Tag Archives: neighbors

Home Depot, You Let Me Down

6 Oct

October 11, 2018

I think my love affair with Home Depot is coming to an end.

There’s really no better place to go and browse. They have power tools! Hand tools! Huge crowbars, giant sledgehammers, and stuff to slice off your fingers if you aren’t careful. I’m a tool guy. (No, I’m not a tool, guy. I’m a tool guy. Let that be your lesson in the importance of the mighty comma.) I can shop there for days and buy all kinds of stuff and maybe, just maybe, I’ll have a use for some of it. I’m the type of guy who will walk in for a tube of caulk and walk out with a reciprocating saw and three or four new hammers just because, you know, I can’t resist them. My buyer’s resistance drops perilously low at Home Depot. I admit that I’ve never bought an arc welder or a blowtorch but I was thisclose more than once.

This will be me one day!

But this time was different.

I was there for some Venetian blinds. The wife and I are in a new apartment and though I put up curtains months ago I’ve been slow with the blinds. So it is either curtains shut and no light at all or curtains open and the neighbor across the driveway can see straight into my kitchen. And she has both curtains and blinds yet closes neither. I’m pretty sure she wants us to see in because (NOTE TO MY WIFE: Stop reading here. Um, to be on the safe side, maybe I should stop writing here instead and move on.)

See? You get the point and I didn’t type a single word.
NOTE TO MY WIFE: This is a perfectly innocent Seinfeld clip that has absolutely no relevance to this post. Yeah.

Normally I’d have jumped at the chance to put up blinds. I could use my tools! Charge up my power drill! Get out my work gloves with the magnetic patches to hold the screws! And… and… that’s it really. Maybe a screwdriver and that’s no fun. You see. not only are blinds just too simple to put up to get excited over, but I’ve done so many of them over the years it’s actually gotten boring. Give me a job like re-roofing a garage, or building a chimney anytime. OK, I’d probably call a professional, but at least I could stand around and stare at the hacksaws and miters. That’s man stuff right there.

But putting up blinds gave me one thing that got me grooving: I had to buy the blinds. Not exciting? I’m going to buy them at Home Depot!

So last weekend the wife and I went to my little slice of Heaven. I know the place week, know the layout. I fist-bumped the greeter at the door (confusing him to no end since he never saw me before and walked no, strutted into the store like George Jefferson.

I boogied past the  ceramic tiles and moonwalked through the garden hoses. And then I got to the aisle with the blinds and stopped dead in my rhythmic tracks. It was almost empty. Sure, they had the really expensive motorized blinds, and the really cheap paper stuff that you stick on with an adhesive until it either falls off or catches fire from a candle or even the sun, but the normal stuff? Nope.

Or to be precise, yep, but not in my size. I’m used to that while pants shopping (they don’t call me Mr. Big Pants for nothing) but Venetian blinds? Seemed like they had plenty of every size but the one I wanted. (Or the eight I wanted, to be exact.) I needed a simple 31 width. No biggie.

I looked at every box, every single stinking box in the blinds aisle. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I eventually did what no man wants to do, especially in front of  his wife. I am ashamed to be writing this, and embarrassed to admit this, but I… I…

…asked for help from an employee.

He was walking past and wearing an orange apron so he was either a Home Depot worker or a Halloween chef. I told him the problem and started to bring him to the aisle but he took out his phone and opened the app to find where in the store they have the blinds. And it only took him 6 minutes to discover they were where I was going to bring him 6 minutes ago. Thank you technology!

He went to the aisle and again got on the app. I could see his phone so no, he was not on Tinder or Instagram or playing Red Dead Redemption, he was actually doing something relevant. He poked his phone for awhile then walked away. Simply walked away and never came back, just rode off into the sunset.

This metaphor works because the sunset is Home Depot orange. See the thought I put into this?

Soon another guy in an orange apron came over. Picture a guy who you’e never expect to see at Home Depot but would look right at home on the internet debating if Kirk could beat up Picard, and this was the next employee to help me. I explained to him that someone else was helping us.

“Did he look up the numbers?”
“Um, he bent down and read the label on the shelf, and looked at this phone for a long time.”
“But did he look up the numbers?”
“I don’t know… he read the labels……. um……”
“But did he look up the numbers?”

