Let it burn.

8 Feb

The people I come across in this job would surprise even a Vietnam veteran. The other day, I call up a customer to set up an appointment. She agrees and then says, “Well I can’t walk right now, I just had surgery, so when you come over, just go around back and let yourself in.” Easy enough. I show up later in the afternoon and trot around back as instructed. A woman hollers hello from the deck above the yard. I can only see her from the chest up over the railing. I approach and gallop up the stairs. It is then that I see this woman for all that she is.

She’s got a big black cast from the knee down covering her entire leg and foot. This leg is propped up by the knee on the seat of a tricycle that she scoots around on with her other leg while holding onto the handlebars. On the handlebars hangs a basket. This basket is filled with goodies to keep her entertained: cordless phone, cell phone, hi-lighters, snacks, chip clips, remote control—the whole shebang. So I follow her into her house as she scoots across the kitchen floor. I do my demo, and then comes the time to get recommendations. After jotting down six or seven people for me, I ask, “Well do you think any of these people would be home right now that we could get ahold of?”

“Oh yeah, let me check!” she responds.

She starts shuffling her way across the kitchen on her tricycle again, presumably heading for the phone.


She scoots her handicapped body past the kitchen and into the dining room and picks up a pair of binoculars. She zooms in over her deck, over the swimming pool, across her yard, over the fence, across the street, and into her neighbor’s garage.

“Yeah, yeah looks like Sue is home.”

I give her a strange, taken aback look. She hesitates and then says, “I don’t always spy on my neighbors.”

Sure. And Ted Bundy didn’t always intend on dicing people like roma tomatoes.

Everybody’s different.

Right now I need sleep more than America needs a new president. For the past 23 consecutive days, I have awoken before 8 a.m. to make more phone calls than a Dunder Mifflin secretary. From there I do appointments all the live long day until I return late at night no earlier than 10:30 on the verge of collapse. Repeat. I need to go into hiberation like the common kodiak bear. Months of sleep would benefit me in so many ways. A) I would stop eating so much. B) I would be well rested and ready for action. C) I could let the intensity of my summer tan fade a bit.

That last part is a joke. I’m whiter than Jennifer Love Hewitt in “I Know What You Did Last Summer.” I need to tan. Boy do I. Do I have time? No. Could I give myself time? Sure. Do I know how to do that? No. Somebody help me. I need a secretary, or a book-keeper. If you are a native Indian from the middle east seeking employment, contact me. We’ll see if we can’t work out some sort of Van Wilder assistant thing. I’ll pay you in bananas, or whatever it is you goons overseas go nuts about.

I recently purchased a new curling iron, and after opening the package in my room, I noticed the warning label hanging from the handle. “Caution: Product May Burn Eyes.”

Okay: this might be an appropriate warning label to put on something remotely related to eye risks, such as mascara, hair spray, or contact lenses made of gasoline, but on a curling iron? Am I to take that as the curling iron may burn my eyes, but not my skin or lips? What kind of person is going to let the iron rest on their corneas while they reach for a bobby pin? What kind of warning is this? That’s like having a warning label on a minivan that says “May break toes.” Okay, but it can also break both my legs and my spine. Come on, Hot Tools.

Well, I’m off to hop on the phone like a frog on speed.


“Oh my god. It feels like I’ve been struck with a very tiny, but very real baseball bat.”
“Seriously. I feel like I got stung by a jelly fish.”


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