Okay, you can stop biting your nails and pacing the floor wondering if we hired the $40-an-hour-materials-not-included guy who advised us that our bathroom renovation could take anywhere from a week and a month to finish.
After agonizing over his tempting offer for at least three whole minutes we replied, “You must be joking.”
Or words to that effect.
Meanwhile, it was back to square one for our little project.
In other words, it was time for me to call our second “promising” lead, whose unlikely name was Frederico Franconi and who revealed during our brief phone conversation that he hailed from Aguadilla on the big island, was the proud father of seven children and was called Freddy by all his friends.
He sounded normal enough.
But when he appeared the next morning I was reminded of the old adage, “Don’t judge a ceramic-tile-layer by his voice.”
Let’s start with Freddy’s outfit, which might have been (charitably) characterized as “Ronald McDonald Visits Margaritaville.”
It wasn’t just his sensationally baggy yellow cargo pants that caught my eye—you could have stuffed a mariachi band and a couple of supermodels into the side pockets and still had room for expansion—but also the broad-banded red and white t-shirt topped off with a Hawaiian style “big as a muumuu” duster.
Oh, and he had curly orange hair.
I’m not kidding.
All in all, it wasn’t what you’d normally think of as an “interview outfit” unless you’re hoping to snag a position at Barnum & Bailey.
And yet despite my undoubtedly aghast expression Freddy got right down to business.
“What overall look do you want and how much do you want to spend?” he asked pointedly.
I kept expecting him to hop into a tiny car and speed around our great room or shoot seltzer water down his pants.
But he remained admirably on topic.
“What’s your color palette?” he continued.
“White,” I replied numbly.
He wrote it down. I was impressed. Maybe he wasn’t so freakish after all.
And when he whipped out a camera and began snapping photos of the shower stall I was further swayed. Lots of people wear unusual clothes, I told myself—just take a stroll through the main concourse of any major American airport if you need a refresher course in “what not to wear.”
In fact, by the time he had measured the walls down to the last square inch I found myself mentally extolling the virtues of comfortable casual wear.
And when he handed me a remarkably accurate looking off-the-cuff rendering of the space I blurted out, “You’re hired! And by the way, where did you get that shirt?”
I guess I’ve always had a soft spot for the big top.
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