I was so looking forward to a long days sleep this past Saturday. I spent all of Friday night/Saturday morning video taping a high school graduation and grad nite event, which was the culmination of several weeks of the equivalent of video editing in a pressure cooker. But, Saturday morning at 6AM I was done and felt I was entitled to a long day of restful recovery sleep. Apparently, other arrangments had been made.
Jen woke me up at 9:30 with some unexpected news.
“You have to go answer the door.”
“Why? Tell whoever it is that I’m sleeping.”
“It’s Arthur Bailey.”
Not what I wanted to hear. The previous week I had told Arthur that this day would not be a good one for cutting my blackberry bush. I also told him that he needed to start calling before just showing up. Apparently he misunderstood my first decree and ignored or forgot my second. I told him I had nothing to pay him with, but he said he would do it for free. I already felt bad enough taking this guys weed whacker from him at a third of it’s value, now he wants to be give me free labor. But I could tell that he wasn’t going to take no for an answer. So, to work he went. I didn’t feel too comfortable going back to sleep with him in my yard, so I stayed up and watched The Buddy Holly Story. It was just as well. Every few minutes he’d knock on the door to ask or tell me something.
“I need something to cut the wire with.”
“Should I get all this ivy too?”
“We need to got to Home Depot so I can get the heavier gauge wire.”
I told him that I wasn’t going to drive to Home Depot today. I needed to rest, so he’d just have to do his best. He agreed, but about five minutes later he knocked again and said it just wasn’t working and he’d walk there to get the wire. Well, the nearest Home Depot is probably about 10 miles from my house. I saw this as my opportunity to catch a few hours sleep. I gave him a $20 bill, told him to keep the change, and he told me that he decided just to walk down to the hardware store down the street instead. There goes my nap time. So off he went. I did catch a little more sleep before he returned.
All in all, Arthur worked on my blackberry bushes for about four hours, before he managed to rip part of a fingernail off. This was the only time I have allowed, or intend to allow him into my house. He came in the kitchen just far enough to rinse off his finger before putting a Band-Aid on it. At about this time the weed whacker, the mechanical one, was growing weary and wasn’t operating up to Arthur’s high standards. He decided to call it a day. He asked for a lift home and I agreed.
We first stopped off at Starbucks, where he got his favorite drink; frappachino with two shot of raspberry and two shots of espresso. It was his second one of the day. It’s no wonder he’s got all this weed whacking energy. While he was waiting for them to finish making his beverage, he ran (literally) to the quicky mart across the parking lot and bought some groceries with the money I managed to scrounge to pay him. Although I was already pretty confident about it already, it was reassuring to know he’s using the money for food. After he got his frappachino, we listened to the same track from Braveheart on a CD I had burned about five times. Apparently he’s a big fan. We chatted as we drove along and he asked me, “You’ve known me for a while now, what do you think of me?”
Wow. What a question. Talk about being on the spot. But it was an easy answer, actually. “Well, you’re very generous. You work hard and do what you say you’re going to do. I think you’re a good guy.”
This seemed to satisfy him. And it was all true. I guess he just needed a little reassurance. He talks a lot about trying to make people happy and not letting other people negative attitudes bring him down, and being positive. He’s clearly a guy who wants to do the right thing. I’m really curious as to what his story is. He most assuredly have an interesting one.
We arrived at his house, and I gave him my phone number again and made it as clear as possible that he needs to call before showing up, even on days when I know he’s supposed to come by. He understood and asked if he had upset me. I said no, we shook hands and I drove home.
I’m starting to think that maybe his selling me the weed whacker for dirt cheap was part of a master plan to guilt me into always giving him work, even when I really don’t have the money to pay him. Oh well, at least I got some video of him this time. Enjoy.