I believe that celebrities are people just like you and I.
I mean aside from the fact they have millions of dollars and their faces on billboards and people fawning over them at every turn. They eat , they sleep, they poop, they get caught with their junk hanging out when they rip the ass out of their pants and bend over to pick up their tool belts.
I am also always fascinated by stories of celebrity sightings and the way people react to someone of minor person of note buying a package of beef jerky or a disposable enema. The one thing that really drives me insane though is the stories of celebrities either buying or building homes in one of the local neighborhoods. The bigger the celebrity, the better the story in my experience.
An architect I do work for from time to time called me with an interesting offer. He was building a massive house that required some rather intricate water proofing. He was interested in trying a system that I had been working on getting him to use for months and figured this was the perfect place to try it.
As I drove out to find the job, I noted that the directions I had been given didn’t make sense with the location I was given. I saw an older gentleman standing beside an equally ancient dog trying to squeeze out a poop that had likely been inside him since the Millenium based on the strain expression on his face.
The dog was trying to poop, you sickos. Now that I think about it, it would have been funnier if the old guy was squatting and using the dog for a shield. I wonder, who gets to scoop that?
I waited politely for the dog to finish and the gentleman to scold him for having taken that long to take a dump in front of some millionaires house before asking about the property in question.
” You mean Elton John’s house?,” The gentleman asked.
” Pardon?” I asked back with a very raised single eyebrow.
” Oh yeah, it’s just up on the right,” He motioned with the dogs leash and not even a batted eye.
Disbelief washed over me in an instant but really was it that hard to believe? Elton John’s husband was Canadian and I had heard they were looking for a piece of property in Canada to buy. The homes leading to the security booth gated driveway grew in grandeur and opulence with each manicured lawn I passed. Turning past the wrought iron fence, I circled around concrete molds that would eventually form a massive fountain. The three-story house was as massive as it was beautiful. The entry way doors were at least ten feet tall and sculpted to look like a castle drawbridge. Sculpted archways and exposed beams the size of handicapped buses were on every gable end. The sheer size of the work was very daunting.
The architect met me at the door is his requisite baby blue golf shirt with white sweater tied around his waist over knee-length plaid shorts. I snickered a little when I thought ” If Elton John was looking for the right man for the job, he sure found it”.
We walked around the property and he showed me all three levels including a very nearly hidden staircase that led to an office. It had a walkout balcony and its own bathroom complete with shower and a soaker tub that would comfortably fit nine midget wrestlers. I was in awe of the sheer scale of it. His idea was simple as it would likely be effective. He wanted to use rubber roofing to line the showers and tub linings before the actual fixtures were put in. In theory, if they were never exposed to the elements, they would last basically forever.
” Only the best for a celebrity,” I nodded as we walked back toward the main entrance.
” Elton John,” He stated flatly with a grimace.
” That’s an amazing feather to have in your cap ,” I said with an incredulous tone.
” It’s not Elton John’s fucking house,” he replied with a sigh, ” It’s mine. I have no fucking idea how that rumor got started.
I didn’t want to point out the fountain in the front with what I could only assume would be two strapping young men entwined in an embrace that would get you burned at the stake in the Southern states or the fact he could pass for Elton John’s husband’s older, gayer, more hair product using brother. I really just wanted the job. This was a multi-million dollar property. I didn’t realize he was that wealthy and seriously contemplated going back to school to get my degree in architecture.
We agreed on a plan and a few days later we brought our whole team in to get as much done as possible in a single day. We split up to set up each piece of rubber in each shower and applied the bonding adhesives. This particular system requires the glues to be dry like contact cement before they will adhere and after what seemed like a ridiculous amount of time we checked them. They were still nearly as wet as when we applied them.
I had to come up with something. I needed to recreate at least one element from the outdoors so I grabbed a large fan used for drying drywall mud. I angled it to dry the adhesive but not shift the rubber and it worked like a charm. Within minutes, the adhesive dried and the rubber rolled on like an extra large condom on a very small erection.
I showed the rest of my team how it worked and sent my brother, Matt to the hidden stairway office bathroom. The rest of the team was concentrating on a shower on the main floor that was the size of a high school cheerleader locker room.
Mmmmmm . Cheerleaders.
Huh? Oh yeah. i was telling a story.
After adhesives had been applied, we stood admiring our own marvelous work when Matt came barreling down the stairs screaming.
” There’s a fire upstairs !!!’ Matt screamed as he ran for the door. I stood in disbelief for what felt like an eternity but was likely about a half a heart beat before tearing upstairs. I ran head first into the office where I saw a bowl of flames where our rubber had been laid out. The fire was licking up the walls and the smoke was coating everything in black soot. I did the only thing I could think of.
I grab a sheet of drywall and jumped on top of the flames. I was stamping them out as fast as I could only to hear someone stomping up the stairs.
” Hold on,” J-Bone yelled as he threw an entire cooler full of ice and water right on me. The flames were still creeping towards my hands as I ripped the rubber up and ran for the balcony. I hurled it out the doorway like a meteor falling from the heavens and stood panting as the adrenaline washed over me. The rest of the team joined us upstairs and gazed at us in our blackened state. Matt came up last looking with wide eyes at the spectacle.
” What the fuck happened?,” I yelled as I spun a circle trying to figure out where the fire had started.
” The extension cord for the fan,” Matt said quietly ” It sparked and set the adhesive on fire.”
I saw where his eyes slowly led. The extension cord to the fan was plugged into a receptacle that had just been put in. All it took was likely an undetectable arch of electricity to start the vapor from the glue into a minor inferno. A black line traced a path across the wall from the box to the floor where the glue had been applied. I am no scientist but I will say this, I never take my cell phone out of my pocket when I pump gas anymore.
A thought occurred to me then. I turned to Matt with a raised eyebrow.
” Hey, aren’t you a volunteer fireman?” I asked staring plainly at the cleanest guy amongst the whole team.
” Not yet,” Matt answered sheepishly, ” I just drive the truck.”