Flailing to maintain

``Get up!'' I cried to Stan. ``The guy is here to do the roof. Put on your boots and speak to him in Workman.'' A guy in Stan's union had recommended the roofer, who, when he'd finished the roof, recommended a guy for the gutters.

Stan called, but the gutter guy didn't get back to him. ``So you get back to the gutter guy,'' I said, and Stan did, for weeks,

until he showed up one day two hours late to do the estimate and, though he was sort of gorgeous, I didn't trust him, Stan was outraged, and besides he never phoned back. ``Get another gutter guy,'' we said. ``Got to get a better gutter guy.'' And had the house painted. Then

it rained for a month without a single downspout. ``Thank God for the roof,'' we said. ``Gotta get a gutter guy.''

Four months and more, but finally we got such a great gutter guy - who phoned, showed up,

came in at the estimate, apologized twice when he walked on the paint - it was over before we knew it.

Gutters. No further discussion. Let the hard rains fall.

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