grumpy about the construction project (rubble rubble I’m in trouble)

It started out so gently and innocently. One fellow named Dan hung out late last week for a day or two and took out a few bricks and some siding, in a sort of exploratory sparring match with the house.

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Then over the weekend we had to empty the refrigerator and disassemble it, so that the construction guys could move it into the basement for us.

Refrigeration is a modern miracle, but when you have to move a fridge, it’s a modern pain in the ass. First I had to empty it, which is kind of shocking. I found stuff in there that I must have bought five years ago or more. I loaded the perishables into a couple coolers filled with ice so they’d last overnight. Then we had to take the refrigerator doors and shelves off, because otherwise the monster doesn’t fit through our old house doors. That process was enlightening and frightening. There was gunk and junk in nooks and crannies I hadn’t imagined existed, and unexpectedly foul muck on every shelf. New single-cell life forms were evolving. I’m sure I heard them say hello, unless it was the distant sound of my own disgusted grunts. Much washing and wiping ensued.

By the way, what do you make of this ridiculous water line into the fridge?


That’s about 10 feet of bent flexible copper. Who does that? No wonder our water dispenser never worked.

Anyway, we survived the refrigerator job, and then two large burly men hauled the fridge downstairs Monday morning. As I re-assembled the fridge, the pounding began. Two children and a dog huddled in on me, blank and silent. Silence is always the definitive sign of true terror, in my opinion, so I knew they were really scared.


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These pictures are fuzzy because my hands were shaking, due to the anxiety attack I’m having. All of us – the kids, Anthony, and I — are experiencing some sort of primal emotional yawp as the demolition goes down. I guess it’s hard watching parts of your house turn to rubble, even when it’s on purpose.

It must be some paleo thing.

Speaking of paleo, how many peeps do you think it takes to demolish half of a house? The answer is apparently: three.

The fellow in the photo above is named Dan. He seems really easy-going. (He may not actually be, because he’s venting a whole lot of spleen with the demolition.) He came the first couple days with a cotton head band on, to accompany the sledge hammer. Monday morning I opened my mouth and words came out before I could stop them, because I have the social graces of a flea: “Can I call you Olivia Newton John?” I giggled. It looked like Dan bit his tongue, and then his BOSS, Erick, chimed in. “You mean, Olivia Newton DAN.” Snicker snicker snicker. O.N. Dan handled it well, but today he didn’t wear the headband. I hope it was a coincidence.

Dan, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry. I was very rude. I don’t think you look like O.N. John. She had chicken legs, and you don’t.

Erick is the boss. He works hard, as you can see in this picture.


It’s good to be boss. You can still smile while the hard work goes on, even when your insane client approaches you snapping madly with her iPhone camera.


Okay okay, Erick’s no shirker of worker. He moved my fridge down, which was brutal. Plus he wears those cool metal-tip boots, which have a sort of cartoonish look to them, sort of like heavy metal Popeye. I want a pair.

The third guy on the crew is named Talon. Or Tallin. I don’t actually know how to spell it. Here’s Talon/Tallin working on the brick wall.


He and Dan work clean and fast and careful, a sort of trifecta of desirable traits in demolition work, plus they’re actually cheerful. Weird. I’m pleased to report that, despite the name similarity, this Talon/Tallin is not a fully weaponized bio-mechanoid space alien known as a Leviathon, nor does the Talon/Tallin ripping my home apart serve as a space vessel to an insane, treasonous Peacekeeper commander on a single-minded mission to kill John Crichton.

Which is all good news. Jesse met these three fellows and wanted to know if Daddy is as strong as them. Anthony answered. “No.”

Economists understand efficiency.

The other strong man I’ve met so far can’t be left out of the cast of characters. This is John, our foundation and masonry guy.


He is perfect – he has the right kind of grumpy written all over him, crunchy outside and marshmallow inside. I said I was taking his picture and he reacted like a runway model, taking off his glasses, striking this pose, and popping me a smile. Awesome. On the few occasions we’ve had a chance to chat, he grumbles about this and that, complains about bureaucrats and politicians, and then smiles a big winning smile and just gets the work done with a jolly flare. What’s not to love. I was told his brother and business mate died less than a year ago, so he’s going on building foundations for other people’s homes and lives while he learns to live without one of his own foundation stones. I can’t be grumpy about that.

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