'Good Ol' Boys'

18 February, 2018rodster385Comments (0)

undefined I am a small town boy. Not really a boy anymore, but that's how we Texans describe ourselves, you know, like 'good ol' boy.' Small towns are full of good ol' boys...laid back and easy going. Small town boys gather at the local coffee shop and drink their coffee black, unlike city folks who hang out at a Starbucks. We put in a hard day's work. We attend our kids' ball games. We wear our blue jeans to church every Sunday. We tend to stand firm in our beliefs and cling to our values and our hunting rifles. All in all, not much riles us up. The outside world is somewhere on another planet. Nobody gets murdered here and there's not too many break-ins because everybody knows we have those hunting rifles and we aren't afraid to use them. Yes, laid back and easy going and that's not always a good thing. Take last week, for example.
My daughter had come home from college for the weekend. She unloaded her car with ten suitcases of clothes which would hopefully get her through Saturday and Sunday, and when she shut the car door, the lock fell off. Just fell in the dirt. I fiddled with it for an hour or so and well, it's a Ford and don't get me started on that. I decided I'd have to take it to the Ford House on Monday which presented two problems. My daughter had to be back at college on Monday and it was highly likely that I'd have to walk home from the Ford House since it typically takes them ten days to fix anything. Luckily we have a spare car that she could drive and we drove the Ford to the shop on Sunday afternoon. I'd just go down on Monday morning and tell the mechanic to fix the lock. It still presented me with the problem of getting the car back home, but I decided I'd cross that bridge when I came to it.
I walked into the Ford house bright and early Monday morning with the defective lock in hand. The man at the service counter nodded and told me they tend to do that, just fall off in the dirt...and they'd get 'er fixed sooner or later. As I walked out to my pickup, my phone rang. It was the realtor.
My dear old mama passed away last June and lucky me, had been cursed with the job of executor of the estate and that's another story I'll tell some other time. I had been trying to sell her house for months. I had an eager buyer since November. They had cash money. And it's February...that's where that laid back and easy going small town way of life comes into play. I would venture to guess that not more than a dozen houses are sold in our podunk little town on a yearly basis, yet three months after the buyer and seller shook hands on an agreement, the house still stood vacant. The realtor had originally set the closing date on December 31st, but it seems the two people working at the only title company in town were out of pocket, one with a surgery and the other having a baby. Reluctantly, the buyer and myself agreed to postpone the closing date to January 31st.
On January 30th, I called the realtor concerning the closing, expressing my fears that the buyer might back out if we didn't close the next day.
"Well, you know they're dealing with some health issues down there. I don't know if we will close tomorrow or not. You know that one woman had a baby..."
I bristled and replied, "That baby is crawling by now."
Apparently, the lawyer overseeing the probate of my mom's estate owns the title company. With the realtor now cracking her whip, he took on the chore of preparing the paperwork, with the assurance that the house would close by the end of the day. But there was another problem...
Keep in mind the original closing date was December 31st. The weatherman forecasted temperatures dropping down to five degrees for several nights during the first week of January. I had kept the utilities on at the house for the six months since my mom's passing. However, it had slipped my attention that during those six months, I had not received a gas bill. On the first week of January, I got a notice in the mail that due to not paying the bill for six months, the gas had been shut off. At five degrees, I knew every water line in the house would burst. I frantically called the city water department and told them to turn off the water.
The girl on the other end of the phone tartly responded, "I can't disconnect the water unless the person whose name is on the bill calls."
"She's dead! I'm the executor of the estate! I need the water turned off!"
"Well, you will have to bring us something official that shows you are the executor of the estate!"
Later that afternoon, having appeased that wench down at the water department, I pulled up at the house. A city water employee was getting into his truck.
"We got it shut off for ya!" he shouted in his good ol' boy accent and drove away.
I went into the house to drain the water out of the pipes. For thirty minutes I drained the water, but it kept coming...a stream about the thickness of a pencil. The water wasn't completely off. I called the wench back.
"The water isn't completely off! It's supposed to get down to five degrees tonight. I need it off!"
"No. It shows the water has been disconnected. It's off."
I held the phone to the faucet so she could hear the water running.
"Well. it's four-thirty. We're all winding down for the day..."
And as one would expect, a pipe in the bathroom burst that night, flooding the entire house.
The good ol' boy from the water department came out the following day.
"Must be a defective water meter. I'll just pull it off and that will stop the water. I know you'll need water when the plumber comes to fix that leak. Just give me a call and I'll put another one on for ya."
Fast forward to last Friday:
The attorney called to inform me they had the paperwork ready but wouldn't close on the house until the leak was fixed. I called the wench at the water department and explained the situation.
"Well, we can't put a meter on until the buyer comes down here and puts up a deposit."
"But we can't close on the house until a plumber fixes a leak and he can't find the leak without water."
"I will have to have a deposit from the new owners, that's final."
Well, it wasn't final. I called the realtor and at exactly 11:40 that morning, the good ol' boy from the water department pulled up to the curb.
"Yeah, just let me grab some lunch and I'll be back at one. Go ahead and call the plumber."
"Okay, but whatever you do, don't turn the water on. You'll flood the house."
I met the plumber at the house at exactly 1:15 pm. We walked into the house, which was flooded because the good ol' boy from the water department had turned the water on. The plumber lumbered out to his truck and came back into the bathroom with of all things, a hammer. He watched me mop the floor for a moment and with one powerful swing, destroyed the wall.
"Let's see if we can find where that leak is." he said in his good ol' boy tone of voice.
An hour later the leak, which he discovered was in the attic after tearing up the bathroom wall, was repaired. I stared at the gaping hole in the wall as the plumber handed me the bill.
"You know of anyone who does sheetrock work?" I asked, thinking surely of all people, a plumber with a hammer might.
"Naw," he drawled in his good ol' boy tone.
Standing in three inches of water, I called the attorney.
"The leak is fixed."
"Just bring me a copy of the plumber's bill. Oh, and you'll have to fix that wall before we can close on the house."
My eyes darted around the tiny bathroom, searching for a hidden camera.
I walked into the attorney's office last Thursday. He was leaned back in a leather chair in typical good ol' boy fashion, his hands behind his head. Sitting upright, he reached toward his desk and handed me a check.
"That's what you've been waiting on." he said in his good ol' boy tone of voice.
"Yeah, for three months," I replied, forcing a smile.
"I'm sorry it took so long. That's just the way things go around here."
"Oh, I know," I responded with a guffaw, "believe me, I know how things go around here."
As I stepped out into the sunlight with a check in hand, my phone rang.
A sultry southern voice on the other end spoke in my ear, "Hi, this is the Ford House. Your car is ready to pick up."
I stared at the check and shrugged it off. I had forgotten about the car.
"Think I'll go down to the Dairy Queen and get a steak finger basket," I spoke out loud to no one in particular in my good ol' boy tone of voice. I let out a sigh of relief as I felt that laid back, easy going good ol' boy feeling sweep over me


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