The Fan Club

Bill and I were installing a new ceiling fan in the Arizona Room.  We had decided to gradually replace all the old, out-dated, creaky ceiling fans throughout the house and so far we’d put a new one in the office and another in our bedroom.  This was the last one for awhile.  Bill, being the unfailing pessimist that he is, was convinced that, since the first two fans went in flawlessly, the Arizona Room install was going to be fraught with problems.  On this occasion, he was right.  It started when we removed the old 70’s model fan from the ceiling and found that the only thing that had been holding it up for 40 years was a hook.  So it was back to Lowe’s for heavy-duty wood screws.

As I sat on the couch in the living room, putting on my tennis shoes, I let Mom know we were leaving and why.  “I don’t know what Del Webb was thinking when he built these homes,” I ranted.  “The ceilings weren’t pre-wired for fans or lights, there’s a sad lack of electrical outlets, the pipe and valve for the main waterline is on the front of the house and the breaker box is outside instead of in the garage like a normal house.”

“Well maybe he built them that way because that’s what old people wanted,” Mom surmised.

“Why would anyone want to go outside and around to the opposite side of the house to flip a circuit breaker?  Why would anyone want the plumbing snaking up the front of their house?  You can’t even install a water softener without paying big bucks to reroute the pipes.”

“Maybe they didn’t want strangers in the house,” she replied.

“Strangers?  You mean like a plumber you call because the toilet’s clogged and flooding the bathroom?  Or the electrician you call because you want a ceiling fan installed correctly?  Those kind of strangers?” I asked, getting dangerously close to my exasperation limit.

“Exactly.  When you get old, you just never know who you can trust.  There’s too many scammers out there.”

“I see.  So, based on your logic, it’s better to have copper thieves rip the water pipes off your house or burglars turn off the power to your alarm system from the breaker box than to let a plumber or electrician – that YOU called – into the house.”

“Pretty much,” she said with a nod.  “It’s better to be safer than sorrier.

“Or crazier,” I mutter as I left for the garage and another fun trip to Do-It-Yourself Land.



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