Black mold? Come on.

I had this leak coming from somewhere behind the kitchen wall. After putting off getting it taken care of for much longer than I should have, I made an appointment to have a plumber stop by and take a look. Hopefully it wouldn’t be anything too serious, because I really didn’t have the cash for anything more than a quick-fix repair job.

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The plumber took one look around the kitchen and suspected that the problem might have something to do with the dishwasher.

“Is this appliance a plugged unit or is it hardwired in?” he asked me.

And just the way he looked at me when he posed the question, it was like he was expecting an answer out of me. I had no idea what he was talking about, but in that moment between his question and my eventual non-answer, here was a man, a professional plumber, treating me like, well, not like an equal, but definitely not like someone who doesn’t know at all what he’s talking about. I should have just said something like, “I don’t know what that means,” but I didn’t want to let him down. I didn’t want to let myself down, to diminish my assumed level of basic appliance know-how.

“Well,” I kind of fumbled around, trying to say something, what exactly, I didn’t really know. “It’s a … uh … it’s a standard unit …”

“All right,” he cut me off, I could tell he was a little disappointed, not in me so much, but in himself, he gave me the once over, he sized me up and took it for granted that I’d have maybe a base level of handiness. And now he was back at square one, or lower than square one.

He pulled the dishwasher out, revealing a puddle of dirty water. The cabinetry was wet on both sides, as was the drywall just behind, crumbling off where it met the tile, everything slightly warped from having been damp for who knows how long.

“Jesus,” the plumber said, which wasn’t really a reaction I was hoping for.

“It’s a leak,” I don’t know why I said that, because it was obviously a leak.

“Is that a direct line?” I don’t know why he asked, because I didn’t know what that meant either.

“A direct line?” I threw the question back at him.

“Look, we have to turn the electricity off before I can check out the pipes. You’ve got a lot of water damage here. And it looks like there’s mold growing.”

“Mold? So what do we do?”

“You got to get a mold guy, I’m not licensed for that sort of stuff.”

“A mold guy?”

“Yeah, look, and do what you got to do, all right, but this is something you got to take care of, all right, black mold is no joke.”

“Well, can you fix the leak?”

“And an electrician. You got to get an electrician over here, because I’d bet anything that the wires need some looking at, I’m just saying, you know, based on how these pipes look, and the mold, you got to take care of everything here.”

“But the leak?”

“You listening to me kid?” he called me kid, and I knew right there that whatever technical benefit of the doubt he’d given me when he walked in had evaporated.

“Yeah, I’m listening to you, I’m just … I just, I don’t know, all right? One thing at a time, right? Can you fix the pipe, or whatever it is that’s causing the water to come out?”

“All right, look, you’ve got extensive damage here. All right, you’re going to need a complete reworking of probably all of the plumbing here. You’ve probably got faulty wiring, and even though I’m not a mold guy, so this is like some off-the-books advice here, but it looks like you’ve got the beginnings of what could be a pretty nasty black mold problem. Now like I said, you do what you got to do, but this isn’t something you’re going to want to let go for too long.”

I said to him, “OK, but for right now, for today, what can you do for me?”

“I can patch up and reinforce the sides of the water main, right, and that’s going to buy you maybe a few months, maybe more, maybe less, again, I don’t know the extent of this damage, right, if this pipe’s corroded here, I’m sure the damage goes way back. So that’s today. And then tomorrow, well tomorrow’s Saturday, but Monday I suggest you call an electrician, and a mold guy, and then the three of us will figure out where to go from here.”

“How much are you thinking this is all going to cost?”

“Look, I’m in absolutely no position to give an estimate right now. I’m telling you, there’s a lot to do here.”

“But like what, a thousand? Two thousand?”

And the plumber just shook his head.

“What about for today? What about for that pipe patch or whatever you were talking about?”

“One forty.”

“Fine.”

“But look, I’ll give you some contacts, some guys I know, guys I’ve worked with before, or you can shop around, your call. But listen to me …”

“Yeah, I got it, I’ll take care of it.” I told him.

