The Electrician, Day 40

The electrician has now been in and out of my house, off and on — mostly off — for as long as it rained during the flood in Genesis; for as long as Jesus wandered in the wilderness; for as long as the Buddhists claim a soul lingers on this plane, roughly, before  drifting towards eventual reincarnation. I seem to be in the Bardo of Godot. There are certainly a lot of different lights winking in and out around me, any road.

We thought it might be the beginning of the end yesterday when Christian showed up at quarter of nine, which is what he means when he says eight. It took a little while to learn this. Also that “he will be there at eleven” means that he will still not be there by early afternoon because he “ran over on another job” and “he will be there Saturday and Sunday because we need to get this done” means that he won’t show up on Saturday at all, because his car broke down, his cell phone wasn’t charged and the dog ate his homework. Yesterday, “all day” meant “until about one in the afternoon because he needed a better face mask to work in the crawl space.” You cannot really argue with that, though after a lifetime in the business you would think he’d have brought one. We are dealing with Attention Deficit Electrician.

If it were just Christian, he would be so gone, but he comes at the behest of the Great God Pan, who is really a fairly terrific contractor if you like mad Greek inventors, and a pair of carpenters who are pretty much the best since Jesus Christ and, unlike Christian, don’t wander in the wilderness. They show up on time, they do what has to be done and do it right, they treat my house gently, and they repair odd loose doorknobs and sagging clotheslines in passing. Christian has been working with them for dog’s years, and when it is time to figure out how to get the wiring done with the least mayhem to my vintage paneling, they operate together with a balletic unity. Rewiring this old house is a little like playing Pick Up Sticks, only with 20 amp circuits. I am not sure anyone else could do this job.

The Engineer joins in their festivals of polyglot guy-talk where they discuss repetitively and at some length whether they need to run the power between the walls or through the ceiling, what kind of frammis to use and where the smoke detectors ought to go.

The cats are pissed (but have not pissed on anything yet), on account I have to keep stashing them in different rooms so that they won’t wander off behind the open walls while Christian is working there, or under the floors, and end up in Narnia. Christian actually likes the cats a lot, but when he pointed to the litter box and asked if that was food for them, I realized that his early life on a Central American farm full of animals had not included such sophisticated facilities.

The Great God Pan promised me a bottle of his miraculous cholesterol-lowering condiment, which he is having marketed by some friend with a distribution business. He calls it VOGH, for Vinegar, Oil, Garlic and Honey; I think I should gently suggest something that sounds less like somoene clearing their throat, or a Klingon swear word. He wants to corner the Engineer. who is something of an economics wonk, about his plan to save the Greek economy with collectible antique replica drachmas.

They are supposed to have everything ready for the electrical inspector this week.

I’ll be in the kneehole of my desk.


4 thoughts on “The Electrician, Day 40

  1. Oh my. A litter box as food… oh my. I don’t think he’s seen a cat eat or poop!
    What’s a frammis? No, don’t answer that. Neither of us probably actually cares.
    It’s good that you have 2/3 of a professional team, in any case. Wonder why they like him so? Perhaps because he takes the pressure off of them and also does a good job when he can be arsed to show?

    • A frammis is any mechanical device more sophisticated than a gizmo.

      I think it’s the “does a good job” part that keeps Christian on the team. His imperial indifference to schedules, to say nothing of his disinclination to communicate, just make trouble for the carpenters and the God Pan, who has to juggle the schedule to keep the guys working, after expecting to need them here this week and the next and the one after that.

      They were here for a couple hours yesterday morning, prying out baseboards upstairs. The God Pan spent about an hour tapping nails backwards of the wood, and they vacuumed up not only the dust from the circular saw, but archaeological dust bunnies that have probably been there since before I met the Engineer.

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