“As the Shade Spins…When the Door Opens”

The opening of this, the last episode of As the Shade Spins, was inspired by my good friend Mimi, when she commented on the last installment “Why do I feel like this is movie material for the Griswold’s?”  Damn if that ain’t the truth!

Now, without further commercial interruption…on with the show…

As the Shade Spins – Part IV

Last we saw our driver, he was stomping out the door following heated discussions about his practice of hiring thugs and lying to his clients and/or boss.

Well, he huffed and puffed and drove the truck off.

Yes folks, we were officially victims of furniture-napping.  And the ransom was the ‘balance due’

“Pay up or we’ll kill the recliner!”   😈

Since we had signed on the dotted line, and we wanted this nightmare to end, we decided it best to pay up and fight later. So when ‘he with fork-ed tongue’ returned, without a single word, he took the card, processed the payment over the phone, and headed outside. The passenger side door opened and the accomplice disembarked while the napper opened the main door.

“Ahhhhh, free at last” came whispering out of the blackness (I think it was the recliner…it must have overheard the two goons plotting its demise!)

It was already dark outside, but here, at least, we had outside lights. I was a little concerned that we didn’t have overhead lights in the bedrooms on the second floor, nor did we have lamps (they were all packed neatly in a red truck 800 hundred miles north of us), but with the 3 hall lights and a ginormous foyer light on, I didn’t think it would be too difficult a task with the little that needed to go up there.

Of the 3 bedrooms, we had suites for 2 and a small 3-part sectional and the ‘rescued recliner’ were to go into the bonus room over the garage.  Other than that, there was only a kitchen sized dining set and a few accent pieces going on the first floor.  Since the majority of the boxes had not been marked from whence they came nor where they were going, I decided that all the boxes would be put in the first floor living and dining rooms since there was very little furniture to put in either.

Sound like a plan?  Simple enough right?  More work for me later, but hey, I was happy with it.

Uh Huh…you know it’s coming. Now it’s my turn.  Please watch your step, but follow me into the next black hole of our own little Twilight Zone…the one I call:

BREAKING BAD

Once the plan had been relayed to the fearless leader, things began well enough.  I mean, with just two guys, we knew it was going to go slow (oh, and by the way, ZERO sign of any back trouble from ol’ huff-n-puff).  It was mainly boxes coming off for the first half hour or so.  I didn’t say a word when they brought in each box and plopped it in the middle of the room where they’d continually have to go around it to plop the next one down.  I didn’t ask them whether they thought it might be better to stack them against the walls, to open space to move freely.  No, I just did it myself and kept quiet. Until…

I made the mistake of asking the accomplice (in my mind referred to as ‘I swear he’d move faster if he was walking backwards!) to actually place one of the boxes he was lugging in, as I could see it was too heavy for me to do alone.  Well, jumping Jesus, you’d have thought I’d asked him to carry ME up the stairs (no small feat I can tell ya) instead of just putting that box somewhere other than the middle of the dining room!

His hip actually caulked cocked (? LOL) to one side, his head lowered, and he fucking sighed….like a TEENAGER.  Then he looked at me without raising his head (you know, the ol’ eyes rolling up thing?) and said “I really can’t, I’m busy” then plopped the box right where he stood!

Yup. The line in the wood floor was drawn.  The white flag of truce had been lowered and hoisted instead was this:

3189589-617527-vector-cartoon-illustration-of-a-grinning-devil-character-with-heavy-metal-rock-and-roll-devil-horns-hand-signs

Okay, I get it. I’m on board. I left the room and left him to deal with putting the boxes wherever he wanted to.  Let him have to walk around them, who gives a shit. Not thinking that, of course, he wouldn’t be walking around them, he’d just be plopping them closer and closer to the door.  Atta girl Rhonda, you sure showed him!

I’d decided to check on the fearless leader’s progress, he being the one in the truck, passing the boxes forward.  I saw they were close to off-loading some of the furniture pieces, so I mentioned again ‘the plan’…which bed and dresser in which room, the bonus room furniture, etc.  No problem.

