Fort Lauderdale Home Depot, November, 2013.
"Okay Mark, let's get in and out of here. All I need is a light bulb and an extension cord."
Five minutes later, Mark comes looking for me.
"Alan, Alan, come over here and look. They have our floor on sale."
"The same floor we have in our bedroom."
"You mean the floor that I ended up installing with my bad knees, bad eyesight, and high blood pressure?"
"We need to replace the floor in the living room. I'll pay for the Pergo flooring if you..."
"Absolutely not! I will not install another floor. If you want that floor you have to find somebody to install it, and install it cheap."
Despite my objections, the Pergo flooring was purchased and has been sitting on the floor of my office in boxes for over three months. Living in South Florida, you have to get used to service people and handymen who never return calls. You have to get used to people who advertise themselves as handymen, yet seem to spend most of their time avoiding the job offered. My first try was the handyman that I had used previously. I must have been lucky the last time he came to work for me, because ever since I have not been able to get him to return my calls. Maybe it was something I said. Anyway, my second try was the brother of an acquaintance who quoted me a price equivalent to paying him forty dollars an hour. I will not encourage such frivolity with my money. My final try was the guy who cleared my yard of all the overgrowth (I was desperate). Of course he doesn't install Pergo floors. He clears weeds out of the yard. So I am down to my last option. With my bad knees, bad eyesight, and high blood pressure, I will attempt to install the Pergo floors in the living room and dining room. I will do it in my own time, and on my own terms. My very first course of business will be to de-clutter the living room and dining room. I have already emptied Mark's china cabinet. I've asked him to point out which of the hundreds of things he had in there (which he hasn't touched in years) that I can throw away. Mark's answer was to point to the one thing, among the hundreds, that belonged to me.
"How about your grandfather's beer stein?"