the landlord's son-in-law came over to fix my ceiling last week. at Last. he wasn't in my home for five minutes before his cell phone rang. he picked it up and was on the receiving end of what seemed like a Very sketchy conversation. finally he was like, "sir, what tenants do is their business, not mine, i'm not responsible for what goes on...sir, if you get a lawyer i will talk to you. sir, i don't mean to be rude, but i'm going to hang up now, sir...sir...okay i'm going to hang up the phone now."
he hangs up the phone and informs me that he thinks the russian mafia have become the new proprietors of a very profitable rub'n'tug in the basement of the building. one of them is after him to get the previous owners ousted from the lease,said owners being two very nice ladies, one of whom has disappeared under mysterious circumstances.
he seemed more than a little preturbed about the whole thing so i tried to break the ice by offering him some tea and telling about the last time someone was sent to fix my ceiling.
the repairman the first time around was nice enough, slightly rotund, square-ish face, fish-eye spectacles covered in paint, unfortunate shoes. i let him in and turn back to my work.
a moment later i smell toothpaste.
i turn around to see him perched on the top of the ladder smearing my freshly plastered ceiling with crest.
the fluorescent blue kind.
i asked him... calmly, i thought... what he was doing.
"it stops the stains."
yes. if roof leaks again plaster won't turn yellow... water damage. (sic)
you see,dear Readers, it wasn't just toothpaste, it was toothpaste with Whitener in it.
but back to the landlord's son-in-law.
who also, may i say, found the toothpaste theory a little shy of sane.
he takes his turn as he's scraping my wall and covering my floor in muck to tell me about a recent incident with hell-ga.
hell-ga, for those of you new to my blog, is a schizophrenic who used to live beneath me, until her death threats,late night tirades,no-legged alcoholic boyfriend and soiled undergarments just became too much for us and we convinced the powers that be to move her out of the building and into a space further down the alley.
anyhow, it seems that something was wrong with her sink and joe, (landlord's son-in-law) had to go fix it.
so there he was, doing his best, stuck under the sink, arse out, fiddling away with the pipes....and hell-ga sitting on the sofa behind him looking on.
you need to picture a woman whose closest relation is the marshmallow man, crew cut, antagonistic stare, Large eyeballs, consistent and vaguely horrifying sweat pants, complete with camel toe, and about three different aural incarnations in any one single conversation. ugh.
landlord beneath the sink, feeling vulnerable and a homeless guy asleep on the floor a few feet away, coughing and wheezing like a son-of-a-gun, and hell-ga overseeing the whole thing, and muttering.
muttering what? you may ask.
muttering about an ex boyfriend who took pictures of her and sent them in to penthouse and so now she's in penthouse and it's all over the internet and she isn't getting any money for it at all, none at all.
and all i could think was poor poor man beneath the sink.