I went inside to try to make some inroads in the kitchen while the muscle started bringing in furniture.  Kitchen table, chairs, hutch in the kitchen…check.  Secretary, computer desk in the living room…check. Twin beds, dresser, nightstand in the back bedroom…check.  Double bed, dresser, chifferobe in the front bedroom…check.  Beds assembled? Yes, sure, absolutely, no problem.  Awesome.

No surprise that by this time, the Hubs had decided to dig in for the obvious reason; at the current rate of progress, we’d be there ’til their place of birth froze over if he didn’t help with something!  He was assembling the table in the kitchen while the other two were bringing in the other pieces that had already been designated, so no need to direct this part of the opera.

Yeah, so we thought.

When the time came to bring in the pieces for the bonus room, we ran into some pushback.  Hmmm, ran into some pushback…sounds a tad mild to my mind, but what it boiled down to was this:

They didn’t care to bring those pieces upstairs.  The living room was closer, on the first floor, empty of furniture, and it certainly LOOKED like living room furniture, so they figured that’s where it belonged.  THEY figured that’s where it belonged!  I’ll say it again…okay…I won’t. But REALLY?

Initiate melt down…three, two, one…..BLAST OFF!

Hubs and Me:

(Best guess would be around a decibel level of 95 (somewhere between a lawnmower and a car horn, all the while the two devil-goons are carrying on like we were not even there)

What do you mean they won’t bring it upstairs?
God Rhonda, let’s just get this over with.
But who the hell IS gonna take it upstairs?
We’ll deal with it later.
What do you mean WE? You are always at work and I can’t lug this shit upstairs alone.
They said it wouldn’t fit through the door up there anyway.
What the fuck are you talking about?  It fit through the door at home and it’s NO BIGGER than this one!
They said the legs don’t come off that chair and there’s no way it’ll fit.
BULLSHIT…the legs DO come off, they came off when it was delivered to the OTHER house!
I don’t want to argue about it, let’s just get DONE!
Fuck that…I want this furniture upstairs because it BELONGS upstairs!
I mean it…just LET IT GO!
Bull…tell them to take it upstairs or I’ll leave!  I’ve had ENOUGH!
Rhonda…wait,  wait damn it….where are you going?
OUT…AWAY…I’ll walk and keep on walking or I’m gonna KILL something!
FINE…have it your way, act like a child, LEAVE.

So I did (act like a child).  Grabbed my coat, my purse, and my cell phone (thank God) and walked off into the night.  No violins, no crescendo of dramatic music…just me, in the dark, in the rain (had I mentioned it was raining?), and in a huff.  I’d only known two things about this neighborhood prior to move-in day; how to get to my house, and how to get to the main road.  That’s it.

So, I did what I knew I could…I walked to the main road and took a right.  I knew there was a convenience store somewhere up there at a major intersection…I’d make my way there, get a coffee, and wait.  For what?  I didn’t know.  I just knew I had to get out and I had to have a place to go.

I trekked like a mad woman on a mission, tears mixing with the rain, continuing the idiotic conversation with the Hubs, OUT LOUD and to NO ONE, all the while walking that street like a hooker on speed.  I kept my eyes on the white line, avoided looking up at cars that were flying by lest they see the eyes of an insane person!

I continued on that way for about 20 minutes, and only when the white line disappeared, did I look up to see that the concrete drainage ditch that ran beside all the roads around here was inches away from me, where before then, it had been feet away.  In the noticing, I must have startled myself, for my left foot slipped on the slippery slope (ha!) and rather than go with the flow and land on my ass in the running drain water…I tried to jump the gully.  Tried being the operative word. As soon as my foot landed on the other side…I heard it.  SNAP.  Funny, I did hear it before I felt it too.