He patched up the pipe or whatever it was that he did, and the water stopped. And after he left, after I mopped everything up and scrubbed the tiles and the walls with one of those Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, I have to say, I know that I’m not a plumber or an electrician, but it didn’t really look that bad. And there wasn’t any more water.

And black mold? Come on, it didn’t look any worse than the black mildew upstairs in the bathroom or in the basement. And the Magic Eraser works fine on that too. Besides, I’m thinking of repainting the whole place, just giving everything a couple of fresh coats. Because I really don’t know, that guy, ready with his trusted associates, maybe I’m not a plumber, but I can tell when I’m getting squeezed.

Black mold problem, please. I try not to use the word problem. I see it as more of a black mold opportunity. Because look, now I’m almost positive I’m going to paint. Maybe like next weekend, or the weekend after that. And who knows if I would’ve gotten around to it if it weren’t for that mold or mildew or whatever it is. Yeah, a fresh coat of paint is going to solve everything.

But man, I should get into plumbing. That guy was over here for what, an hour? And he charged me a hundred and forty bucks? Talk about a good gig. I’d love to make a hundred and forty an hour. And then I could tell all of my friends about it, my electrician friends and my mold friends, and they could hook me up when they get house calls. “Gee, I don’t know, you better let me get my friend Rob the plumber over here to take a look at this.” What a racket.

What happened next will blow your mind

I started writing this article, and you’ll never believe what happened next. What happened next was so shocking, I don’t even think it’s possible to explain what actually happened, not without totally blowing your mind and completely changing your entire outlook on life. Keep reading to find out exactly what happened, something you’d never expect, something totally unbelievable, and yet absolutely incredible. Incredible and heartwarming. And unexpected. Can you believe that your entire world is about to be shaken to the core?

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Because what happened next will leave you speechless. You won’t be able to speak. It’ll wear off eventually, but in the meantime, it’s just going to be you and your thoughts, or whatever’s left of them. You’ll be sweeping up the fragmented remains of what you thought was your mind, because I’ll have shattered it, by writing this piece, and telling you all about what happened next.

You won’t believe what happened next. You’ll never believe it. Part of me wants to tell you to just get lost, to stop reading right now, to turn around and never come back. Because you can’t handle it. You probably can’t handle it. Most of you definitely won’t be able to handle it. Maybe a few of you will. I have a pretty good idea of who’s going to stick around and who’s going to take a hike. Will you be one of the few to keep reading? Keep reading to find out.

Find out if you have what it takes to keep reading. Just answer a few simple multiple choice questions to see if you’re the kind of person who commits to finishing something that you started, like reading this article. I took this fun and simple quiz and my result was: committed. “You are the type of person who doesn’t take no for an answer.” That’s what it told me. What’ll it say about you? It’s only like five or six questions. Just take the quiz.

Because the answers are going to shock you. My friend took an online quiz one time, and what happened next changed his life forever. He spent like ten or fifteen seconds clicking boxes on some quiz web site, and the results changed his outlook on humanity forever. Don’t believe in online quizzes? Yeah, I hear you. I used to think it was all a load of baloney. But then I tried one, and the course of my life was irrevocably altered. I haven’t looked back.

You shouldn’t look back either. Just keep going. Keep reading. And at the end, would you mind taking a brief survey to let me know how I’m doing? Just so I can better tailor my product based on the overall satisfaction of your experience. It’ll only take maybe two or three minutes, it’s another set of multiple choice questions.

And if you take the survey, which I’d really appreciate, I’ll say thanks. My way of saying thanks is automatically enrolling you in a drawing to win the opportunity to save big on select purchases with some of my online affiliate partners. Talk about a savings, talk about a great deal. You seriously can’t afford not to keep reading, to not take my online quiz and online survey, in fact, if your browser isn’t being automatically redirected within five seconds, just click refresh, just start reading again from the top.

And I can guarantee you that once you’re done, you won’t be the same person. One time my mother clicked on an ad to save big online, and what happened next will totally shock you. In a good way. Not like my grandmother. One time my grandmother clicked on an online ad, and what happened next will terrify you. It’s a terrifying story. Did you know that one in three online grandmothers are going to be susceptible to computer hacking and fraud during their lifetimes? Click here to run a free diagnostic of your computer. It’s like an online quiz, but for your PC. You’ll save big. Trust me. And after you’ve saved big, what happens after that is going to be totally awesome. Click here to read more.

