It's really hard to describe how badly I've fucked up my life. I find myself lying just so people won't think I'm a complete bummer to be around.
"How's the new house, John?" well-wishers ask. "Are you loving it?"
"Mrrrmph," I will nod, smiling weakly and flicking a tear from my cheek.
I just typed a paragraph listing my woes but deleted it. Suffice it to say that among the many things my inspector missed was about $60k of structural defects. He missed a whole lot. Except for billing me in advance. He was on top of that.
As the issues have revealed themselves, I've been trapped here, dealing with one flabbergastingly lazy, incompetent contractor after another. Every thread I pull has horrific results. For instance, unable to breath after three days here, I had the HVAC inspected. "This old electronic filter hasn't worked in years," he said. "So the house has just been recirculating the same filth." I had that repaired and had the carpets cleaned. The carpet cleaning unleashed a horrific stench that a week later was still stinging my eyes. So I hired another carpet cleaner.
One day after I dropped $1000 on the second carpet cleaning, the duct cleaners arrived. They were clearly morons, but they don't need to be neuroscientists, right?
"I busted one of your light bulbs downstairs," drooled Moron 1. "I'll clean it up."
It took me a second to realize that he was talking about a 12' fluorescent bulb. "No, wait. Don't touch it. That's filled with mercury."
Moron 1 blinked at me.
"Mercury is a poison."
He blinked at me. I thought about finding him a Mr. Yuck sticker but contented myself to opening the windows. "Don't touch it. I'll clean it up," I said.
I did some research and found that the proper way to clean up particulate mercury is wet-wiping. "Do not use a vacuum or broom," the guidance intoned. This made sense.
I returned to the scene of the breakage and found that while the morons followed my advice to leave the mess for me to clean up, they had spent the last 20 minutes walking through the pile and throughout my house.
"STOP IT!" I said uselessly.
Then, while I was on my hands and knees-wet-wiping up the deadly neurotoxin, Moron 1, whom I had contracted to improve the air quality in my house, used a broom to sweep mercury toward my face, not two feet away. I had been breathing normally. I was thrilled.
I kicked them out while I cleaned. Their manager called me to argue that it was not a consequential amount of deadly neurotoxin that his employees had tracked all over my house.
"Those bulbs contain only 3-5 grams of mercury," sneered Moron 3.
"And how much is harmful to children or dogs?" I replied.
"I don't know, but it's more than that!"
The disaster ended, sadly predictably, with Moron 1 presenting me with a bill. I laughed and told him to have the owner contact me. Anything less than an apology and an offer to reduce the bill to costs was going to be refused. I would get neither.
He called very soon, when I was on my way to Lowe's for a new bulb and air filter. He asked what happened, and I explained. Then he cut to the chase. "The job is completed," Moron 4 said in his thick Appalachian drawl. "I wanner know why ya don't think you hafta pay yer bill."
It was soon clear that if they had burned my house down on their way out, we would be having the same conversation.
"Wow," I said. "Sir, I've never seen your balls, but they must be fucking huge. We're talking beach balls, here."
"I don't know why yer talkin' like dat t'me," he replied.
There would be no offer to pay for damages. No offer to fix the damages. No apology. No offer to reduce the bill. Just demands for payment in full, buttressed with curiously self-serving scientific claims about the harmlessness of mercury.
"Well, I'm not gonner be swore at," he snapped.
Then don't fucking call me again, because it's all I've got for yinz.