Next thing you know, I’ve face planted in the ditch, soaking and covered in mud, crawling my way back up to the road, crying like a baby.  I’d managed to hang onto my cell phone, though I honestly cannot say how.  I had forgotten one thing though…in my haste to escape.  My glasses!  I was blind as a bat.  Traffic was whizzing by, the rain on the road making that sound so much worse.  But, through my tears and over the traffic noise and the sobs, I saw the familiar silhouette light up the screen and heard the ringtone of my husband.

hugh?
Where are you?
i don’t knoooooow laying on the side of the road
WHAT?
i’m laying on the side of the roooooad
Where?
I don’t knoooooooow on the MAIN road just take a riiiiight i can’t waaaaaalk i thththink I bbbbroke my leeeeg
Oh Jesus Christ, stay there, I’m coming
iiiiiiii wiiiiiiiil wahhhhhhhhhhh (imagine Lucielle Ball…yeah, like that, exactly like that!)

A few minutes later, his car pulls up on the side of the road, me in the headlights.  No one else had stopped, and I’ve wondered since if I was even visible in my black coat, on that rainy night.  I think I’m lucky I wasn’t roadkill!

Anyway, Hubs grabs me under the arms, and together, we manage to get me on my one foot…the other one won’t work…and settled into the car.  I instinctively put the seat back as far as it will go and put my right let up on the dash to elevate it.  As there were still two goons at the house, he was obviously torn between taking me to the ER and going back to get them done and get them GONE!

So, for the next two hours, I sat in that same spot while Hubs ran through the rest of that truck like a madman.  And being the kind, compassionate, professional ASSMONKEYS those two were, they watched him.  One stood there folding blankets, the other may have taken in two boxes during that entire period.

After I’d left, they had emptied the truck of the rest of the furniture pieces and a few more of the boxes.  And yes, they placed everything within 10 feet of the front door.  Not another second wasted on talking to them, not another fraction of a second did he spend doing anything but getting that truck empty and those devil-dogs out.  Once that was over, he didn’t even stop to breathe…he ran to the car and to the ER we went.

While waiting for the Ortho to come tell us what the x-ray had revealed, we received a visitor.  Yup, not in town but a few hours and already had visitors!  It was a Virginia State Trooper.  A Captain no less.  Apparently, he’d been in one of those whizzing by vehicles, when his daughter shouted “Daddy, there’s a woman on a cell phone laying on the side of the road!”  Yup, that were me!

The good Captain continued on his way taking his daughter home after a basketball game then returned to “the scene of the grime” only to find I’d gone.  He used his amazing intuitive skill to surmise I’d likely been taken to the hospital and upon further investigation, found me and the Hubs in the ER.  He introduced himself, asked for the scoop, then stayed and chatted for a quarter-hour or so, before wishing us well and taking his leave. What a nice guy (cute too I might add).

Once diagnosed with the broken tibia, wrapped, booted, drugged, and given our appointment for a couple of days hence, we were sent on our way.  Drowsed from the meds, I recall just one thing…walking into a house that looked like a cardboard A-bomb had exploded and left its residue all over the first floor!  I didn’t care.  The Hubs walked me tenderly to the (now thankful it’s downstairs) recliner, propped my adorned leg up (toes to nose you know) and let me sleep.  What he did then, I’m not sure, but I pray it was just fall asleep on the (again, thankful it’s downstairs) sectional, for had he gone upstairs that night…well, let’s just say we may NOT have survived to see today.

This is not the end of what we’ve had to deal with…but it’s the end of this traji-comedy for now.  Perhaps a sequel down the road…one detailing just WHAT we found upstairs and just how incompetent these people were and what steps we’ve taken with this company, and maybe even what has happened SINCE in our new home…I’ll think on it.  I’m not entirely sure I’m up to it (you either for that matter)!’

All I will say, about what’s gone on since, is there is water involved….lots and lots and lots of water!  If you saw the photos from “As Promised – The Opening Line” you won’t be surprised.

