Hick was giddy with anticipation Monday afternoon. He was like a kid promised an all-expense-paid trip to a candy store. If, by candy store, you mean a dark basement filled with forty years of junk. Yep. One woman's junk is my man's treasure. Mom has been cleaning out her basement, and promised Hick first grab.
It all started because Mom was having new insulation put in her basement ceiling. She uses a handy man recommended by somebody at church. The fact that he once replaced a silver stopper in her white downstairs bathroom sink with a blue one did not deter her from seeking his services again. This time, he brought his son. His fifty-year-old son, if that tells you anything about the speed at which this job was being completed. Mom is like my sister the former-mayor's wife when it comes to people being in her house. Sis always went to visit Mom on the day her cleaning woman was scheduled. Now she has a cleaning man, and she still makes herself scarce. Mom moved to various rooms as her work crew hobbled through the house.
"I'm in the living room right now, on the kitchen phone, because they're eating lunch down in the family room. No. I didn't make it. They brought their own. They took all those boards that were up in the ceiling and laid them out behind the house. If Hick wants them, he can have them. There's some metal pipes, too. And a heavy box that I can't lift full of metal things. And some old bottles. It looks like rain, so I might go out and cover the boards with an old tablecloth. That won't hurt it. I got it at Dollar Tree."
I told Mom I would run by with The Pony to help her cover the boards. She had thought of cutting off some plastic from a big roll in the basement, but since the workers were wearing masks, and she didn't have one, she was afraid.
I called Hick on his lunch break. He was practically doing cartwheels, the best I could tell over the phone. "Tell her I'll come out after work. It won't hurt those boards to get a little bit wet." Of course enough is never as good as a feast for Hick. "What about the old insulation? What's she going to do with that?"
"As far as I know, her workers are taking it to the landfill."
"Tell her to keep it. I can put it in the BARn."
"Are you sure about that? It might be asbestos."
"Naw. It would be fiberglass. Never mind. They can haul it off."
The Pony and I arrived to see the workers' truck parked in the driveway, with three pieces of metal about twelve feet long leaning up against the side away from the porch. Mom came out to greet The Pony. "Do you know these guys have some metal leaned up on the truck?"
"No...I don't see any. But I told them they could have a couple of pieces."
"That's three. Not a couple. You might want to watch what they carry out. I don't want them to take advantage of you."
"Oh, it's just old metal."
The Pony did his covering job. Mom lurked around out of sight until her crew left. Hick went to grab his treasures in his truck with no brakes before Genius drove it and found out it had no brakes. He got some 12-foot 2 x 4s, some conduit, and some copper rods. Everybody's happy except me (shocker!) because I think those guys are going to help themselves to what Mom thinks is junk.
Hick went by today and picked up a box of old bottles. Mom has more for him after she looks through some milk bottles that she is sure she has cardboard caps for. Hick has his eyes on the heavy box with an old light guard and some ancient extension cords visible near the top. He figures it is scrap metal that he can send with Genius to the junk dealer.
Hick is a master recycler.