Recently we hired “handymen” to fix a hole in our ceiling and install a new light fixture. A previous team of so-called handymen had installed a light that was hanging by wishes and pixie dust. It hadn’t been attached to the support beams and was instead, just anchored into the drywall.

After years of magically hovering above our heads as we ate family dinners and refereed the mealtime disputes of three boys, the original light fixture released itself from the shackles of the ceiling and crashed down upon a crystal vase (which magically wasn’t harmed).

Upon hearing the crash, I came up from the basement to find the fixture filled with water, a gaping hole in the ceiling (with dripping water), and water all over the table and floor. As you can see, this disaster had a water theme. (If there had been just a little more water, we might have had a scene from The Poseidon Adventure, Part 2.) The reason there was so much water is the last holdout against self-sufficiency and independence (our youngest son) had been taking a shower and the caulking finally gave way.

I asked him if he heard the crash and he said, “Yes, I thought you fell down or something.”

I responded, “and you didn’t think to come check if I was alright?”

He said, “I was wet.”

So, we can cross EMT off the list of future careers for him.

Anyway, when we finally got around to getting it fixed, we hired Ace Handyman Services to fix the problem. Now, it’s here that I should remind you that I am good at some things and hopelessly incompetent at others. Handyman stuff is on the incompetent side of the ledger. So, I hire people to fix things, so they don’t look like I tried to fix them!

Apparently, Ace didn’t get that memo. When they dispatched our so-called handyman, they must have told him “The homeowner wants it to look like a deranged badger broke into the house and hung up the light.”

When he finished, I told him it was crooked. My wife told him it was crooked. He told us, “Gravity will level it out in a few days.”

Gravity must have been slacking for the past three weeks because it’s still crooked. We called Ace and they sent him back out. He told us the fixture was bent or defective out of the box. I pointed out that might have been good to know before he hung it and made up the fairy tale that “gravity” was going to fix it. I don’t try to fix things. He shouldn’t try to write fiction. We should both stay in our lanes.

He made up all sorts of excuses but didn’t fix the light. My wife made him leave before she was tempted to hang him up and see if gravity could level him out in a few days. So, if you come for a visit and you’re bothered by things that are not on the level, you may need to stand at an angle or tilt your head.

In the meantime, I need to find someone to fix our light so it doesn’t look like I tried to fix what I paid the first guy to fix in a way that didn’t look like I tried to fix it. It’s exhausting, isn’t it?

Carry on, Citizens!