Bruce’s departed tenant had left telltale signs of the "young bachelor" — a floor so encrusted with dirt in places that I had to chisel it off with a knife, a refrigerator reeking of mildew, and a blackened stove that appeared to be the veteran of several exploding grease fires. If it weren’t for Easy-off and Comet, cleaning that stove would have taken all day. The only fixture in the kitchen that I bypassed was a cobweb-festooned window.
By Jeff Hanna, March 22, 1990 | Read full article
There were notes attached, always a bad sign. The second move was the Mount Soledad house. “Divorce. Unamiable. Accept cash only and be careful.” Dark clouds at morning. I was in the moving company’s yard, at Mission Gorge Road and Twain Avenue, warming up the truck. Divorce moves: how I hated them. I’d seen grown adults fighting tooth and nail over a coffee table. I'd been referee, peacemaker, diplomat, cop. I was already dreading that day.
By Greame Donne, Apr 12, 1984 | Read full article
“When you go into people’s homes, you’re letting yourself into all kinds of things. You see every aspect of life. I used to go down to North Park and East San Diego, and, boy, was that a mistake. That ended real fast. I’m talkin' about Logan Heights and workin’ on this one refrigerator in this apartment complex that was cockroach city. I took the panel off this refrigerator, and there must have been a thousand of the things.”
By John Brizzolara, Oct. 1, 1992 | Read full article
There’s a rare affliction called the 38-Year-Old Burned-Out-Carpenter Disease. You wake up one morning and your body is crippled, your wife has left you, you’re broke, and your dog got run over. All I had to show for it was about 700 miles of base. At this point, the carpenter has several options: cocaine (stupid), contractors’ school (did you say school?), change within the trade (possible), or get out of the trades completely (good idea).
June 24, 1993 | Read full article
Steve is frowning now. Have I noticed how often a plumber is the point of the parable, the butt of the joke? He likes people who talk to him, he likes to find out who they are, but often when he goes to ritzy areas such as Rancho Santa Fe the customer won’t give him the time of day. He’ll try to strike up a conversation and they’ll say “Yeah, the bathroom’s over there.”
By Tim Brookes, June 26, 1997 | Read full article
The bathrooms are cleaned every night so you don’t get that nightmare scenario I feared: being ankle deep in dukes, plunger in hand, scraping congealed vomit hardened into a tough polymer off the sides of the thrones with dental instruments and a putty trowel. You clean the mirrors, the sinks, the towel racks, the top and insides of the cans, replace the hand towels and bunwad, wipe the fingerprints off the light switches and door handles.
By John Brizzzolara, Sept 2, 1999 | Read full article