and it looks good now.”

Me: “Oh?”

Hubert: “And I fixed the French Drain. The outflow pipe was not working as it should and I reconfigured it.”

Really? Can you do the same for me? Because I’m still burbling.

Hubert: “All in all, not bad. Your system is fine. Just a bit of a hiccup.” He then presented me the bill with a bit more flourish than I thought was necessary. I took a gander at the total and relaxed slightly, albeit not completely. It was still significant, but it was far less than Natalie Merchant and I had envisioned whilst we sang dirges around the sad Bonnywood Manor campfire.

I gave him my credit card, he did what he needed to do with his mystical transponder device, and then he was gone.

I went back into the home office, threw the stapler in the trash, and then stood under the air-conditioning vent, allowing the cool air to caress me and make me feel pretty, once again. Partner, apparently temporarily released from his endless conference calls, checked on me at one point. I smiled sweetly and proffered him a hand gesture that hopefully implied that we were good but there was still a remote chance that I might turn on him when he least expected such to happen. Then Natalie wandered back from her bathroom break and reminded me that nothing is ever as bad as we think it is, and we’re all in this together.

Fair enough. Why can’t some people figure that out?

End trans.


32 replies »

  1. I laughed from beginning to end with this update, I was on pins and needles waiting to see what happened since your last post. I so get this. and I must say, partner’s timing was impeccable, with suddenly being done with work once the last act of the ac drama was one and the curtain went down. but it could just be a huge coincidence. enjoy your air, and you sound fancy, having a French drain. now I want one.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for confirming my budding suspicions about Partner’s questionable availability during this wretched journey. Things just seemed to work out too helpfully in his favor. Then again, he’s still working for a living. I’m not, wandering around in my retirement and wasting huge amounts of time not doing anything productive. I suppose it all balances out… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • My flair is legendary? Thank you SO much for that. Wait a minute. As I sit here and review Hubert’s poorly-drawn schematics concerning his endeavors, I see he’s made a notation that “baby woodchucks may be responsible for the dysfunction of the French Drain”. Hmm. Is there something you need to share concerning the whereabouts of your apple-fed woodchucks a few days ago?… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ugh, I feel your drip pan dilemma. I remember when Pretty and I lived in Casa de Canterbury we had a drip pan issue during the hottest part of the summer and I have a vague recollection of climbing into the attic to empty the drip pan one night when I thought I would die if we didn’t have the ac. Yikes! What a terrible memory. I hope your ac is happy again!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Drip pans seem to figure in our lives more often than they should. In one of our prior AC incidents, the drip pan at that time decided it would be fun to overflow and we had water pouring through one of the lights in the main hallway. Like THAT was safe and comforting, right? Good times.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Priceless blog phrase that’s now indelibly etched in the chambers of my mind “Sagging Love Nuggets” Oh my GOSH!! 😆 The whole piece (parts I and II) was excellent, but I’m stuck with the nuggets o’ love. Man. It must have been really HOT in there. I’ve heard tell (not that I need to know this information at all) that boxer shorts help, even if they don’t provide the support of a pair of whitey tighties… Tell me, Do you admire Salvadore Dali? Because he’d have LOVED painting sagging nuggets I bet… 😆

    Liked by 2 people

    • Of course your actual verbage of having said love nuggets hanging about your knees was the ACTUAL wording, but I get creative. Especially after that first hit of caffeine in the morning. O_o My thoughts further: Now you know how certain old(ish) females feel when they let the girls out to frolic untethered. It’s comfortable, but dang. One could give oneself a black eye..

      Liked by 1 person

    • It WAS hot. Although not as hot as a few other incidents with the AC, when we went DAYS without relief. If I’m remembering the details correctly (possibly not, because I was essentially in a heat coma) there was the one summer when it reached 97 degrees INSIDE the house. Everything was melting and my will to live barely had a pulse. Luckily, despite the drama, this current incident was nowhere near as bad as it could have been.

      But thank you for reminding me that my nugget descension has a counterpart in the female perspective. We’re all in this together, and we should appreciate the reality that all of us suffer from things being lower than we expect them to be…

      As for Salvador Dali, love him. And I’ve been to his museum in Paris. But that’s a story for another day, hopefully a day when my nuggets haven’t strayed quite as far from the farm…


  4. Of course your actual verbage of having said love nuggets hanging about your knees was the ACTUAL wording, but I get creative. Especially after that first hit of caffeine in the morning. O_o My thoughts further: Now you know how certain old(ish) females feel when they let the girls out to frolic untethered. It’s comfortable, but dang. One could give oneself a black eye..

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Having service people in one’s home is horrible. *shudder* I am so happy that Hubert was able to bang around (and probably push a little hidden button on the dang thing), fix things and not charge you so much you had to retire to your “fainting couch”. Although, I might have retired to the couch for the effect on Partner, but maybe that’s best saved for another occasion.😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t stand it when people I don’t personally know are in my house. Then again, that thought could apply to family members. I don’t get some of them at all.

      And you’re right about Hubert and hidden buttons. After analyzing things, we could have easily fixed all the issues with a few minor parts from the hardware store and saved a few hundred dollars. But, you live and you learn and you just keep smiling… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  6. “Sagging love nuggets.” I thought that only happened when you got old. I didn’t realize that it happened when you got hot. Oh wait…that sounds a little risque.
    LOLOL. It immediately brings to mind something that my children used to say when I was in the shower. “Can I see? I wanna see!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Trust, the nugget sagging can happen at any age. (Well, at any age past the point when one actually has nuggets with a mind of their own.) I’m still astounded what they can do based on climate changes…

      But this thing with your children and you in the shower. I feel we need to discuss this in further detail. Or perhaps not… 😉


  7. Like you, I never know how and where to lurk when these repair people come into the home. Some seem to want pleasant conversation (or even to argue politics), others appear to want to be left alone, and with most of them I can’t tell. Of course I also want to be guarding the house and its contents without appearing too threatening. It’s a delicate balance, and I’ll bet they go back to the office and tell stories about people like you and me. J.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m sure they tell stories about us back at the office, understandably so. It’s just a weird situation and performance expectations are unclear. Perhaps it would help if the techs brought along brochures that spelled out what they hope we do and what they don’t?

      Liked by 1 person

      • That would help enormously. Even a call or text from the home office would be useful. “Hubert is a bit crabby today. He’s having some trouble in the personal relationship department. He would rather work in silence and not even see you lurking.” J.

        Liked by 1 person

      • A brochure would be helpful, or even a text or phone call from the home office: “Hubert is feeling crabby today. He’s having some trouble in the personal relationship department. He would rather not talk with you or even see you lurking.” J.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. This was So. Much. Fun.
    I mean this in all sincerity. I loved the image of you filling the stapler one staple at a time, listening to Natalie Merchant, questioning your existence, Partner’s encouraging thumbs up – all of it.
    In fact, this was so good, I’m going to offer a gentle suggestion that maybe you should turn off your A/C occasionally and just sweat it out. It could be your muse just prefers the tropics. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    • You are definitely on to something with the heat-based inspiration.

      Perhaps it’s just me, but I think the blog posts I’ve unleashed whilst Partner and I were in southern Spain with our beloved friends have been some of my best, if I may say so. It’s hot, and there is no AC in our favorite place that we stay, but the words just come tumbling out of me…

      Liked by 1 person

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