By Jerry Zezima
This old man, he is dumb, he played knickknack with some rum.
The geezer in question is, naturally, yours truly. And I am floored to tell you that in order to get new flooring in the dining room and the living room of my house, I moved approximately 1,387 knickknacks, tchotchkes (I had to look up how to spell it) and, yes, bottles of booze from one room to another.
I would have swept it all under the rug except that we needed new rugs in both rooms to replace the magic carpets that were pulled up and left on the curb. The carpets magically disappeared when the garbage guys hauled them away.
Because a man’s home is his hassle, I was required to help transfer all that stuff when my wife, Sue, the lady of the manor, in a manner of speaking, said she wanted new floors.
“Wouldn’t new ceilings be easier?” I asked.
“No,” Sue answered flatly. “We are going to get vinyl flooring.”
“Is that your vinyl answer?” I wondered.
“Yes,” she said. “Let’s call Anthony.”
That would be Anthony Amini, our contractor, who owns Performance Contracting and Management. He and his crew have done several great jobs at our house, including roofing and siding that would be the envy of any home improvement show.
Anthony’s standout assistant is Andy Campanile, a handyman par excellence who does bricklaying, plumbing and, of course, flooring.
Before they started this daunting project — which included putting new floors in the front hallway and the adjacent half-bathroom, which was entirely redone and made me flush with excitement — Sue and I had to shop for new rugs.
“I’ll take you out to lunch,” she promised.
“I’ve been out to lunch for years,” I replied.
“I know that,” Sue said. “I mean, I’ll buy you lunch if you come to the store with me.”
It was a place that not only sells rugs, furniture and all other kinds of household items, but also has a restaurant that serves, among other offerings, Swedish meatballs.
Stuffed more than the seat cushion of my favorite easy chair, I staggered through the aisles as Sue looked for the perfect covering to lay down in the dining room.
When she had settled on a rug, I asked if I could settle on the rug to take a nap.
“No!” she exclaimed, strongly implying that I was, indeed, out to lunch.
Then came the hard part: Bringing almost everything in the dining room to the living room so Anthony and Andy could install a new floor. That meant emptying the liquor cabinet, which contained the aforementioned rum, as well as whiskey, gin, vodka and so many other spirits that they could have anesthetized an army.
We also had to clean out the hutch, which contained glasses, china and silverware that, if put on a scale, would have weighed more than a pregnant walrus.
As I labored to cart stuff into the living room, I was hunched over like the Hutch-back of Notre Dumb.
When the dining room was finished, we had to reverse the process: Bring everything back to the dining room and also bring everything from the living room to the dining room so Anthony and Andy could put down a new floor in the living room.
It was a room with a whew.
The items included Hummels, lamps and enough books to fill a wing of the New York Public Library.
When Anthony and Andy had put down the new floor, Sue and I had to — you guessed it! — transfer everything back to the living room.
I must say that the flooring looks great, Anthony and Andy did another terrific job, and Sue is thrilled.
As for me, this old man can’t wait to sit down, take a deep breath and play knickknack with some rum.
Copyright 2021 by Jerry Zezima