(one week ago)
i said, there have been five phone messages from these landscaper guys about some job you want them to do.
keaton said, yeah i know, don’t know what they’re talking about.
i asked, well they seem to think you want them to do some stuff.
keaton said, they’ll stop calling eventually.
a knock at the door.
two surly characters were standing there.
i opened the door.
one guy said, hello, mr. wiggins?
i said, no, i'm bob crane. how are ya doin’?
he said, oh, i’m sorry. does ms. keaton wiggins live here?
i said, yes, she does.
the second guy rolled his eyes and looked away as if he had just stumbled upon something insalubrious, except he’d never use that word to describe it in a million years.
i said, it’s a long story.
another disdainful roll of his eyes.
the first guy said, yeah well we’re from god’s green earth landscapers. we received a call from ms. wiggins several weeks ago. it was a little rambling but she left an address. so we happened to be in the neighborhood, saw the car in the driveway, and thought we ought to stop in and see if she wants any yard work done.
i said, oh yeah, you’ve been leaving messages.
he said, yeah, that’s us.
i said, yeah, funny thing. she’s been ... um ... flying back and forth to pensacola florida for the last few weeks. um ... death in the family. so her priorities have kind of changed.
the first guy said, dear lord, i’m sorry to hear that. i understand. may i ask, was it a parent?
i said, no. um … it was her sister’s dog, a wonderful rhodesian ridgeback named collingsworth. they were close.
the second guy said, died of old age?
i said, no, not really. um ... it was mauled to death by her mom’s ... um ... chihauhau at a family gathering. it’s caused a huge riff in the family. quite ugly honestly. so keaton has been busy trying to bring her mother and sister back together.
the first guy studied my face for a moment.
then he said, you know sir, you could just tell us you don’t want to have any work done.
i asked, you’re not buying it are ya?
he said, no sirree ... bob. we’re not.
i asked, was it the chihauhau?
he nodded and said, you should have gone with a pit bull.
then the second guy chimed in, or at least a jack russell. they’re mean little dogs. we tend to think of them as a god experiment gone bad.
i said, okay then, the truth is she’s heavily sedated and has been making crank calls to businesses with religious names.
first guy said, lord knows it’s not the first we’ve received.
the second guy said, amen brother, and won’t be the last.
i said, sorry about that. then, no hard feelings?
the first guy said, you take care mr. wiggins.
i said, mr. crane.
the second guy said, it’s all right. we’d probably refuse to do the work anyway, given the insalubrious relationship and all the sin you have here and stuff.
i thought to myself, hmm ... i sure called that wrong.
then i smiled and said, it wouldn’t be the first time. take care.
they parted with a “god bless you”, except i don’t think the second guy really meant it.
and once again i had successfully run interference for keaton and her crank calls to businesses with religious names.