Last evening, before arming and locking up the new house, my wife set a task for me. “Go around and take off all the doorknobs.” I don’t question her anymore.
Earlier in the day, our housepainter, a man who has so endeared himself to my twisted mind that I have decided to keep him around as a regular and recurring character in the Harvey Universe, exchanged a few funny lines with me. OK, so first, the rules. I try to avoid using real names when possible. Painter is forever more known as “Esperanto Espiritu”. Esperanto’s brother-in-law, Marco esLaLey, had tagged along to install a door for us. Oh it was a glorious day as Mexicans and the White Man dabbled together under the same roof in the craft of making a house a home. It kind of reminded me of that 1980’s TV show Jake and the Fat Man except that the fat man was a tall, well-built, blonde, dashingly handsome man and well, neither of them was named Jake. Marco approached me right after the cable guy left. “Sir,” he said, “You have breakers?” I pretended I was drunk. “I don’t know what you’re saying but let’s sound it out together!” After a few minutes I surmised that he was looking for circuit breakers so he could move an outlet without shocking himself. I went to the garage and flipped a few switches. I realized two things. 1) The cable guy had only gone to his truck for some tools. He was not amused that I had shut off the outlet where the DVR was initializing. Apparently that’s some kind of 25 minute process and had to be restarted. 2) The previous owner did not know how to label breakers.
Whoo-wee Marco! Look at this place! It’s like Christmas time!” I shouted into him as the various lights flickered on and off. “You know? It OK, sir,” said Marco. “I think I be pretty good without the, you know, you know, how you say?, breakers.” “Marco,” I asked, “are you insured?” We both stared at each other stone-faced for a moment and then laughed. “I be safe,” he said. I spent the next few minutes praying that Our Lord’s Divine Mercy be with us. I assume he completed the task. In fact, he must have. Because Esperanto came up behind him just as he was connecting the last two wires and purposely startled him. The laughter was enjoyable, even if Marco did soil himself. The cable guy peeked his head in the door. “I’m done,” he said while running from the three of us cackling fools.
Later on I dismantled the door knobs. This lead to an interesting contortion on my part as I attempted to use the bathroom while simultaneously covering the hole where the handle had been with my hand and holding the door closed with my foot. Esperanto and Marco packed up and left. Our house is coming together.