Last year we moved into the house we've owned for a zillion years that we've had tenants in for that time. And having never spend 24 hours straight in the house, it revealed some pleasant surprises. But one evening this summer while gazing out at our backyard, I commented to The Husband "Shouldn't that tree have leaves on it?". We have a massive (and frankly a gorgeous) tree that sometime over the last few years has died. Without us knowing
It hangs over the neighbours property and they've made noises about it to our kids (who liked sitting in the big dead tree until we decided that wasn't in the Good Parenting handbook), and with a summer full of gnarly winds, we've been tempting fate by not getting it cut down.
My problem is, it's a big outlay for something that we really don't want to lose, but consulting the Good Homeowners handbook we know it's got to go. I've had a few quotes.
Fact about me you may not know - I always think the grass is greener - I get a quote, I think it can be bettered, I get another (that comes out the same price), I still think it can be bettered. And so on, and so on. This foible of mine isn't just isolated to tree removal. Its for anything that requires money. It's actually quite time consuming and exhausting. And I keep it private. There are some things the Husband doesn't need to know I do with my time while he works.
So today Col from Damn Cheap Tree Removals (I made that up) came by. English is his second language, and I'm sure his Mama makes up a mean lasagne or koftas or something. I still love listening to those greek/italian/australia accents.
"I give you the best prize, 100%, swear to god" he says. He know this is what I need to hear after (a lot) of other quotes. His quote comes out a little under (but not hugely, and the other guys were waaaaay more legit than Col). His phone rings, I hear an irate customer on the phone "I come tomorrow to you 100%, swear to God", he says to her. "But I thought you could cut mine tomorrow?" I ask him, "I come to you 100%, swear to God", he says.
But then as any good salesman should do, he starts putting the screws in. "I need to talk with my husband", I say. He sees the deal walking away. He points at a couple of trees, "I tidy these up, just you and me, I do it for you 100%"
And before I can ask "Swear to God?", he has got his chainsaw out and cut down my tree. I stand on my front lawn laughing a little in disbelief with my hand over my mouth. Still with chainsaw going he gives me the thumbs up. I kinda give him a thumbs up back...
THEN HE CUTS DOWN ANOTHER TREE.
"No, no, no!!!". I gesture to him. He stops. Three fallen soldiers surround him. "You see, I do good, I cut these down, we friends, 100%". he says.
"I will call you in one hour," I say. "Make it 20 minutes?" he says.
"Sure", I reply.
100%, swear to God.
How's your morning been?