My wood is in dire need of servicing.
That's according to a sternly worded nastygram I received from my fiendly neighborhood homeowners' association. Should you have any doubt as to my opinion regarding these Nazi pricks, I direct you to my March '07 post entitled H.O.A. HOLES. As soon as I saw the return address on the envelope, I knew I was screwed. These bastards wouldn't be writing me if they didn't want something. Here's what the townhouse terrorists had to say.....
During the annual inspection of the community the item(s) listed below are in need of repair or maintenance:
1. Paint trim on shed.
2. Repair rotten wood on trim around windows above entrance.
Item #1 actually amused me because the trim is the least of the problems with my shed. Sure, I can slap some leftover paint on there in no time. Won't cost me a dime. But that's not going to do me much good when the roof caves in, which it is likely to happen any day now. (That reminds me. I better find a new place to stash my O.J. sports memorabilia.)
Item #2 is the one that had me defecating masonry. Yes, I have windows above my entrance. And yes, those windows are surrounded by wood trim. And yes, that trim could be described as rotten...although I prefer to think of it as "charming" and/or "rustic." But who do these assholes think they are telling me how to maintain my own fucking property? Why should I listen to them? What can they possibly do to me??
If the above listed discrepancies are not repaired within 90 days from the date of this letter, you can be summoned before a Judicial Panel for your non-compliance and a monetary penalty can be imposed in accordance with the Virginia Property Owners Act.
Awww SHIT. I hate any sentence that contains the words "judicial" and "monetary penalty." Time for me to get an estimate...and I better hurry too. I got that letter 86 days ago.
So I called a home repair company I found in the yellow pages. They have a full page ad, so they must be good. They immediately dispatched their top sales weasel to my house to give me a free estimate. Well the free estimate turned out to be a waste of my time and an insult to my intelligence.
"Allow me to introduce myself," said the weasel. "My name is Jack Mehoff and I represent the A-1 Repair Company! Here, have a colorful pamphlet!"
He handed me a folded 8.5" x 11" piece of paper that looked like it came out of his bubble jet printer five minutes ago. He then ENTERED MY HOME and sat in MY CHAIR.
"My, what a lovely home you have! I see you're a musician," he said, pointing out my collection of dusty guitars.
"Yeah, sure," I replied. "I see you're wearing a leather belt. I guess that makes you a cow. And that pen in your hand...you must be a Pulitzer Prize winning author."
Then he starts bombarding me with personal questions. "Tell me, where are you from? How long have you lived here? What kind of work do you do? Are you willing to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior?" I didn't know whether this guy was a repairman or a Jehovah's Half-Witless.
I'm no salesman, but I know when I'm being worked over...and this slimeball was buttering me up like a Sunday biscuit. He must've just finished reading Dale Carnegie's How to Con Friends and Fuck People up the Ass.
I cut him off at the pass. "Look, I just need you to patch up some rotten wood so I can get these goddamn bloodsuckers off my back. Can you do that?"
"I like a man who knows how to do business," he BS'd. "Let's go take a look."
We walked outside and I pointed out the chunks of wood falling from the side of my house. He pulled out a clipboard and scribbled something. I'm not sure, but I think he drew an airplane.
"You know, we could cover up all this wood with maintenance free vinyl siding. We do have a special going on right now," he blabbered.
"I don't want to cover it up, you dipshit. I want to FIX IT. FAST and CHEAP, like YOUR MAMA!" I screamed. As you can tell, I was starting to get a wee bit agitated.
"Very well then." He whipped out his Dollar Tree calculator and started punching in some random numbers. "Now before I give you my estimate, I want to point out that the A-1 Repair Company prides itself on doing high quality work," he said. In other words, I was about to get reamed. "The figure I came up with is $915."
"Nine HUNDRED and WHAT THE FUCK?? YOU GODDAMN MOTHER SUCKING TOAD LICKING ASS FUCKER, you come in here and sit in MY CHAIR and WASTE MY FUCKING TIME with your BULLSHIT SALES SPIEL so you can try to ROB ME BLIND??!" I asked calmly. I feel I was polite but firm.
"Ahem...Well, you have to expect to pay a little more for top quality work," he retorted.
"I DON'T WANT QUALITY WORK, YOU BLUE-COLLAR BUTT GOBBLER! I WANT CHEAP SHODDY WORK, BECAUSE THAT'S THE AMERICAN WAY," I explained patriotically. "NOW GET OFF MY PROPERTY, YOU FUCKING COMMIE PRICK!!!"
At this point, I only have two days left before the H.O.A. sends their thugs over to beat me up. Desperate times call for desperate measures...so tonight I'm sneaking over to my neighbors' house, ripping the trim off his windows, and tacking it onto mine. That's what I call thinking outside the box. I'm a problem solver, dammit. Of course I'm creating a problem for someone else, but that's none of my concern. Besides, they should have thought of that before they let me move next door to them. Stupid bastards.