Saturday, May 08, 2010

Post-Diluvian Follies: Lights, Camera...

Bill and his entourage arrived: John with his big truck and generator; the two “bulls”, young guys from New York City who did the hard labor; a non-profit worker also from New York manning the camera (apparently they never found a film crew); and a Times-Picayune reporter observing the whole affair.

John and I caught up on the past few days as the crew bustled about. (He had seen mold-sicles.) Bill moved fast, “Hey, David, it’s good to see you. We’re going to do what we can for you… We’re setting up a negative pressure ventilation system… Can we move this…? Look, this is crumbling… Alright, we’re going to take this plaster off here… Can you guys get a good shot of that…? José, you should be wearing goggles… Look at this lathe board. That’s spores all on the back side. It’s got to come out… Okay, and this is sheetrock. Good. Guys, we’re going to do another area here.” The camera and its floodlight followed everything.

The reporter asked me questions: How seriously did I take the threat of mold? What was I doing about it? (He also asked about our demitasse collection—arrayed intact above the flood line—which he referred to in the subsequent article as my “teacups”.)


The bulls cleared swaths of wall in preparation for busting into them. They crumpled moldy posters into the trash. José gingerly took down a portrait of the Virgin Mary and handed it to me, “I think this one’s okay.”

Bill continued, “Make sure your contractor does this right… You should have a clause… You don’t want to mess around… We’re trying to get the word out… We’re having a meeting… When was this house built…? Could be asbestos...”

Then they were done. Two large swaths of wall were gone. They packed up the camera, crowbars, and negative ventilation system; turned off the generator; loaded up the truck; and went on their way.

I felt jumpy.


  1. pookie11:04 AM

    i have learned so much from your posts and how even through the horrow one could see and laugh at the absurd!

  2. "Absurd" gets to the essence of our misery-time-funny explorations. There's a sort of horrific/absurd duality. Sometimes life takes a form that's radically different from our expectations. Inasmuch as we're deeply attached to our expectations, this deviation is horrifying. But inasmuch as we're detached from our expectations, the deviation is a reminder of the inherent absurdity of life - of how it is forever flummoxing our best laid plans.