I decided the other day that since my divorce may be coming through relatively soon that I may want to take a little advantage of “our” charge accounts. I wouldn’t normally be so grasping but the other day my STBE (Soon-To-Be-Ex) was bitching and complaining about how shitty his finances were, how his bills were piling up and the money “just isn’t coming in fast enough”.
Then two days ago I was outside when this big pick-up pulled in the driveway. A very nice-looking young man came walking up the sidewalk and said ” hello, M’am. (gack!) My name is Chet and I was wondering, is that your farm across the street, ’cause I notice that the wood fence over there really needs painting?” I told him that yes, it was sorta mine but that it really was under the domain of my STBE. He said that he comes through every year and does work for a farmer we know who is well respected in the area. (I was thinking that I would check that reference, if need be.) He wanted to paint the fence and asked who he needed to speak with about it and I told him my STBE’s name and told him to go across the street to see him at our business there. He said he’d been there and that the door was locked, I realized that it was 12:15 and the STBE never misses a meal so I told the young man to go back after one o’clock.
This sweet-talking guy then offers to give me an estimate on my old barn roof and I told him to knock himself out as long as the estimate was free and he said yes, it was. He went down to look the old barn over and while he was gone I checked out his truck. The liscence plate said he was from Virginia! That explained the lovely southern drawl!
He came back and gave me a story about how it would normally cost me about $1600 to do a roof that rusty but he would do it for only $1200. I laughed and told him that was about $1150 more than I had at the moment. He scratched his head, got quiet for a couple of minutes, and said something about how he had several can of that roofing paint on his truck and how he really wanted to get it out of there so he could pick up more barn paint in the morning and “hey, I tell ya what… ” he said, ” what would you give me to do it? I take checks and credit cards!”
I swear the hair on the back of my neck stood straight up. This was a classic con game! I said ” I don’t make decisions about money that quickly so just leave me your card and maybe I’ll let you know.” He said “well, M’am, when might I be hearing from you?” and I said ” when I win the lottery!”
Late that evening as I was having dinner with my daughter from across the street I recounted this story to her and she said ” That guy must be the one I saw over there painting today!” He must have conned the STBE into hiring him! The daughter called her father and said ” hey, Dad, how much is that guy charging you to paint the fence?” “$1200 ! You probably could have hired him for half that!”
The next morning I went over and saw two older black men doing the painting from a truck with the painter’s name on it . The young man was probably off conning some other poor sucker into paying him top dollar for watered down paint. But I realized that my STBE was not worried about money as much as he professed! The fence is not the biggest priority around here!
So yesterday I went to our local hardware store and charged three gallons of deck stain and a couple of brushes. I plan to go back tomorrow and buy a socket wrench set and some garden hoses! Charge it!
That was yesterday. I then scrubbed the deck with Clorox and Simple Green and a brush. It took 5 hours to get it clean enough. I let it dry overnight and today I spent 6 hours staining the damned thing! The flies were driving me insane and I couldn’t swat at them because I was sticky with cedar stain all over my hands! It’s pretty big, 20’X20′ and then there are steps down to another landing and then more steps and rails and posts and uprights and risers and oh hell! I am so achy tonight! I finally got done!! It looks great!
I went out a little while ago to admire my handiwork. The birds have already shit on it.
Boy, I showed him!