We like to give service guys a run for their money. If they’re good and working late enough in the day, we’ll reward them for their hard work with a nice, cold beer, but I’m not convinced that’s enough for DirecTV guy to recover from what we put him through.

He brought it on himself, really. He showed up–after the time he said he would–without the tools needed to complete the job.

Forty-five minutes later, he returned with our high maintenance parts. No, really, we have our own customer service line.

Mom showed him to the fire hazard, I mean cord manglement area of our basement, and let him go to work.

“Um… Ma’am? Can I have a broom and a bag?” Patrick asked.

When she delivered the request TV service tools, the scene only got better.

“Ma’am, are you missing a pet gerbil?”

photo credit

photo credit: kevinthoule via photopin cc


A very large black and white mouse was sitting on the duct squeaking at him while he worked. Actually, more than one.

Dad and Patrick proceeded to chase these mice across the basement using a broom, several plastic bags, and a plastic container.

Once the mice were thoroughly tortured, the two men returned to the TV Dad was now helping Patrick service.

The two of them managed to untangle the spaghetti of cords behind our armoire to finish the installation.

They plugged it in and boom the TV worked! Then they unplugged it. The TV still worked.

“It’s still on,” Dad said.

“That’s not possible. It’s not plugged in,” Patrick said.

If you’re keeping score at home, this is one family of talking mice and one TV that works while unplugged.

We probably should have just invited Patrick to stay for dinner and this point and called it a day. He’d had enough firsts for one day, but Dad did one better and offered him some homemade wine.

“I’ve met a lot of people in my job. Football players. Politicians. Musicians. But never… a wine maker.”

Unfortunately for Patrick, adventures like this are not uncommon for our family. We’ve already planned to tell the next service guy that our last service guy found our pet gerbil, could he find our missing snake?

Of course, we’ll tell him we’re kidding and probably send him home with some wine himself. We’re not malicious. We just attract um… creative moments. Stories worth telling, if you will.

Chances are, you attract them too.

You might not end up in the fourth row of a sold out show you didn’t have a ticket for.

Or chase mice with your DirecTV guy.

But your life is full of creative moments.

You just have to look for them.

And appreciate them.

There were plenty of things about Patrick’s visit that could have left us angry–he was late, unprepared, prevented us from a timely dinner, oh, and found a mice collection in our basement.

But instead we ate our cold food with laughter at the image of him telling his wife about his day. We’re pretty sure she’s not going to believe it.

Next time something goes wrong, next time life throws you a crazy curve ball, look for the story worth telling.

It’s likely not the one that frustrates you.

What’s the funniest thing that happened to you this week?

PS: No mice were harmed in the making of this blog which means if you want a cow-colored, cow-sized gerbil, they’re free in my basement. You just have to catch them yourself.

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  • Kevin

    My mom owns a store/boutique that moved several years ago. All four of us were working to complete the move when a little sparrow flew into the house we were moving the shop out of. The most accurate comparable event is the “squirrel!” From national lampoons Christmas vacation. Glad you were able to bring DirectTV into the fun :)

    • http://KatieAxelson.com/ Katie Axelson

      That is an awesome mental image. Thank you!

  • Dawn Muench

    Love it!

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