Friday, July 15, 2011

Russian Contractors: haven't you learned your lesson?

Soooooooooo - it seems that two things happened yesterday - first, that the general topic I wrote about was a sensitive topic for some, and two - that the point was a bit lost.  To be clear, it was intended to be satirical commentary focusing on the differing approaches to historical propaganda from two very different nations written with in the voice of a stereotypical and overtly ignorant American because, well, I thought that perspective is much funnier than the voice of a Russian person.  Mostly because Russians tend to be...ahem...fact nazis, always so concerned with knowledge and learnin'.

But, moving on...

A couple days ago, we finally resolved to get someone to come out and do the pool for us.  There were a couple reasons.  First - I haven't had time to even shower more than once a week, let alone put all the time it takes to prep and clean a pool properly, and even if I DID have time to spend cleaning the filter and vacuuming out all the gunk from the pool, I likely would rather spend it with my son who is about as awesome as anyone could possibly imagine.  Second - I'm very much into stimulating the economy, so i feel like any extra cash that I have should be given away to local businesses and merchants so that we can get our economy back on track.  And third - a health inspector came and said that he (I found out later it was actually a she) would fine us if we didn't clean it up ASAP.

The jury is still out on whether it was just a routine check on people's pools, or one of our evil neighbors called the health inspectors, worrying about something the inspector called, "West-Side Nile Virus", or something else called "Malaysia".  But I replied back to him/her, "But hey, most of this neighborhood is Russian, and we've all got Hammer and Sickle Cell Anemia, so we're protected against Malaysia!"  He/She didn't care much about that.

This design is insensitive to people suffering from that terrible disease
So, we needed some help.  And what did we do?  That's right, we hired a Russian pool guy.  I think his name is Valerie.  Yeah, I know, it's a lady-name.  But apparently, if you put the stress on the first "e" in Valerie (like val-Erie) it becomes a badass dude's name.  Go figure.  There's a couple names like this.  Sasha is a derivation of the name Alexander (not sure how they go together, but then again - Richard/Dick?).  And then there's all the other girl names that are actually guy names, like Sara, Jennifer, Jane, and Laura.  Ok, not really, but still.  There's Sasha and Valerie.

Now, I know what you're thinking..."haven't you learned your lesson with Russian contractors?".  To which I reply - "no, especially when they're less than a third of the price."  Then you say, "But Bill, he snapped the handle off of your filter, he's been working on the pool for three days and there hasn't been any noticeable change, and you still haven't met him face to face!"  And I have to stick by my guns and reply, "DID YOU HEAR - A THIRD OF THE PRICE".

The one on the left is NOT my babysitter.
Also, we're apparently running a Russian dating service, because he apparently got the number of our babysitter, and they're going to now be dancing the Hopak together.  Yes, that is a euphemism, because I could never see my babysitter doing the hopak.  Maybe a little kalinka, but no hopak. 

Valerie promised me that by Monday, we'd be able to swim in our pool.  And if Russians are anything, they're true to their word.  So you all are invited over Tuesday for a massive game of Sharks and Minnows.


  1. Is Sharks and Minnows a euphemism for cleaning and filtering?

    P.S. Valeriy is originially a Latin name, originated from "Valerius," which means "strength," the same root that Valor comes from. That root is valere, which is the infinitive that means "to be of worth."

    What am I saying, aside from the fact that I took Latin for four miserable years? The fact that Valera broke your stuff because he is WAY TOO STRONG and that you should decrease the total payment by $50 each day he doesn't have it done. The Russian way.

  2. Did you make that Malaysia reference in my honor?

    Also? Kids love pools and water. Sammy will be thrilled. All the pain you bear from this pool makeover, will be well worth it.

  3. I'm totally coming over.

    Also, just so you know, my parents are big believers in hiring immigrant labor at 1/3 of the price, and the cabinets that were put up in the basement kitchen [OF COURSE they have a basement kitchen] just came crashing down the other day.

    Sooooo . . . don't have ValErie hang cabinets in the pool.

  4. I don't know, Bill, I'd love to come swimming but I'm terrified of catching Malaysia! ;)

    1/3 of a price? I hear you. Loud and clear. We have one guy(I totally say that all the time now, bTW) who does evrything under the sun for next to nothing. It's phenomenal.

  5. Yeah, I agree with VickiB, tell him you will be knocking off $50/day that he doesn't get it done (and stress "And done right"). Tell him that the health dept is coming by on x day and that if it isn't done by then, he will be paying for the fines out of what you are going to be paying him "since he is Russian, he should be able to do a better job than a silly American." Oh, wait, I am saying this from the perspective of a woman getting her way. Those words won't work if you are not a thin woman. Ummm, good luck! lol

    And yes, I got the reference from the post the other day. But it was a very sensitive subject, soooo, I guess I'm saying you gotta say the above thing in such a post, maybe like the end in italics so that people don't think that you actually 100% meant all that. Which my husband would have said all that. And meant it. Because he's stupid. I married him for his mooscles, obviously.


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