This guy asked me that over and over and over and I still have no idea what he meant. But eventually he got to work. What did he do? bent down and red the label on the shelf, then looked at this phone for a long time. Then he simply walked away.


I fully expected this to be a practical joke and soon I’d be all over the internet as “man who can’t get blinds” but no, this was real. I was not about to leave without the Venetian blinds, regardless of whether or not they existed. I was going to take them off some guy’s windows in the building next door if I had to. But as I was looking for a manager to yell at, the second guy came back, pulling a ladder. That had to mean that he knew where to get the blinds, right?

Wrong. He pulled the ladder into the middle of the sales floor, nowhere near the blinds section, and walked away. This had to be a joke, right? What the heck was he doing?????

I never did find out the point of the ladder but he did come back, with no blinds and no clue about where to find them. But he was determined! After complaining about “the girls” who work in this section and how “those girls” never tidy it up, and how “those girls” never stock anything, and how “girls really don’t get it” he asked me to give him a few more minutes. I looked over at my wife who, God bless her, had not rammed anything down this guy’s throat, and looked back at the guy.


He stammered a little and then I cut him off, said we were going, and hoped that the next store we went to had the blinds, or at least employees who know what they are doing.

In the interest of full disclosure, I did not walk out empty-handed. I bought a flashlight and some sandpaper. (I have nothing to sand but it was the very fine grade so I had to have it.) The cashier was kind enough to look up from her phone for a few seconds to ring us up. I got a look at the Instagram page she was on and let’s just say the “the girls” she was looking at would have given the last guy a heart attack.

I have never left Home Depot so let down.



I wrote a blog! (OK, I’m out of titles.)

14 Nov

from March 23, 2008

Nothing good comes in the mail. Wanna prove it? Go to your mail right now. Look what comes in the mail: credit card bills, pre-approved credit card offers, American Teacher magazines that you throw out unopened, coupons for restaurants you don’t go to and leave on a neighbor’s doorstep, draft notices, etc. Now, the good stuff comes over the internet- emails from friends, spam, notices of my new blog, spam, spam from friends, spam spam spam, and sometimes an interesting link. And lots of unsolicited spam. OK, so email may be worse. But you don’t have to walk to the mailbox to get email. And nothing good comes from walking to your mailbox. I live on the fourth floor of an apartment building. So if I go to get my mail that means that I am OUT OF MY HOUSE and can POSSIBLY RUN  INTO A NEIGHBOR. (Motivational caps, btw.) Notice that I didn’t’ say “run into someone I know,” I said “run into a neighbor.” I don’t know my neighbors, they move out too fast. I’ve had old neighbors, young neighbors, short neighbors, fat neighbors, the whole deal, but none of them spoke English. I’ve had one of these neighbors offer me an “all-access” date with his daughter, if you know what I mean, (I blogged it, go back to my brush with marriage) and I’ve had neighbors who stole my garbage. (Yep, garbage.) (I once had a very cute Russian neighbor who lived upstairs on the sixth floor. She was young-ish and took care of a baby. I don’t think it was hers. I’d always run into her in the elevator. I’d be coming home and she’d be going to the park with the baby. I don’t think she spoke any English but we had a nodding acquaintance. I’d get on the elevator. I’d nod. She’d nod back. I’d say hi. She’d nod  I’d smile at the baby. She’d smile and nod. (The girl, not the baby.) I’d get off the elevator. She’d nod. I’d say goodbye. She nodded. I nodded. She nodded. Somewhere along the line the baby nodded too. Like everything else in my George Costanza-like life, there had to be something off about her. Something that made her “wrong.” (Aside from the fact that she spoke no English and had a baby that may or may not have been hers.) Every time I saw her, and it may have been anywhere from 30-40 times, she was wearing the exact same short orange skirt. Now I’m not complaining because she had the legs for a short skirt- and did I mention that it was shooooort?- but it was always the SAME short orange skirt. Didn’t end up mattering one way or another because she (and the baby) moved out soon anyway. I’m still sorry I never got the chance to nod goodbye. We were so close.)

[Now “why,” you are wondering, “did he write such a short and meandering paragraph? He’s an English teacher. He knows that’s crap. And besides, I know his style by now. Short paragraphs separated by a skipped line. So what’s up with that? And why the brackets?” Wonder no more. The brackets are to show that this is an aside having nothing at all to do with the main point of the blog. As if I have one. The long paragraph is because that paragraph has nothing to do with the point of the blog, which can be read below and has in common with the first paragraph only the fact that it has to do with something that came in the mail. And since I know what you are all wondering, and can read all of your minds, I won’t blow up your game, but I know that one of you is thinking some very dirty thoughts about me.]