Being a robot would be awesome

In most science fiction stories, if there’s ever a character who suddenly finds out that he’s a robot, it’s always this huge letdown, for the readers, for the other characters definitely. But the robot always takes it the hardest. Taken to extreme, the robot finds out that he’s a robot, and then he short-circuits and powers down, as if the truth is too unbearable to live with.

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But I don’t know. If I were to discover that I was in fact a robot, I’d be more relieved than anything else. Maybe I’d be a little sad. But actually, no, I don’t think I’d be sad at all. And upon further reflection, I’d probably be happy about it, excited even. Everyone knows that robots are superior to humans. Finally, I’d have some concrete evidence that I’m superior to everyone else.

I wouldn’t have to worry about getting sick or developing any sort of chronic illness. Sure, computer viruses would pose more of an existential threat than they did before, but I’d never have to go running through the park and worry that I’m breathing in too much polluted air, or eat an ice cream cone and ponder the potential danger of too much antibiotics in consumer dairy products.

And what about all of the time wasted, wondering if I’m doing a good job fitting in, or being accepted by everyone else? If I’m a robot, I don’t care. I’d throw my robotic hands in the air and say, well, I am different, I’m a highly sophisticated sentient machine. Of course I’m never going to be able to fully relate with the humans. I might as well enjoy my uniqueness.

There’d have to be some extra abilities that I’d possess as a robot. Like if I’m doing some endurance exercise, does it really make sense that I’d be tired? No. That’s probably some restrictive programming at work to make me feel weak, like a human. Just knowing that those barriers are artificial has got to be enough to overcome my predefined limitations.

And why settle for just basic programming? What good is it to be a robot if you can’t opt in for some upgrades? Of course I’m talking hardware modifications, like some rocket boots that pop out of the bottom of my feet. I’ve always dreamed about exiting a boring conversation mid-sentence by just blasting out of there. Because what would the other person even say? It’s not like they’d be mad at me. It would be more cool than anything else.

But hardware upgrades would be so much more than just rocket boots. I could get like titanium-reinforced hands, for breaking things with an effortless punch. Or a new set of advanced eyes with telescopic vision. It could be anything. Ice-skates that pop out of my feet, or an extra set of arms that extend from my torso.

Which by themselves wouldn’t really make me any better than just a knockoff Inspector Gadget. So I’d have to work on software upgrades, you know, increased intelligence, instant knowledge of complex subjects as of now beyond my grasp. I’d be able to do anything.

So yeah, I guess I’m thinking about the last Terminator movie, about how the guy finds out that he’s a robot and he’s all like, “Noooo!”

But I’m not buying it. I’d be like, “Yes!”

I’m giving away free money

Hey everybody, I just came into a pretty big sum of money. It’s ten thousand dollars. That’s tacky, right? Telling you how much money I fell into? I get it. But I just can’t hide how happy I am, to have totally landed in such an unexpected windfall of cash. And I want to share that happiness with all of you. Or, not all of you, but some of you. If you share this blog post, what I mean is, if you reblog it, or if you retweet, or share it on Facebook or whatever, and then send me your email address, I’ll give you ten bucks. But only for the first hundred people. That’s pretty generous of me, right? Brightening up the lives of a hundred random people on the Internet? Also, you have to start following me on Twitter.

Ten-dollar bills

What can I say? That’s just who I am, a really generous, fun-loving, share-the-wealth type of guy. I wish I could give away even more money. I thought about maybe making it a hundred dollars to the first ten people who reblog this post on Tumblr, (you have to start following me on Tumblr, also) and then take a screen shot of that reblog, post it to Instagram, and then tag me, showing me that you actually did it. And while, yeah, those ten people would have been ten times happier than the hundred people I ultimately decided to go with, I just felt that it was more important to cast a wider net, to try and make more people happier, even if they’re only going to wind up being just a little bit happier.

