A Few Good Men

I have twelve people that don’t speak a lick on English on my roof right now, it is an interesting mix of Hispanics and Asians.  Let me say what they lack in communication they more than make up with in hard labor, I am really impressed.  Seriously, if the government or the bankers worked this hard we would no longer be slipping away from being a first world country, we would have China in a headlock and call centers would be located in the USA.


My one complaint is that it looks like I live in a tobacco farm or prison, as everyone of these guys are chain-smokers and they are just dropping their cigarettes as they smoke and work.   They showed up bright and early, as promised and set to unloading.  I went out to ask for the boss and all of them looked at me like I was an alien (space kind, not illegal).  I said it again, “Who is the boss?”  Same look but this time one of them said, “Que?”  I said, “Oh….um boss?  man in charge? honcho?”  Ah, that worked, they all pointed in the direction of a guy that looked a lot like Jackie Chan yelling into a cell phone while smoking.  I waved to him and he walks toward me smiling and nodding, I swear in the 30 seconds it took him to reach me he had smoked another full cigarette.  I told him I moved all the lawn furniture and grill but I wanted to show him the small garden so they could avoid dropping something heavy on it and if one of the laborers were going to fall they could do their best to avoid my husband’s prize tomato plants.  Two more cigarettes smoked and dropped in the 90 seconds of conversation we had.


It is strange and comforting to know these guys feel the same way I do about communication.  He asked me the same question three times about something on the house and the third time I just said, “Ok.”  That is the perfect word in any language because it means you either understand or you give up.  I am sure he is sitting there thinking, ‘stupid white woman, don’t you have a gardener that can understand me?’    No sir, the gardener is my husband and he both understands and tolerates much less than I do.


It is loud, and I don’t mean like when my kids get home from school loud, I mean like school cafeteria loud.  I had a phone interview this morning and I am not sure I will be getting a call back.  The women must have thought she called some nut because when I wasn’t asking her to repeat herself, it sounded like I kept prisoners in the basement and they were pounding to be set free.  Then in comes my 5 year old to let me know that she cannot hear Team Umi Zoomi because of those loud men and can I ask them to get off the roof for a while.  Sure, let me hang up on the first phone interview I have had in 4 months to ask the roof installers to stop doing their job – I’m on it!


I am already anticipating the questions from my kids and the lecture that will give if they think I was smoking.  Last year my youngest made a no smoking sign at school and on the back was a pair of pink lungs that she had scribbled black to show the damage, I am just glad she didn’t bring home a no drinking sign with a picture of a shriveled up liver.  I can only imagine her picketing in the front yard with that while my husband and I sit on the porch with our evening cocktail.


I will be having a yard sale on cigarette buts this afternoon, .25 each while they last – US currency only.   For those of you that don’t understand English, “&*^^$  #$%#  *)_() FJHHKHJVJH  *)(& HGFHT”.


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