Sunday, December 19, 2004

Get Out of My House

It is generally not our practice to welcome dirty, bedraggled, scab-covered trolls into the dining room of Evans World Headquarters. We’re not running a fucking soup kitchen here. But for some reason, when just such a pathetic character claims to represent a house painting business, well, come right in, ma’am. Let me take your smock. Would you like a cup of chamomile tea? Or perhaps a shower?

What can I say? We’re idiots.

It costs $20,000 to have a house texture-coated (“You’ll never have to paint this house again, sir, and that’s my solemn promise.”) and to have five new windows installed (“They could drop a nuclear bomb outside your door and you wouldn’t hear a thing.”). For that astronomical fee, you’d think the company would send a representative who, you know, bathes or something. But that was not the case. Let me describe the woman who sat at our dining room table yesterday and tried to pry 20 grand from us:

• She was approximately 50 years old.
• She took her shoes off in our house and her feet smelled like a ball of mozerella that had been left in the sun for three days.
• One of her eyes looked at me and the other at her shoes. At the same time. Think Sammy Davis Jr. tweaking really hard.
• The tips of her fingers were crusted black with filth. She looked like a chimney sweep.
• She had scabs on her forehead, nose and hands.
• Her hair had the dulled glow of something that had not felt the tender kiss of shampoo since the Carter administration.
• She had a hacking cough that sounded like tuberculosis and two packs a day of Benson and Hedges got married and bore the mother of all lung cheeses.

I was not going to convict her of anything untoward based solely on appearance. Truth be told, I am currently sitting unshowered and unshaved in a Starbucks wearing the same underwear I wore yesterday.

She kept saying, “I’m not a salesman.” She claimed to be the director of marketing for this company, in town because she has been tasked with securing texture-coating contracts for six homes so she could taker before-and-after photos to use for local marketing efforts. I smelled bullshit immediately.

If she was, in fact, the marketing director, where were her marketing materials? All she had was two bent placards with paint colors on them.

And if she was, in fact, the director of marketing, she would have been responsible for the “face” of the company to its customers. Clearly that face should be acquainted with the concepts of cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing and (FOR THE LOVE OF GOD!) make-up.

She slung a pretty polished line of bullshit for not being a salesman. If she was to be believed at her word, the texture coating and windows her company would install for “next to nothing” would single-handedly increase the value of Evans World Headquarters by $50,000, enable it to withstand a nuclear winter, rid it of pests, keep solicitors and religious freaks at bay, make it sprout a second story and automatically change Barney tapes in the VCR every hour, on the hour.

She measured the circumference of our house, then came back to the table, exhaled a long sigh (the kind you hear at the auto dealer when he’s trying to convince you that the price he’s about to offer you will rob him blind and prevent his kids from going to college, even though it’s still WAY over the price you’re looking for and you know his whole line is bullshit), and then told us she was going to give us texture-coating and five new windows for $20,000 -– and she was throwing in rain gutters for free. Then she said something about writing up the contract right then and there so she could “get us in on the next work cycle.”

We’ve only been homeowners for about six years and I will therefore allow that I don’t have a ton of experience interacting with “vendors” like this one. But I do know that I’m a man. And I have a lot of faith in my B.S. detector. And I know that I don’t like dirty, smelly, scabby, lazy-eyed marketing directors sitting at my dining room table talking nonsense about free rain gutters and nuclear bombs. My blood was boiling. I was thinking that all of these alleged savings she keeps telling us about aren’t going to amount to JACK SQUAT because we still have to pay to have the house fumigated and sterilized from the fact that she polluted it with her filthy presence.

She was somewhere in the middle of her spiel about vinyl window frames when I stood up, pointed to the door and said, “Out! Out! Get out of my house, stinky! We don’t buy texture coating from people who smell like porridge and we don’t write checks for 20 grand to people who can't look us in the eye WITH BOTH EYES! Now leave, Pigpen!”

A tear ran down her face –- the side with the good eye –- and she said, “OK. OK. Nineteen five, but that’s my final offer.”


At 11:24 AM, Blogger honestyrain said...

see and i would have guessed you already had a second floor.

she sounds lovely, should have invited her to stay for photos with the family.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Mrs.Strizzay said...

Please OH please tell me you REALLY said that to her.

At 3:11 PM, Blogger Lola said...

People who smell like porridge kick ass. You should adopt her.

At 7:34 AM, Blogger JoeinVegas said...

You never said - did you take the offer at nineteen five? - Oh, and what kind of porridge do you make? (I want to be sure and skip that brand)

At 4:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

By any chance, could she have been a graduate student?

At 4:15 AM, Blogger heather said...

We had to shop for replacement windows...thankfully you only get the pleasure "once in a lifetime". They come in cheesy suits, with pinky rings and a gold tooth. And they dont leave for T W O H O U R S. Had you any idea there was so much to learn about ~windows~? It is worse then having the kirby/rainbow salesman, buying 10 used cars, or trying to bs your way out of donating to the special olympics. (Not that I have anything agaist the special olympics, I just had a call from them twice a week from the same guy who just didnt get it, and I did give him $) whewww I feel better now. Nothing like the first bitch of the day!


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