Wednesday, September 21, 2011

American Interlude Part 4: House Moving Madness Part D

The below tale of absurd redneck drama might not all be in the correct sequential order, as it's been several weeks and a couple continents since this all happened, but you'll get the general idea.

The drama had to do with the Deliverance Crew, as I'd taken to referring to them. These folks. (I wrote about them here.) My mother had hired the two Deliverance men, R and J, to take the roof down three feet, remove the chimneys, haul the wood from the roof and the bricks from the chimneys out to the land, and put the roof back together once the house was reassembled. They said they'd do all that for $1200. She advanced them most of it up front.

Early on in the process, R cut his foot with a chain saw. Following this, he simply didn't wear a shoe on that foot (although he did, at least, wear a sock) as "it done swolled up" and wouldn't fit in his shoe. And possibly because he had chopped his shoe open with the chainsaw. But, chainsaw accidents notwithstanding, the roof got taken down three feet, and the chimneys got dismantled. (We'll get to the specifics on how that actually happened in a bit.) A couple loads of wood and bricks even got carted out to the land.

At one point, I was at my mom's house alone while she was at work. I got a call from the woman of the Deliverance Crew. She asked me to have my mother call her or stop by the house as soon as possible. They needed to talk to her. (I should add that with their unbelievably thick southern redneck accents, understanding them in person is tough. Understanding them over the telephone was nearly impossible.) I immediately let my mom know, and she popped over to the house. Of course, she'd been planning on going over there on her break, it wasn't like she was jumping at their beck and call. They talked to her while she was there, but just about generalities; they didn't seem to have any specific reason for talking to her. A couple hours later, the woman called again. Yet again, she needed to talk to my mom ASAP. This time - after she got off work and stopped by the house - they (J and the woman) told my mom they needed gas money in order to haul the rest of the wood and bricks out to the land. (At this point, J and the woman were the only people at the house site; for some reason they hadn't wanted to ask in earshot of R, the house's owner, or the house moving crew.) They claimed their truck "really drinks gas" and that they wouldn't be able to get all of the wood and bricks out there without some more cash. Mom gave them $40. Only one load of bricks made it out to the land.

Two days later, they needed more gas money. Likely story. My mom has a 1984 Chevy van that drinks gas like a mofo, and I can make it from town to her land and back quite a few times on $40 worth of gasoline. I think my mom did give them more gas money, but about half what they were asking.

Around 9:30 at night at one point in the middle of the process (I think one half of the house had been maneuvered out to the land by this point), we received a phone call from the woman. (My mom usually goes to bed around 9 or 10.) She claimed she was in the hospital, suffering from heat exhaustion from working on the house all day. (Keep in mind that A: mom had hired R and J, not the woman and B: the woman never did any work; she literally just sat around all day.) The woman told my mom she needed (!) to go over to the house site, because J wanted to talk to her. My mom told her she was in bed already and would see them the next day.

The next day, mom promptly told the house owner and the house moving crew of the bizarre phone call that she had received, and told them that she did not want the woman on either the house site or the land. The next time I showed up at the house site, the rumor among the house movers was, "Did that big woman say she was gonna sue y'all?"

At some point my mom finally ran into J, who was once again asking for money. When asked what he'd done with the money she had advanced them... well, she'd given the money to R, who had apparently given J 1/4 of the money, not the 1/2 he was promised. Or so he said. Mom told J he would have to take this up with R; she wasn't going to pay J money that R owned him.

After all of this, mom was still planning on having R and J reattach the roof once the two halves of the house were reunited, although I had no doubt that they were completely incapable of such a feat, and my mom was beginning to share my belief.

After the second half of the house was brought out to the land, the house moving crew still had a couple of days worth of 'tying the house back together' (as they put it). While talking to the head of the house moving crew, he mentioned that the cost was going to come to $8000, not the $6000 upon which they had originally agreed. Obviously my mom was pretty upset about this 1/3 increase in price. The house mover kind of hemmed and hawed a bit... but finally he came out with it: his crew had had to do a lot of extra work, including taking down most of the roof and chimneys, as the Deliverance Crew hadn't had any clue as to what to do or how to do it.

Let's just say that my mom ended up hiring a roofer to reattach the roof and re-shingle the top three feet.

And that's all for my house moving madness... I returned to Korea before the roof was re-attached. The following photos were taken by my mother:






1 comment:

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