This past weekend something in the apartment above me began to leak…though my ceiling. The lady upstairs was not home. I called the maintenance hotline and they told me that they were sending someone out. Half an hour later, someone knocked on my door.
“Maintenance!” he yelled.
I opened the door with a, “Hello!”
“Uhhh,” the maintenance guy (MG) stumbled over his words, “You have a leak?”
“No,” I said opening the door wider, “The lady upstairs has a leak.” I pointed to the growing wet spot on the ceiling. MG took out a flashlight and pointed the beam at the spot.
“OK,” he declared, “I tell them upstairs…” He turned and took off like a shot.
“Don’t you…” I said to the back of a man clearly on a mission. I left the door open and went to check on the bowl I had out to catch the water. I heard two people walking around in the apartment above me. The lady upstairs had come home. I closed my door and sat down to watch television.
…Fast forward ½ hour…
There was another knock at my door. I walked over to the door and opened to see MG standing in the hallway. “All fixed?” I asked.
“Yes,” he said shifting back and forth on his feet.
“So,” I said a bit awkwardly, “do you want to come in and look at my ceiling?”
“I saw it before,” he immediately responded.
“Please,” I asked, “just make sure the ceiling isn’t going to fall…”
MG sighed heavily then made an odd request, “You put away your two chupacabra?”
“My what?” I asked.
“Your guy said that you have two chupacabra here… Is it safe to come in?” he asked with true sincerity.
“Oh, Christ!” I burst out and started to laugh hysterically. MG was not amused and blessed himself multiple times before I could restrain myself. “I…I…” I stammered, “I don’t have any chupacabra here!” I took in several long breaths to calm myself. “I have two guinea pigs!”
MG looked at me as if he didn’t know what I was saying. I repeated it in Spanish, “Tengo dos conejillo de indias!”
“OOOOO!” he said. His face cleared of fear and he cracked a smile. “Dos conejillo de indias?!” he half asked and half declared.
I stepped back from the door and let MG see the boys’ cage. “’Bob’, our normal maintenance guy, told you that I have two chupacabra living here?”
“Yes,” MG stated looking at the boys in their cage, “He is a bad man…”
“I think he was just joking with you…” I tried. I walked back to the cage and picked up the boys. “See,” I declared holding two squirmy guinea pigs in my arms, “not chupacabra!”
“Ok,” MG said and walked past me to look at the ceiling.
As I was walking back to the cage Fred chattered his teeth at Lamont. In response, Lamont let out a huge “WHHHHHHEEEEEEEEK!”
MG jumped, dropped his flashlight, and yelled, “¡Dios mío!”
“It’s ok!” I said, “It’s just the boys! See?” I put the boys back in their cage. Clearly MG didn’t truly believe me. I had to be nice and give him an out. “So, you’re all done?” I asked.
“Yes!” he said with a sigh of relief. “You’re ceiling is fine. Let it dry and ‘Bob’ can fix it when he gets a chance…”
“OK thanks!” I said showing him to the door. MG gave the boys a fleeting glace. “The boys’ names are Fred and Lamont.”
“Oh, ok,” he sighed when he was safely out in the hallway.
I bid MG goodnight, closed the door, and locked it behind me. When heard him leave the building, I burst out in laughter.“I am a horrible human being and I’m going straight to hell…” I told the boys through fits of laughter. I added, “You have a bad mom! But, I’m not as bad a ‘Bob’!”
I decided that I had to talk to ‘Bob’ about the tall tales he was telling about my guinea pigs. They were not chupacabra. That was just an insult to my cute boys!