Thanks for joining me, sharing it with me, hopefully laughing with me too…hindsight is a funny thing!

R

“As the Shade Spins…the Hubby Loses it!”

I can’t speak to your usual customs during intermission…but I hope you’ve refreshed your spirits, refilled your bowls, settled in the comfy chair, and are anxiously awaiting the next chapter of our little drama.  If so with your permission, here we go…

As the Shade Spins, Part III

We left our cast at the end of a very long, very cold, very anxious, and extremely infuriating day 2…to sleep the sleep of the damned!  The next morning was the coldest yet, frigid is just a word we use because we can think of no other.  Dang it was cold.  But no time to dottle   We stuffed our luggage up, down, in, around, and under anything we could in our two cars and hit the road.  We needed to be in Virginia by 10am the following day for our walk through and our closing was at 2pm that same day!

Yeah buddy.

(Oh, and by the way, the fully loaded F-150 of my father’s?  Yeah, still in Vermont.  We are now 31 days in, and it’s still there loaded with MY stuff.  No help for it though.  What with health issues, weather issues, lack of finding someone able to drive it down here issues, it is what it is.  A truck ready for anything that could possibly occur if the need should arise, as it’s full of lamps, Christmas decorations, books, movies, bookcases, garden tools, trash cans, bedding, ladders, and even a small charcoal grill and a lantern!  So don’t worry Dad, if you get caught out in the weather and need a place to stay?  Climb in the back…you’re good to go.)

I’m sure there’s a post in me somewhere for detailing the wonders and the beauty of the drive down, and you know me, I’ll add some photos…but for the sake of this little drama, I’ll just say good thing it was pretty.  That’s all I have to say about that!  It was a looooooooooong day and my ass hurt, and I get ugly when my ass hurts.  We landed in Virginia late, tired, hungry, and thirsty as hell for something that didn’t need a straw or a cover on the cup!

W I N E…give me wine!

We made our walk through (we’d managed to put it off until noon), found the water heater had mysteriously shit the bed, the work under the crawl space that had been contracted per our professional home inspection was not done as directed, and the gas fireplace wouldn’t work, so closing was delayed a couple hours while the seller/realtor/and powers that be got it all straight that these things would be corrected ASAP at no cost to us.  Great, fine, good to go.

Meanwhile, the movers, who had given me a delivery window of 7 days (yes..7 days) had called no less than 3 times while we were at the attorney’s office, wanting to know when we would be at the house so they could unload.  They were sitting there, parked in front of the house, pretty as you please!!!

Really?

It was already late afternoon.

Really?

What happened to the 7 days and we’ll call you with the exact date?

Are we really going to be doing this IN THE DARK?

AGAIN?

Foreboding.  You knew the feeling was coming yeah?

Forefuckingboding hit me like a brick.

So…no post-closing celebratory dinner for us (or any for that matter).  No moment to walk the empty house, placing furniture (what there was of it) in my head, no looking forward to the first chance at a decent night’s sleep in days.  No, for us…it was ‘same shit different day’ time.

F I N E—BRING IT!

We got to the house after 4:00 and sure enough, there they were.  The moving crew from hell!  Did I say they were from Haiti?  I should have said they were from Hades!

First things first…the driver gets out alone, says he can’t open the doors until we pay him the balance due (50% paid up front).

Not “I’ll get my guys started while we settle the paperwork.”  Nope, plain and simple, he cannot open the doors until we give him a credit card.

Oooooh, I saw the look on the Hub’s face and it was not pretty.  Worse…it was eerily murderous.  He was in the driver’s face in a flash, and I mean Silver Bullet type fast.  The driver never had a chance.  Next thing you know the three of us were in the house, there were three different phones being put to use at the same time…and while we were all waiting our respective call backs (you didn’t think we could actually get anyone on the phone did ya?) this is what the driver had to say…paraphrased in English of course…and my inner most thoughts in parenthesis, per usual:

Driver says:

“Sir, I need to tell you that I hurt my back off-loading a piano from that other load that was on the truck with yours (what? there was a piano in there somewhere? and when the hell did you have time?  oh, those poor other customers) and I can’t lift anything (WTF?) and I only have one of my cousins (you mean crew member right?) with me ’cause I had to drop the other one off back in Massachusetts (you went to Massachusetts AGAIN? and it’s just you and ONE guy? and you can’t LIFT? Wait, WHAT?)”