So in the mail I got a notice from the Brooklyn Technical High School Alumni Association. It is time for the twentieth anniversary reunion of  my class.

I usually throw these things out. Brooklyn Tech is always looking for money and they won’t get it from me. I had a totally lousy high school experience. I hated every day of it, from the train ride downtown to the students to the teachers to the classes to the size of the school to the train ride home. So naturally I became a high school teacher.  My chance for revenge!

Anyhow, the first time I walked through Brooklyn Tech I was not impressed. For a school whose middle name is literally “technical” this was a dump. As we walked to the swimming pool we were directed to walk against the wall opposite a panel of exposed wiring. Exposed LIVE and SPARKING wiring with no technician in sight. We also had to walk up  four or five floors because the elevator was out. I later found out that Tech has an old-fashioned foundry spanning the top two floors. Yes, a foundry, like in the 18th century. I dug dirt and put stuff into hot kilns, like the sort of deal that Upton Sinclair railed about in the turn of the century.

At this point I will not- WILL NOT (man I like those caps tonight) point out that it is the twentieth freakin anniversary of my high school graduation. Twenty years! OK, I know that I am 37 years old, but mentally, let’s all face it, I’m still about eight. I like fart jokes and Godzilla. Ladies, any wonder that I’m still available? (Hint hint.) [37 year old English teacher, likes Larry, Moe and Curly, staying at home, seeks woman…… you get the idea.]

So. The Eighties. Here’s some stuff from the 1980’s, when I was a teen and, well, just read on.

These were among the top songs of the Eighties:

Come on Eileen, by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.It wasn’t until, like, last year, that I found out that “Dexy” was a drug reference about Dexedrine.

Pour Some Sugar on Me, by some annoying hair band.

Africa, by Toto. In summer camp, back in the seventies, I got into a fight with a kid named James Toto and that totally colored my view of that song. I’ve since then gone back and re-listened. Shouldn’t have bothered. Song blows.

When I was in junior high, Mark Twain JHS won some silly radio contest and Duran Duran came to our school. “Human Numan” or some other radio tool from Z100 hosted the event. Nothing got done that day since the appearance was a total secret, meaning everyone knew. We were herded into the auditorium, 80’s music blasted, the Duran Duraners came on stage, the kids went nuts. Everyone stood up, jumped up, and screamed . I pointedly complained about all the noise, stood up, faced the back and made a show of how little I thought of the whole thing. What a friendless tool I was.

These were among the top movies of the Eighties:

The Breakfast Club. I have never seen this movie all the way through. In the eighties I was the quiet loner type who was anti-whatever everyone was for. Just like now. Everyone liked this film, so I automatically hated it. Now I won’t see it out of pure stubbornness.

Dream A Little Dream. Never heard of it, but it stars three or four guys named “Corey.”

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Another film I never saw all the way through. What did I like about that film? The Beatles song Ferris sang. Even then I was a man out of time.

Raiders of the Lost Ark. OK, one of the BEST FREAKIN’ FILMS EVER MADE (in your face Kathy!)

Platoon. Gave us the immortal line “Me so horney! Me love you long time!” and just for that deserves it’s spot in history. BTW- It is about some little conflict called Vietnam or something.

Back to the Future. Just to prove that Raiders wasn’t the only good film of the 80’s, here is an absolute classic by anyone’s standard. What, you disagree? You are wrong. I love this film!

And finally, Star Trek II, the Wrath of Khan. The best Trek film ever!

These were among the tip TV shows of the 80’s:

There are only two TV shows worth mentioning here- The A-TEAM! and some show called Dallas where somebody shot somebody else shot named JR but it was all a dream or something?

And world events of the 1980’s:

Well, I don’t know, but I do remember parachute pants and MC Hammer. Or was that the 90’s?

Now that I have wandered through the 1980’s I don’t need to go to my reunion.

This is from the BTHS Alumni website:


This is from me:


What did I like about the eighties?

Bill and Ted’s Excellent Cereal. Totally not bogus, filled with marshmallows and sugar. Mmmmmmmmmmm. 

%d bloggers like this: