Saturday, July 19, 2014

Can a Handyman Get Malpractice Insurance?

I called Mom last night to see if Chatty Handy was still there.

"Oh, no! He left around 1:00."

"Did you pay him already?"

"Yes. I had one more job for him before I let him go. One of the closet doors in my bedroom is off the track. I used to be able to lift it back on the rail, but the wood is so heavy that I can't do it now. He put it right back on for me."

"Are you paying him by the job or by the hour?"

"I don't know. I paid him $210."

"I guess that's all right. But if you were paying him by the hour, you got cheated. He could have been done in an hour and a half instead of five hours."

"Oh, it was well worth it for all he did. Those other people I call want so much more to do these things."

"Were you satisfied with his work?"

"Well, I haven't been up on the roof, and the furnace isn't running in the basement, and we'll see about that foundation crack when it rains. But he DID show me a picture of the work he did around the chimney."

"And you believe that's really a picture of YOUR roof?"

"Stop. Don't make me laugh. Yes, I believe him. But it seems like every time he comes out, he's always asking ME for the stuff to work with."

"What did he patch the roof with?"

"Some metal that was down in the basement, on the work bench. It was like folded over flat metal. He said, 'This will work just fine.' So that's what he took."

"What about that foundation crack?"

"Well, I had bought some stuff a while back, thinking I could do it myself, but I have not had a very productive summer. So I gave him that, and then I gave him a baggie, and he cut the corner off to squeeze it out. "

"What was it? Did it come in a bag? In a bucket?"

"Oh, it was a powder in a container, like a Cool Whip container, and he brought the rest of it back to me, and he had even written the date on it so I would know how old it was."

"How can you not know how you paid him? Didn't you agree on that before you hired him?"

"No. But he always writes up a bill and goes over it with me so I know exactly what he's charging for."

"Yeah. That's a surprise. I guess you didn't pay attention."

"I looked at the amount. Then I got him the money."

"You didn't let him see you get it out of your safe, did you?"

"No. I had put some bills in the back of my checkbook. I asked him if he wanted cash or a check. He said, 'Well, I'll take either one you want to give me. A check is fine. But if you have the cash, I'll take that.' So I started counting out the money, and he said, 'Oh, I don't want to take all of your cash. A check will be fine.' But I told him, 'I have ten dollars left, and that will last me until I can get to the bank and cash my little check I get every month.' I wasn't about to let him know I had more money than that."

"Never a simple answer from that guy."

"While I was counting out the money, he was sitting at the kitchen table with me, and he said, 'That part of your face there will go back to normal after the stitches come out. It won't have that big bump on it.' That's the part I was telling you about that I think sticks out."

"WAIT! He was commenting on your face while you counted the money! That is not appropriate. I swear! Did you let him run his dirt-encrusted hands over your stitches? You just don't know how to get rid of that guy. Maybe you should hire him to come back tomorrow and put on your triple antibiotic ointment."

"Oh, don't get me tickled! He's gone. I paid him. Now I can call the guy who wants to buy my truck. He said he would come out and get it. That I don't have to take it to his shop."

"You need a chaperone. Full time. I'm going to talk to that neighbor across the road."


  1. For just $500 I could recondition her framis. If those things go, her whole fornastat will be worthless.

  2. Okay, I just had an epiphany. You can snag a three-volume book deal: a book of Val stories, a book of your mom stories and a book of Hick stories.
    I wonder what that series would be called...

  3. Anyone who can repair a foundation with Cool Whip and what sounds like a pastry bag sounds better than the last handyman I had.

  4. Stephen,
    Yes. I call her neighborhood Hooterville.

    Please don't call her! She would agree to your conditions. Now that you've brought to her attention the condition of her framis, and the worth of her fornastat.

    I appreciate your epiphany, but I fear that series would be called, "Thank You For Your Submission, But It Is Not a Good Fit for Us at This Time."

    AND, I'll bet your last handyman did not assess your eight-stitch facial incision! I'll try to get Chatty Handy's phone number for you. No! No need to thank me! I'm a giver like that.

  5. I think you could have step daddy in your future. handy and mom seem to have hit it off.

  6. Although this entire post was hilarious (as always!), the following just about made me pee my pants! :D

    Maybe you should hire him to come back tomorrow and put on your triple antibiotic ointment."

    "Oh, don't get me tickled!

  7. Linda,
    I would have to get earplugs if my new step-daddy stayed home all day instead of going out to work and talking the ears off his customers.

    Mom had trouble saying "No."