Throughout my (three? almost three?) months here at Garvey Roofing Inc., Tom has relayed to me some… strange… stories about people he’s met while out on estimates. He goes out into the sprawl that is Los Angeles and witnesses a variety of people. I’d estimate he’s met one person in every area that is the “cultural spectrum” thus far in his career. FYI: Current estimated population for the Greater Los Angeles Area- 18.5 million.
For starters… there’s this place most may have not heard of called Bradbury, CA. It’s above Duarte, CA, which you might not also have heard of either. Like everything in life, Google it.
Anywho, Bradbury is a gated community. One of those. Security guards, fences, houses that represent more money than the GDP of some small countries… etc. I like to think they have underground fallout shelters, automated machine gun sentries that come out of the ground and Surface-to-Air missile silos hidden amongst (doesn’t that word look wrong? Amongst. It’s a preposition. Believe me… I Googled it) their ivory statues and rare tropical plant gardens. Maybe even a subterranean aircraft hanger underneath the tennis court that opens up. Like in the X-Men movies.
I could go on, but don’t worry, I won’t.
One fine day a few weeks back, Tom visited one of these estates for an estimate on a few roofing repairs. After having gone through a military security checkpoint, delousing, full background check, medical history review, and a series of questions about the history of the U.S., he was allowed to enter.
Okay… KIDDING… there was just security at the entrance.
Anyways, he goes in, finds the place, and is greeted by a marble driveway.
And the way I wrote that sounds like the driveway itself greeted him. In that scenario, such a thing would have been believable, too. Observe:
*soothing sound of a harp being strummed gently*
(synthesized voice with a smooth British accent)- “Hello, and thank you for visiting. Please proceed up the driveway at a speed no greater then 25 miles per hour or you will be fired upon. Thank you and have a lovely day.”
*soothing sound of a harp being strummed gently*
Maybe about 1/4 of a mile long, this driveway was stretching up a lush front “yard” (more like a prairie) to a modest mansion. Proceeding up the driveway in a speed appropriate for driveways, Tom eventually arrived at said mansion. Tom pondered on the fact that the driveway alone was probably worth more money than he’s ever made in his life combined with all the money is ever going to make, as well. It was made of pieces of marble that were 1 foot by 2 feet, 6 inches thick, laid over a concrete foundation.
The owner later elaborated on his underground shooting range, massive swimming pool next to the swan pond NEXT TO THE (censored)ING SAUNA, and then about how the repairs were needed on the other house. The one behind the mansion. Next to the guest house… which alone was bigger than Tom’s actual current normal human person house.
I always wonder about what the hell these people do for a living. The usual answers involve things like stock broker, commercial real estate broker, Donald Trump and Saudi Prince types, corporate law accounting firm conglomeration trademarked head vice regional president WHATEVER. People that wouldn’t read this blog, basically. (To people who fit into that category that actually are reading this blog… uh…. Hi!)
So what ended up happening was, well, nothing really. Basically, Tom looked at all this and realized that if the roof was fixed, and still managed to leak again (which happens… again, fixing a roof made by someone else can result in further unforeseen issues. In this case, it was a custom slate roof… which is a real thing I guess.) He didn’t want one drop of water landing on a grand piano worth more than his entire life. Or a priceless Picasso. Or whatever.
Now, on the other side of the spectrum lies this anecdote.
Once upon a time in a magical land far, far away (Arcadia, CA), Tom visited a home nestled in a lovely cul-de-sac, isolated from the rush and roar of busy streets and upscale shopping centers. Upon arriving at the address, Tom noted the fact that the place looked like it had been abandoned since, at the earliest, the late 1940’s. (Please see: “Dilapidated” and all relevant synonyms.) In Arcadia, of all places. It was, needless to say, a bit out of place, considering the surrounding neighborhood.
He knocked on the door, and what sounded like “25 sets of small dog claws that had never been trimmed rushing over a hard wood floor” came stampeding towards the door in a maelstrom of yips and barks. The structural integrity of the door held as the herd of small quadrupeds came crashing upon it from the other side. A few minutes after an opera of barking and angry shouting at the barking from the owner inside, the audible chaos subsided. Meanwhile, Tom stood there, patient and ready to defend himself against a potential attack from a pack of borderline feral poodles, chihuahuas and Yorkie terriers.
The dirty, ancient curtain behind the window drew open just a bit to reveal the eye of an elderly woman who Death seemed to have put on the TBA list. Pale skin… sparse, wiry white hair. The whites of her eyes were a faded yellow (Please see: Jaundice. Actually… don’t. I’ll just tell you- if you see someone whose eyes are yellow-ish where they are supposed to be white-ish, that’s called Jaundice and it stems from oncoming, or current, liver failure. Your medical fact for the day. Trust me, I Googled it.)
The face withdrew slightly into the shadows and a pointed, jagged finger arose, pointing upwards in a vague direction.
“The leak is up there…” cackled a quiet, raspy voice. Then the curtain withdrew. Silence.
Tom then remembered there was a Starbucks not too far away from there, and how it would be nice to be there instead, vacated the premises, and never returned.
Next up: a few success stories and the guy who shoots his fireplace! Tune in next time!