So you know how I have been referring to this year as the Year Everything Broke? You know, because the washer died twice and the fuel oil furnace quit running, and then the car died, and now two hydraulic lines on the backhoe are leaking, the driveway got obliterated, the cats eyeballs went to shit, and the water heater has a slow leak that I have been ignoring except now it's starting to smell weird over there, and my keyboard stopped working and then that little scoller thing on my mouse died and now I have to scroll like a peasant?
Well, in an attempt to stop the flood of things dieing around me like I was in a True Crime Novel we had called a furnace repair guy. So he shows up in his truck about noon. I missed his grand entrance because the dog needed to be walked, but when I arrived back in the house and wrestled the dog into his crate and reassured him that the man in the hallway with all the tools was not about to come over and murder me in cold blood while also maybe turning into a vampire or a were-repair-guy or someshit, I got a good look at him.
I suppose I had expected your standard fixing-shit-guy. You know late 20s to early 40s, bitter about life, either quiet as shit or super talkative we may never get him out of the house but it would be cool to have a beer with this guy sometime and hear the end of the story about when his drunk cousin tried to water ski on the snow while being towed by a 4 ton pick up sort of person.
What I got was a calm older guy who looked like Colonel Sanders with a beard instead of a goatee. He had on a really nice dress shirt and was impeccably groomed. He did not look like the kind of person who drove around in a truck all day working on heaters. He looked like the kind of guy who might try to sell the extra maintenance plan on the car you were buying.
I mostly stayed out of his way, drinking tea and trying to avoid going out and shoveling a shit ton of gravel by hand. Occasionally he would call Scott over, and in his pleasant calm insurance man voice he would explain to Scott something about how the furnace worked. It wasn't until he had disassembled it, cleaned about oh 4 inches of rust and filth out of the exhaust that he walked into our kitchen and handed Scott a super broken super fucked up metal part and told us that was probably causing the problem. Then he put the thing back together with new filters and then he showed us where someone had adjusted the furnace to run with more fuel and less air to make a bigger flame, which he pointed out was useless and stupid.
And then Scott and me exchanged a look and Scott said something bland about it probably being the former owner, which was my dad, and then I had a vivid flashback to one of my dad's stories about moving into a mobile home during college/trade school and being too cold and taking the fuel oil furnace completely apart to “make it run better” and nearly burning the whole damn structure to the ground and having to flee the place with his roommate and standing out in the driveway with his landlord in the bitter winter night waiting to see if all there shit was about to be engulfed in flames.
So then I decided this guy was worth all the money we were paying him times a thousand.
So then he got it running and it was like a million times quieter and then he told us what part to buy if it was still shutting off prematurely and how to install it and then we paid him and he left and then I felt super good about not freezing to death this winter and everything.
You know, sometimes it really is the small things.
Like not freezing to death.
Or having your mobile home burn to the ground because your father thought that bigger flames meant more heat forever.
Like you do.