“Fix It Quietly”.

My business after retirement was that of a handyman for a rental agency in a resort community. The first work order I received on the beginning of the work week was to repair the broken lock on the entrance door of a beach cottage. The fact that the house could not be secured was important to the renters, the agency and the owner. Simple repairs were made promptly by a handyman rather than wait for the busy contractors. Also, a perk for the owner was that the repairs were usually less expensive.

On arrival at the cottage, I knocked on the door and announced that I had been sent to ensure that unauthorized entry could not be attained. A look of despair appeared on the occupants’ faces as they asked in unison, “Are you not here to fix the television? We reported it last night and we have already missed “Good Morning, America” and “Regis & Kelly.”

This particular cottage just happens to be situated on the ocean front in one of America’s favorite vacation spots, the Carolina coastline; with miles of unspoiled beaches, picturesque sand dunes and warm ocean breezes practically at the doorsteps. In addition, rent for this house will approach the $1,500.00 mark for the week and yet, the most desired item of interest for the occupants was the television.

Assuring them that I would take a look at the appliance upon completion of the needed repairs to secure the house, I turned my attention to the inoperative lock. With all the doors in good working order, I moved to the television. Inspecting the wires and cables, I found that they were all attached and in the proper sequence. I then pressed the switch marked ON and the set responded with a colorful likeness of Bugs Bunny and the sound of “What’s up Doc?”

“What did you do,” they then asked. “We tried everything and it simply would not work.” Reluctant to tell them that all they had to do was to turn the set on, I replied, “There must have been a loose connection.”

Upon leaving the cottage, my old devious mind began working overtime and conceived the idea of placing a sign on each television set stating, “PLEASE TURN ON BEFORE VIEWING.” This proposal was immediately rejected by the rental office for fear of offending a few of the vacationers; therefore, I had no choice but to bow to the wishes of the signers of my tiny paycheck.™

This incident serves to prove that the order of priorities differ in importance, dependent upon whether or not rent is being paid or received. Some assume the attitude of “Why shouldn’t the television be turned on and tuned to our favorite program when we arrive? After all, we’re paying big bucks for the privilege of enjoying our vacation.”

Then, of course, there are the Agencies views that no one should ‘rock the boat’ because; After all, they’re paying big bucks to enjoy their vacation.

You’re OLD when you hear SNAP, CRACKLE, POP, “FROM YOUR OWN BODY” as you rise from the breakfast table.