Posted by: Brenda Kula | April 9, 2008

The Whole Mysterious Mishap With The Strange Man

Yesterday I made a trip to Chandler to visit Blue Moon Nursery,, my very favorite place to shop for plants and herbs. Walli and I took my car in for service and then drove there, shopped, and had lunch at a spot everyone seems to call "The Bakery" in Edom. (Blue Moon is listed in Chandler, but I suppose it becomes Edom a little down the road.)

After all that and picking up my car, Jeff and Andrea, owners of Lone Star Aquariums, came out to see if they could change the UV bulbs I’d ordered online for my pond. This is not typically what they do, of course. But after last week, with the guy I’d hired to work in my yard and his subsequent pleading for money in the dead of night, I was in desperate need of someone who could figure out the intricacies of my pond filter and frog spitter. So Jeff came to my rescue. He managed to figure it out and replace the expensive UV lights. (Isn’t it nice to find a man who will actually get down and take a look at things for you!)

Some have asked me what happened with the story of the "guy running along my house past my dining room window" from last week. So for those of you who don’t know the entire story, I will give the highlights and sum it all up.

To read on…

A man had come to my door who had worked here previously with another company. (I won’t say who; just someone you call when your toilet is backed up.) He was looking for work. I decided, since I sort of knew him, to give him a chance. After all, times are hard everywhere. And my husband is not handy and has no desire to be in the yard.

We worked side by side a couple of days for an hour or so at a stretch, for which I paid him $225. Then I got the eerie phone call at 2 a.m. last week, with his saying he was in desperate need of gas money. He said a family member had been in a car wreck in another city, and he was needed there.

I, of course, was in an Ambien CR-induced haze, and without much thinking on my part, promptly got up. I gave him another $10, knowing full well I’d just handed him a check that very afternoon. And all had been cashed.

But, he told me, he’d used that for rent. He had no one else to turn to, he said. He let me know he needed more in a roundabout way. But that was all I was giving. I don’t keep cash around. I’m a debit card sort of gal.

I did have the good sense to check him out the following morning. And I was told, with all secrecy, to steer clear of him. They didn’t know his problem, but he always needed money. Now, I really liked him. He was in his forties, good-looking, clean-shaven and intelligent. I’m gullible, I suppose.

But the following morning he kept calling my home and cell phone and I didn’t answer. Then he was running along the side of my house just a bit after that, with Walli and I sitting here dumbfounded. I dredged up the courage to go outside. I told him he couldn’t work here any longer. He was supposed to show up to work for Walli (house across the alley) in the evening, but he did not show up.

So we assume this is the end of that little story. You see, I have a husband who has a very demanding job. I do all that I can. But there are just some things I don’t know how to do. I can clean the pond, tend to it, backwash it. But I cannot figure out all the things inside that large fancy filter. And I’m so afraid I will ruin it (it cost $500), that I am reluctant to just throw caution aside and take the thing apart to change bulbs and clean things. You have to order those specialty UV bulbs online. And they cost about $35 a piece. I needed two of them.

I am one of those scatter-brained individuals: (possibly related to Lucille Ball in some roundabout way?), who can’t find their way with a map. The sort who oftentimes does not know, as the saying goes, "whether to wind my watch or scratch my ass." So if I take the thing apart, it is unlikely I will be able to fit everything back together. And if you don’t get it back together just so, the pond loses it’s water. Then my two fish are gulping at the surface, panic-stricken, in a small amount of water. And I am stuck with a high water bill. (This happened with the pond company that put the darned thing in for months.

And for all you more common-sensed individuals who are shaking your heads and saying, "But why not call back the pond company who installed the filter?": the man who owned it died in a car wreck a year ago, and they closed it down.

The aforementioned man had taken the thing apart. I was impressed that he got it back together with no problem. Yes, if only I’d watched him do it. But, the aquarium service was here also and I had to go inside and tend to that. And he had it all done when I got back outside.

So now you have the whole sordid story. Yes, I purchased lots of herbs yesterday at Blue Moon. And I fully planned to tell you all about them in my third "herb entry." But I got off-track while my camera battery was charging and lapsed into this. So, Curtiss Ann and all who have wondered about this unfortunate mishap. …That’s the story.

I will be more careful from now on. I live in the kind of neighborhood where handy men are often fixing things up for widows and such. It’s not an expensive neighborhood by any means. It is merely comprised of a lot of elderly people who need work done. And I suppose every man needing money for miles around has learned this through word-of-mouth.

I shall go outside and take photos now and hopefully be back with my next entry on herbs this afternoon.



  1. Don’t you just hate it when you get caught into such annoying and disconcerting scenarios? But it was fascinating to read about. 🙂 So glad you are safe, and the pond is fixed.


  2. Well, mystery solved, at least. 🙂 It was nice of you to be so kind, but you’re right, people will try to take advantage, which is so unfortunate. Best to stay clear, I think.

  3. Very strange and scary. Good looking people are not where we expect strange people to be hidden, yet looks just do not matter!

    Glad it is over!

  4. I can relate to many things in your story. And I’m glad it’s a happy end. My ma can be so naive at times and all those ‘kind people in need’ always place a plate full of pathetic, heart-breaking stories right in front of her face. On the other hand, I’m like a police profiler myself. I never judge people by good or less good looks, but there’s a lot I can read just merely out of scanning the face and gestures. I guess someone up there has graced me with a gift that often goes misinterpreted as a xenophobia 😉
    Btw, Brenda, there’s an award waiting for you @ my place.


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