He continues…

“So, if you’ll just pay me, I’ll go to a truck stop I saw about 20 miles back up the road and hire a couple of guys. (huh? what did you just say?  truck stop? hire? wait, WHAT?)”

Okay…here is where it goes out of control.  Well, at least where my husband goes out of control (mine comes later.  oh and same thing applies here…my inner thinking in parenthesis).

Husband says:

“Are you kidding me?  You expect me to hand over my credit card so you can go hire some fucking random, thugs you picked up at some truck stop?  You are out of your mind! (you go honey)  I hired a MOVING COMPANY…I did NOT hire three thugs and a fucking truck!  (whoo hoo) I want what I paid for!  (that’s telling him babe) You get on the phone to your dispatcher and have him make arrangements to have qualified help here tomorrow. (that did it hon, we’ve got him now)”

Driver says:

“Sir, I do this all the time. I hire people off Craigslist too (did he really say that out loud?)”

Husband replies:

“You what? (yeah that’s what I said) Don’t you work for CVLRD? (good point honey) And isn’t that a CVLRD truck you are driving? (yup) And just whose name is on this paperwork? (it ain’t three thugs and a fucking truck I can tell ya that much) Are you telling me you routinely go out and hire random people, of your own volition, to finish jobs your company was hired to do?  (you’re in trouble now buddy)”

Driver says:

😯

The Hubster:

“I’m telling you right now, you will NOT get one red cent from me for that, or for anything else for that matter, until you get your dispatcher on the phone…RIGHT NOW! (whoa babe, you’re even scaring me!)  You get on the phone, tell him what you told me about being hurt and what you want to do about getting this job done!”

Meanwhile, we’d finally gotten our coördinator on the line, and she passed us to the dispatcher, who as it turned out, is just as knuckleheaded as his driver.  He said no, they were not in the habit of hiring from truck stops or Craigslist; yes, the driver works for them; yes, the truck belongs to them; yes, he understands why we’d react to being told such a thing; no, he had not been informed that the driver was hurt or missing a crew member; no, he’s more than sorry, but there was no way to get him qualified help in time to finish this job because this job HAD to be done that day as the truck and crew were already booked for another job the next day; (wait for it….) and finally yes, we needed to give the driver our credit card before he could open the doors!  Oh, but could he please speak with the driver to find out about this ‘injury’ as he wouldn’t expect him to work hurt.

Remember that clip from Poltergeist?

W H A T  I S  H A P P E N I N G ????

Are we even still on EARTH?

Long story short (hahaha, now THAT’S funny), the driver lied through his pearly whites, told his dispatcher he was NOT hurt and could finish this job no problem, all he wanted was to tell us he needed to be paid first, and we reacted irrationally.  Now, understand, we could HEAR him (amazingly clear English I might add).  Did he not get that?  My husband didn’t let him finish his conversation before getting back on the phone and telling the dispatcher he’d just been lied to.  Either that or WE’D been lied to.  When the driver heard my husband say that, he huffed out the door saying this exact thing (in English and everything):

“I don’t need this shit.  This isn’t even my REAL job!”

Ummmmmmmm…what’s that word?  Gobsmacked?  Yeah, that’s it!  Gobsmacked.  And not because we didn’t believe it (no one would mistake this clown for a professional) but to say it?  In front of us while on the phone with HIS boss?

omgomgomgomgomgomg…can this day get any worse?

Seems it can…join me next time for “When the Door Opens” on the next installment of “As the Shade Spins”