Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Renovating the Winter's Hut: A Saga in 16 week parts

Going from Zero to Sixty with Le Bruce

“I’m going to take you from Zero to Sixty.” Le Bruce repeated.
“What do you mean ‘Zero to Sixty'? Rob asked.
“He means that we are feeling relaxed and now he is going to tell us how much this is going to cost so that we can both have simultaneous heart attacks.” I said. “Duhhh.”
“Yes, but just think about the simultaneous orga…”
“We don’t have sex in the kitchen, Bruce. We just cook in it.” I was having a very clear visual of Le Bruce and his 25 year old slice of non-Kosher cutie pie in my kitchen and it was getting in the way of my going from Zero to Sixty.
“Ok Ok. So, take us from Zero to Sixty.” Rob said with a little more confidence then I think he felt.
Le Bruce took out his calculator from his man purse. He started a fresh Excel sheet and began filling in items:

1. Fix existing knob and tube.
“What’s knob and tube.” I asked
“It’s wiring. It carries electricity.” Rob said. “Didn’t you know that?”
“What’s wrong with wiring that carries electricity. That sounds very necessary in a house.”
“Jewish Princess.” I heard Bruce think.
“Oh please. I’m sure 99% of the female population regardless of religious affiliation has no clue what knob and tube is. Quite frankly, it sounds like a euphemism for getting one’s tubes tied.” I telepethied back.
It’s ‘irregardless’, not’ regardless’.”
“Oh no it ain’t. I might be a Jewish Princess, but at least I’m literate.”
Rob explained. “Because knob and tube is more exposed than other wiring, it is considered a fire hazard.”
Calmly, Le Bruce said. “That’s why we are going to fix it. So that you won’t have live in a fire hazard. This is all part of going from Zero to Sixty. You thought we were just doing a kitchen renovation, but we are going to do all kinds of things.”

2. Air Conditioning“Well thank God. I have an asthmatic condition you know.” I said.
“An asthmatic condition, not just plain old regular asthma?” asked Le Bruce.
“It’s like asthma but not as serious.” I explained. “I just have an inhaler, no Epipens although once when I was a counsellor at a nice Jewish camp in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, I once stole one of my camper’s Epipens and stuck it through my thigh just to see what would happen. It was a total rush but not nearly as much fun as taking their Ritalin.”

Rob’s Blackberry is bleeping out of control, but Rob is in another world—a world of gleaming 36 inch stoves and French door fridges and granite countertops. He is excited and terrified all at the same time. And while I cannot share his enthusiasm, I promise to make more of an effort. But not right now. It’s enough. Really, it is absolutely enough.

“I can only digest these things in small chunks.” I declare to Le Bruce. “I know you want to take us from Zero to Sixty, but could we call this Zero to 4”?
Le Bruce looks at me. “Fine. I appreciate that it’s a lot of information.”

“When you say ‘fine’ does it mean ‘fuck you’? because that’s what it means when I say it.”
“You got it, dear.”
“Do not call me dear or I will call you a Poutine Lovin’ Panty Waist.”
“Poor Rob.”
“No, poor you. Your stuck with me for…how long?”

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