When Mike walked through the door Kathy immediately knew that his day had not gone well. Married folks can sense such things. He had this broken look on his face. She flew out of her chair like a blond cannonball and wrapped her arms around her man. “What’s wrong?” she asked, placing a cool palm on his cheek. “Something bad happen to you, Mike?”
Kathy has these Christmas-morning eyes that can bring joy and hope to even the most battered soul. Mike looked into those beautiful eyes and drew happiness back into himself. She saw that he was going to be okay so she hugged him once more and led him to the kitchen table. “Someone refuse to pay you?” She could somehow tell.
Mike nodded. “Yeah,” he said, and then he shook his head. “I spent an hour bleeding radiators. I had to move most of the furniture in the house. Then the guy tells me he’s not paying.”
“Did he say why?” Kathy asked.
“He said that I tracked some mud on the rug and that I put a smudge on the wall. He was going to have to have the rugs shampooed and the whole place painted. I didn’t do it, Kathy. I swear I didn’t! He said that I should consider myself lucky that he doesn’t sue me. And he told me that I could go ahead and sue him. He didn’t care. He’s an attorney. Like I’m going to take the time to get involved with this bum, right? I’m going to go to court over a hundred bucks? Like we have the time for that, right?” He shoved the newspaper across the table.
“How old was this guy?” Kathy asked, touching him lightly on the back of his hand.
“Early-thirties,” Mike answered. “He’s one of those Yuppies. He’s got a BMW in the driveway that probably cost more than I make in a year. He’s got leather furniture, gold-plated fixtures in the bathroom, and he won’t pay me.” Mike, who is as honest as an iron girder, shook his head sadly.
“Is he married?” Kathy asked.
Mike started to laugh. “Why? You interested?”
She gave him a sly look, “Nope, just curious.”
Mike thought for a moment, “I’d say no. I didn’t notice any pictures of a wife or kids around the place. In fact, the place looks like it could be in Playboy magazine. It’s a real shag pad.”
“Did you go into his bedroom?” Kathy asked.
“Yeah, I had to move this big brass bed out of the way so I could get at the air vent on the radiator. That headboard must have weighed a thousand pounds. I broke my hump for that guy and then he refuses to pay me.”
The anger rose in Kathy like mental illness. “I’m going to fix this guy for you, Mike,” she said.
“What are you going to do, Kath?” Mike asked.
“Something fishy,” she said, and then she gave him another hug.
Now, you need to understand that when it comes to revenge Kathy is as patient as death. She waited two full months before making the phone call to Vincent Perrini, Attorney at Law. “Hello, Mr. Perrini!” she chirped into the phone. “This is Kathy from Kathy’s Cleaning Service. We’re calling members of the legal profession today. I’d like to offer you an absolutely free spring cleaning of your entire home.”
“What’s in it for you?” Vincent Perrini, Attorney at Law, asked suspiciously.
“Well, Mr. Perrini, this may sound a bit gross to you but my company specializes in cleaning the homes of crime victims. We basically mop up after someone has been murdered. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. All of our business comes to us by word of mouth and we find that we get most of our leads through attorneys such as yourself.”
“I don’t practice criminal law,” Vincent Perrini, Attorney at Law, said. “I’m strictly civil law.”
“I understand that, sir,” Kathy replied, “but you do have occasion to speak with your colleagues, right?”
“Then all we ask is that you mention our thoroughness when you’re speaking with them. And I promise you that our spring-cleaning is absolutely free to members of the legal profession. We’re here to impress you, not to charge you!”
Kathy’s perkiness was irresistible, and since Vincent Perrini, Attorney at Law, could find nothing wrong with her proposal, he agreed to let Kathy into his home on the following Saturday. “I have to be there while you’re working, though,” he said.
“That will be great!” Kathy said. “That way you can see how thorough we are.”
She arrived at his home at 9 AM and scrubbed the place for five hours. After the first two hours, Vincent Perrini, Attorney at Law, lost interest in watching Kathy and went about his business. That’s when Kathy worked the big brass knob off the top of the leg of Vincent Perrini’s headboard. She held the trout headfirst over the gaping hole in the brass pipe and let it ooze down. It fit perfectly. She replaced the knob and continued her work. When she was done, she left through the rear door.
Two nights later, Vincent Perrini, Attorney at Law, got lucky down at Hounds & Foxes, his favorite club. He put the key into his front door and escorted his new lady friend into his manly living room. She immediately scrunched up her pretty nose. “What’s that smell?” she whined.
“Vincent Perrini, Attorney at Law, sniffed the air and nearly gagged. His shag pad smelled like the inside of Jeffrey Dahmer’s refrigerator.
“I’m outta here,” the young woman shouted. “I’ll call a taxi from my cell phone. You’re a real slob!”
Vincent Perrini, Attorney at Law, slept alone and in great discomfort that night. He tossed and turned in his big brass bed, trying to imagine what could be giving off such an incredibly foul stench. He got up several times during the night and poked around under the bed and in his closets. He checked the toilets. He looked in the fridge and in the oven. He found nothing.
The next morning, he tried to call Kathy’s Cleaning Service but there was no listing for such a service in the telephone book. And the woman had not left a calling card. Strange, but didn’t she say that she did business by word of mouth? He never had any intention of recommending her, which was why he had not asked for a business card in the first place, but still, she should have left one.
He called Fred, his next-door neighbor, and asked if he could stop by and take a whiff. Fred, who happened to be a guy who loves the outdoors, covered his mouth with a handkerchief and advised Vincent Perrini, Attorney at Law, to call an exterminator. “It smells like a couple of warthogs set up a love shack in here,” Fred said.
The exterminator came, took a whiff, and demanded payment up front - to which Vincent Perrini, Attorney at Law, reluctantly agreed. Two hours later, the exterminator came up absolutely empty. “Beats me what it is. I can’t find any animals in here - alive or dead. I suggest you call an exorcist.” The exterminator gagged his way down Vincent Perrini’s front walk and drove away.
All of this, of course, was affecting Lawyer Perrini’s love life. His most recent almost-a-conquest clicked her way down his sidewalk on her spiked heels and shouted over her shoulder. “Vinnie, your house smells like a thousand buttholes!”
“I gotta move,” Vincenet Perrini, Attorney at Law, finally admitted to himself.
He found an apartment that afternoon and signed a one-year lease. He would try his best to sell the house, but he knew it was not going to be easy. Meanwhile, he checked in at the Holiday Inn.
When Allied Van Lines showed up for the furniture, the men gagged for a while and then went to work. This would not be the first slob they had moved.
The first thing they loaded onto the big truck was Vincent Perrini’s big brass headboard.
Kathy waited for Mike to arrive home from work. When he walked through the door she quickly examined him for damages and then slid into his arms. “How was your day?” she asked.
“Today was good,” he said. He was tired but satisfied because he had done right by people that day. He had done good work and they had all paid him. Life can be so simple when people show respect for each other. “What’s for dinner?” he asked.
“Fish,” she said simply.This story make you smile? Want more? Check out Working.