That sounds an awfully lot like quantity over quality, right? Yeah, I guess so. But sometimes you have to sacrifice quality for quantity. Like if you’re going to eat breakfast every day, I’d rather buy a five-dollar box of cereal than a really expensive tiny jar of caviar. So that’s what this is like. All you have to do is follow me on social media, and if you’re one of the first one hundred people, I’ll send you ten bucks.

I wish I could have made even more people happy, but I wouldn’t have any cash left over if I kept giving away free money. And while I’m not willing to part with my remaining nine thousand dollars, I’d be more than happy to invite you over my house for dinner. Again, it would be impossible to have everyone over. Just logistically, that would be a pretty big challenge. But let’s say like the first twenty-five people who subscribe to my YouTube channel, I’ll invite you over for a homemade meal. I make a really great carbonara sauce. All you have to do is subscribe to the channel, leave a nice comment under any three of my videos, and then post your own video on YouTube mentioning my channel, the whole ten-dollar-giveaway thing I’m doing, and you’re all set. Be sure to mention how generous I am, talk about all of the blessings I’m sharing and stuff like that.

Also, listen, one of my clients was just recently traveling abroad. His small airplane went down somewhere over the Central African Republic, and after this whole botched attempt to locate the wreckage, we found out that, unfortunately, it’s really unlikely that anyone made it out of the jungle alive, let alone survived the plane crash. Fortunately, he doesn’t have any living heirs, and I was entrusted as the manager of his entire portfolio. All I need are some volunteers to act as liaisons to his estate, let’s say ten people, to go forward with me in this very lucrative endeavor. You just have to like my page on Facebook, subscribe to my newsletter, add me as an addition to your cell phone’s family plan, text me the routing number for your bank’s checking account, buy my eBooks on Amazon, leave me several five-star reviews, mail me a check for fifteen cents, and tell all of your family and friends and coworkers to follow me on Twitter, to press the heart icon over all of my Tumblr posts, and to mention my name in a hashtag on any photos you upload to Instagram, and like I said, those first ten people are going to get rich, OK, all of these blessings are going to come to you and your family, because trust me, this guy was ultra-wealthy, and if I could access his money and keep it all to myself, I would, I’m telling you it’s like millions of dollars, and I’ll give away a big chunk of it, all right, I’m not messing around here, so all of these buttons to the right of this blog post, the share buttons and the pin it buttons, just press them, seriously, just keep pressing them and we’re all going to get really rich, sound good?

I’ll be back in a month

I’ve kept this blog going for something like two and a half years. So far I haven’t missed a day. I like the way that this self-imposed deadline keeps me going. Sure, a lot of the time I simply can’t think of anything to write about. And so there are a lot of pieces in my archives that make me cringe if I dare to go back and reread. On the flipside of that, there have been countless days where I’ve sat down to a blank Word document, utterly unable to conceive of how I’ll fill up a whole page, when all of the sudden a sentence will appear in my head, as if out of nowhere. That sentence will lead to another one, and before I realize what’s happening, something cool or funny has sort of manifested itself on the screen. I hope I don’t sound too self-aggrandizing, but it’s true. Some of the stuff that I’ve written that I’m most pleased with, a lot of times I have no idea where the content came from.

And so yeah, the daily deadline of having to put something on this blog has been great, if only to get me to sit down and write when I don’t necessarily feel like sitting down to write. But it is a lot of pressure. And lately I’ve been feeling like I want to branch out, to try something a little bigger, something that might require a larger chunk of time than just twenty-four hours.

I’m going to write a novel. And I’m going to take the month of November and set this blog aside. I figure that, if I just get up in the morning and write the amount of content that I’d normally write for this blog, but direct it toward a bigger piece, then I should have something thirty days from now. This isn’t an original idea. There’s this whole National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) that’s gotten pretty popular on the Internet. I mean, I’m not going to be writing updates every day chronicling my ups and downs. I’m just going to go for it, hopefully get a big chunk of text, and then work from there.

So yeah, that’s it I guess. It’s going to be really hard to not post to this blog, only because it’s all I’ve known for so long now. But if I can get a really big story done, then it’s going to worth it. And so if you’re reading this, thank you as always for reading my blog. I really appreciate all of the support I’ve gotten from wonderful people across the Internet. I’ll be back in a month!