Thursday, August 9, 2012

Tool Time ~ Paris Style

The more we relax into living here, the more I realize that I LOVE this place.  Every experience is unique, and some seemed etched in brilliant diamond clarity.

Reason in an Age of Decline

I am sitting on The Throne, considering the Nature of the Universe, the Present State of Curiosity on Mars, and wondering if I should call Henry Kissinger (inside joke, real inside...) when the apartment buzzer rings.

Merde!  D'accord.  Let's see what's up.  I am not expecting another package.  I have everything I ordered.  Maybe it's someone other than la poste?  "Hello?"

Uh, well, it is someone saying things for which I have no clue what is being said. "Je descende."  Quickly throwing on a pair of real pants in place of the pajamas I had been in, and pulling on a sports coat over a freshly washed white t-shirt I head down stairs to see what was being asked of me.

After a few rapidly spoken words and a bit of hand-waving, I figure out the man is the Ventilation System Technician from synd-corpo, the group that operates and maintains our apartment complex.  He wants to come up to our apartment and take a few photographs of our exhaust ports.  Might this be a new art project, I wonder?  Before I can chase that Rabbit down the Hole of Silly Thoughts, I pull up short.  Something wasn't quite right.


Yes. Oh, that's it.  These are the very same exhaust vents that Jude and I viennent de nettoyer a week or two ago.  This man is here to give synd-corpo an estimate for cleaning the air system for the entire apartment.  After our rag and solvent administrations they look like new again, and probably don't represent reality beyond our small hovel.  So we try to explain that we just de-crudded the vents but had done nothing about cleaning the pipes behind the vent covers.  We wonder if he knows there was no Chance in Hell the rest of the Ventilation System looks as good as our vent covers.  No way.

I am asked if I could escort the Ventilation System Technician to la cave.  Oui!  Bien sur.

The Ventilation System Technician was carrying a portable collapsible rather interesting device.  While waiting for l'ascenseur to collect us to take us to la cave, I receive an introduction to the Wonders of French Ladders.  Oh yes.  It is that good. 

Each section snaps up in a telescoping manner.  There are no forward foot pair.  Before using the French ladder, you simply telescope each section, one after the other, to the desired height and lean it against the thing you were trying to climb.  Et voila!  Up you walk on the newly telescoped bars.  Quite well padded bars these are, too.  Firm, yet pliable.  No sense in loosing one's grip on things when Up High Fixing Sh*t.

"Nous n'avons pas de choses comme ca dans mon pays!"  With that we were off to the races et un petit conversation, il commence.

What's this?  Oh yes.  It's l'ascenseur.  It has arrived and is waiting patiently on us with it's door agape.  We proceed downstairs to inspect more vents.  Pour la pollution, n'est-ce pas?

I learn about ventilation systems, French regulations for garbage collection, French building codes, and was witness a True Professional at his metier.  To confirm he was who he said he was, he matched the name of the company he represents with the Important French State License and Approval for Operation document that was hung in a conspicuous place on a wall in la cave.  Right.  We're in good hands.

Bentley ~ Double Parked for Dinner

The conversation continues in l'ascenseur as I am delivered back to my floor.  He is on his way up to the roof to inspect the system from the motor down through the shafts back into the building.  I learned that the Ventilation System Technician tried two other apartments before ringing ours.  Tout le monde sont en vacances, oui?  So few people are at home in August and he's happy I am able to help him.

We are still Talking Shop as I stand in the hallway.  His heel keeps the door of the l'ascenseur overt.  After more words and then a hearty "bonne journee!" from both parties, I slip the key into the apartment door and go inside.

There is something wonderful about being a man.  Really, there is.  Think Tim Allen's "Tool Time" and you might catch a glimpse of Manly Wonderfulness.  I enjoy being able to talk Mano a Mano about Oversized Socially Beneficial Technical Engineering Complex Things.

It was time to see if Henry Kissinger was still on the horn.

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