The Handyman of Via Bad Homburg

(The sound of whistling up the steps; the loud zap of a doorbell)

Leone: Good murning, E.

Myself: Salve, Leone. Thank you for coming – this gas leak has really made me nervous.

Leone: Nuthing to worry about! Jusht let me see what the prublem ish.

Myself: Okay. Please do. I was so nervous about going to sleep last night and I shut all the windows really tightly and took a cold shower and just ate cold prosciutto and mozzarella for dinner so I wouldn’t have to open the gas….

Leone: Mamma mia, how you worry. Ukay, well, let’s shee.

(hunches over; sniffs the gas tank like a dog. Inhales deeply)

Myself: Did you bring a mask?

Leone: Mashk? Ha! Here, get me a glassh and fill it a little bit with shampoo.

Myself: How come?

Leone: To make shome foam.

Myself: All right.

(Spreads the foam onto the gas valves. Whistling, whistling, whistling)

Leone: Sho your gash is almost empty. What do you want to do about that?

Myself: Well, I’m heading back to Dublin on Thursday. I won’t be back until the 20th.

Leone: I shee, I shee. Ukay. Sho when you get back, you call me. Or you call the gash man and he’ll come over on his mutorcycle and bring you a new tank.

Myself: What’s the problem with the gas?

Leone: There’s no prublem. They’ve used Teflon on the fixtures. I don’t know. But – mamma mia! What a shtink.

Myself: I know. It really worried me. My neighbors noticed it, too.

Leone: But it’s not dangeroush.

Myself: It’s not?

Leone: Nahhhhhhh.

(telephone rings; club music ring tone)

Leone: Excuse me, E. Prunto?

(Leone descends even further into local dialect: sh sh sh; sh sh sh. I can pick out “I’ll be there in fifteen minutesh” but the resht is a myshtery).

Leone: Anuther client. Ha! Ukay, anyway, you’re all fixed.

Myself: I am?

Leone: Yesh, yesh, yesh, but why wouldn’t you be?

Myself: Because it smells like there’s a gas leak.

Leone: No, no, no. Lishen. When you get back from Dublin, you call the gash man. He’ll bring you a new one. Do you smell gash now?

Myself: No.

Leone: A-ha! No more shmell.

Myself: It’s open?

Leone: Yesh.

Myself: Well, okay.

Leone: You’re fine. Don’t worry.

Myself: Okay.

Leone: … but jusht don’t leave it upen too long or BOOM!

Myself: Yes. I don’t know why I ever worried.

0 Replies to “The Handyman of Via Bad Homburg”

  1. Liv! That’s wonderful! I needed a good laugh. What did you do? Did you leave it?

    1. He said it was okay so I’m going to believe him… so far, I don’t smell any more gas. I’m going to try making lunch now. If you don’t hear from me….

      1. … aaaaaand the gas just ran out. Beautiful! Looks like it’ll be eating out and cold showers for the next day and a half.

  2. I love the decor in your laundry room ^_^ And the fact that grapes live on your washing machine.

    1. Haha… the prints are from a calendar I bought in Japan a couple of years ago. Too pretty to throw away! And the grapes WOULD live on my table if I were strong enough to lift it from the spare room into the kitchen. Still making this house a home.

  3. You have such a shweet ear for dialogue! But, er, did you ever find out what the shampoo was actually for?

    Second thoughts, don’t answer that!

    1. Too much time with Nesma has brought out your animal side.

  4. This could have happened to you in Korea 🙂 Sounds about right!

  5. It’s amazing the difference in worry when you leave the US. Smelling gas is a huge deal in the States, in Italy not so much 🙂

    1. Or so Leone would have me believe… but they do seem to worry less about certain things than we do back home. Germs, for one. A Purell bottle is a sure sign of an American.

  6. Ha! Love it. We are quite the control freaks here in the US, aren’t we? I,too, am a fan of the grapes on your washing machine 🙂

    1. We so are! I was out walking my neighbors’ kid the other day and as we passed an old man, the kid put out her hand. The old man touched it. My instinct: GET THE ANTIBACTERIAL WIPES!

      Must… tame… American… paranoia….

  7. I actually laughed out loud for this one! That’s fabulous. Hopefully things are okay and the gas smell as disappeared. I can understand why you’d be worried though. I would have been freaked out as well.

    1. It does seem to be gone now, as is the gas itself. When I get back to Italy, I’m going to have to call the gas man for another tank. Apparently, he rides a motorcycle. Gas to go!

  8. Man, if this was in China, it would have totally been the same thing. Except there would have been three men, two of whom would be in charge of standing there and watching the third man, who would hang out the window, dangling by a rope around his waist that somehow ended up in your hands at 8 a.m.

    Oh wait, that’s when my air conditioner broke.

    (I live on the 26th floor of my building.)

    Glad your house isn’t stinky anymore 🙂

  9. Haha I lived in Sicily and would have to wait for the gas man to come on his motorbike. It is scary to just have a tank of gas you open and close when you use it. Italians are so lackadaisical to a fault!

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