I live in an older building, especially by Atlanta standards. Naturally, with older buildings, you run into problems. And with apartment buildings, if one of us has it, chances are others are to follow. So we are trying to be proactive. The B building apparently has a leak and we decided to bring in a consultant to test every building so any repairs could be done at once.
So, because I’ve had problems in the past and due to a strange spot on my dining room ceiling and some floor weakness, I put my name on the list of apartments to be checked. The day arrives and I’m the first the consultant comes to check (since I’m A building and all). A neighbor whom I’ve never met is making the rounds with him.
Wait, I should also explain I had just cleaned and straightened before they got there. My mother would kill me otherwise. Strangers in the house can’t see the dust of everyday. So, I put away dishes, cleaned the litter boxes, swept a little, stacked paper and put it out of sight (which means I’ll forget about the bills — but oh well. Nothing is sacred when keeping up appearances.)
They arrive and we introduce ourselves. The consultant has this cool gadget that tests for moisture or wetness. It looks like a radar gun. I’m impressed. He points it to the ceiling where some past damage has occured. Nope. All dry there. I step on the soft floor to show off how much it gives under pressure. Hmm. The radar is aimed down.
Hold on. I’m getting something. Right there. Just to the corner.
I can see what is about to happen. I’m standing right there. The consultant is leaning down, index finger pointed, my mouth opens, but I can’t speak. The finger makes contact and he draws himself up, inspecting.
“What is that?” he asks, blissfully unaware for a moment. His finger colored in light brown, meaning only one thing:
“It’s poo.” The tears form from my suppresed laughter and humiliation. My red-headed neighbor turns redder. The consultant’s eyes bulge. “Poo” he mutters.
I point to the kitchen sink. I picture my twittering kitties, satisfied in their efforts against strangers and tidying up. I give him soap. I apologize a million times. But I can’t stop there. No, we go to the back balcony; joking now about what a great start he’s gotten off to. We come back in. The leak man wants a picture of the ceiling and I can’t resist.
“Are you sure you don’t want one of the poo?”