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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

Waiters Never Prosper

First stop on the train today, pulling into Bugs & Cranks station:

These Irish Eyes Are Watching the Braves — A green-tinted St. Patty’s Day gaze at the latest news from Braves camp.

Now let’s keep the train rolling. All aboard!

Today, I’m playing that time-honored, oft-attempted, and entirely unwinnable game: I’m waiting for the plumber to show up.

Plumbers are members of a mysterious secret society — including cable guys, delivery people, and, depending on your neighborhood, the cops — that unfailingly knows how to catch you at the worst possible time. Either they employ a crack team of very talented psychics, or they have cameras in every room of every household in the world. I suspect they’re watching us from the wall outlets; the electricians must be in on it, too.

“I don’t even get a halftime pep talk, or cheerleaders to distract me. It’s like playing golf, without the funny pants and ball washers.”

My ‘appointment’ this morning was standard issue for a plumber — ‘between 8 AM and 10 AM’. As the words were uttered, the game began — a contest I cannot hope to win, or even draw. I don’t even get a halftime pep talk, or cheerleaders to distract me. It’s like playing golf, without the funny pants and ball washers.

When you play the ‘waiting for the plumber’ game, there are three possible outcomes:

1. If you forget the plumber is coming and sleep in, the plumber will arrive at a sane, reasonable time in the middle of the expected window. You’ll either wake in a panic when the doorbell rings, and greet your plumber wearing your footie pajamas and a bad case of bedhead — or you’ll cower silently under the covers, and reschedule with a now-angry plumber later on.

And let me tell you — you don’t want an angry plumber. That roto-rooting snake thingy they carry isn’t just for clogged toilets. Or so they’ll tell you.

2. If you diligently set your alarm, wake up, and make yourself presentable — well earlier than the appointment window, to be safe — then the plumber will assuredly arrive as late in the interval as possible. Including up to three hours after it.

Also, it’s no good waking up extra early, getting dressed, and then feigning sleep under the bedcovers to make the plumber come on time. They start watching the cameras hours before the appointment, to put the kibosh on that sort of trickery. Plus, at that hour you’re likely to fall back to sleep, and then you’re right back at #1 again.

3. If you’re very clever, you can manage to maximize the sleep you get, schedule your morning prep to end exactly at the start of the appointment window, and enjoy a nice relaxing cup of coffee or tea while you wait. Should you be the sort who can pull off this tricky bit of time management, you receive a special reward — the plumber won’t show up at all.

They hate you well-organized people, sitting there smugly sipping from your alphabetically-sorted mugs. They bail, just to teach you bastards a lesson. It’s the one subject on which plumbers and I agree.

This time around, I’ve taken door number two. I set the alarm for 7:30, woke up on my own fifteen minutes early, and was showered, dressed, and miserable by twenty til eight. My pants are on backwards, I showered with toothpaste, and I may have eaten my watch, but I’m available to meet the plumber when he arrives.

At ten.

Or twelve.

Or Thursday.

Get me the Gatorade and a spit cup. This game’s going into overtime, coach.

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