Beelzebub And Blunderbus
Sheeesh! It’s been one hellova week.
And ain’t that an understatement? My extra sensory antennae tell me everyone reading this is nodding silently – one hellova week. With emPHAsis on HELLOVA.
Remember when something wouldn’t happen until hell had frozen over? Well, I’m guessing that day has come and gone. Lately, it’s been hell on Earth. Mortal sinners down below are also shivering, wondering if Beelzebub forgot to pay the gas bill.
Hot as Hades – remember that? Frankly, I wouldn’t mind a blast of Beelzebub’s heat. The other morning it was 19 BELOW outside. Hades, Kansas had frozen over. Wind chill was in the minus 30’s. Boulder McGraw stuck his nose outside and declared it “TCP” -- too cold to poop. He was prepared to suffer.
My frozen igloo in Hades was a casualty. More about that in a sec …
WE NOW INTERRUPT OUR REGULARLY SCHEDULED COLUMN … can we hit the pause button on cold weather jokes? Thinking about hell caused me to reminisce about all the lawyers I know who will end up there. One in particular comes to mind. The following vignette comes courtesy of the Pennsylvania Disciplinary Board. I still get their emails even though I’m retired.
Back in my legal-beagle days, a transplanted New York lawyer moved to the pastoral Philly suburbs near where I had established my own private practice. Mr. Hotshot New Yorker had an appropriate name – Heimlich, same as the guy who made choke holds fashionable.
Heimlich was a ticking time-bomb looking for an excuse to explode – a real blowhard, aggressive to the max. Nobody liked the guy. The classic bully you wanted to punch in the nose.
Talking on the phone one day about a possible settlement, he got mad when I didn’t take his ridiculous threats seriously. The madder he got, the funnier I thought he was. Which, of course, only caused him to get angrier.
Finally, KABOOM! The bomb went off.
“OWENS!” he screamed – loud enough my receptionist heard it in another room – “When you die, I swear to Almighty God, I’m going to find your grave … and piss on it.”
T’was the funniest thing a lawyer ever told me – I burst out laughing. Before hanging up on him, I calmly posited, “You know, I run 30 miles a week. What makes you think your prodigious New York ass is going to outlive mine?”
Thirty years later, here’s the news I just read in that email – Heimlich has been permanently disbarred from practicing law. Seems he was dipping into client trust funds – a BIG ethical no-no.
Tsk, tsk. I’ve always wondered if I was truly special to Heimlich, or if there were other graves he promised to seek out after everyone presumably died. Is it impolite to make jokes about someone else’s misfortune? I’ll make an exception for Heimlich. Very likely, he won’t Pass Go and collect $200 – he’ll go straight to Beelzebub.
One thing I could never tolerate – bullies.
MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE FROZEN IGLOO IN HADES, KANSAS … Everything seemed OK when Melissa and I went to bed; however, in the morning, I turned on the faucet to brush my teeth and – nothing. No agua. Nada. Not even one drip.
My pipes were either broken or frozen. YIKE$$!!
Enter confident Mr. Fixit. There’s a crawl space where the main water pipe enters the house and Fixit decided to put a small space heater in there to see if it loosened something up. To reach the crawl space, I stood precariously on my old beloved Scandinavian-designed desk which I have doggedly retained since my legal-beagle days.
Exit Fixit, enter Mr. Blunderbus.
Above the desk, there’s a hinged door leading to the crawl space. The door is small but very, very heavy. Blunderbus got the door open, but accidentally bumped it putting in the heater.
CRASH, BOOM, B-B-B-BANG!!.
The door ripped off its door jam and came crashing down … partially onto Blunderbus, mostly onto my old desk below. Blunderbus then understood it was going to be a day in which NOTHING was going to go right. Brilliant deduction, Sherlock.
Damage was minimal – that oft used-and-abused desk isn’t the pretty thing it was 40 years ago when I opened my private practice. Moreover, I ain’t so pretty myself.
Mr. Me-Give-Up called the city. Bad news! The problem wasn’t city-side. Ergo, I called a local plumber … and waited … and waited … and waited. Mr. Plumber never came, so Melissa and Blunderbus took showers over at my mother’s house, since there was no problem with water there.
We carefully carted two large buckets of water back to the igloo in order to do dishes. Just by chance, I tried the faucet – and, VOILA! It worked. The main water pipe wasn’t broken – merely frozen. Water was flowing again.
AGUA! YIPPEEE! We got WATER!
You know sumpin? You never think about that littlest toe on your foot until you stub it on the dining room chair. Then, that little toe is all you can think about. Same thing with water. You take it for granted until you don’t have it.
To ensure we didn’t have the problem again, I ran two taps in a slooow overnight dribble – just enough to keep the pipe from freezing again.
Meanwhile, Beelzebub paid his gas bill. It’s warming up.
The Blunderbus igloo is beginning to melt.
Note: It’s soooo c-c-c-c-cold. Blunderbus welcomes WARM reader comments: Rmykl@yahoo.com .