Mike Buzzelli

Column Mike Buzzelli

Mike Buzzelli is a stand up comedian and published author. He is a theater and arts critic for 'Burgh Vivant, Pittsburgh's online cultural talk magazine, and an active board member of the Pittsburgh New Works Festival, the Carnegie Arts Initiative and the Carnegie Screenwriters. His book, "Below Average Genius" is a collection of essays culled from his weekly humor column here in the Observer-Reporter.

The Return of the Window Washer

Return of the window washer

January 11, 2013

This week, I am home sick with the flu. I keep hoping it’s a 24-hour virus, but I’ve been counting the clock and I’m a few hours overdue for my wellness. Luckily, the flu is keeping me to my one resolution of eating less. Monday, I had two glasses of ginger ale, two glasses of water and one cracker. It was a Triscuit and they’re not the easiest cracker to hold down. It’s scratchy.

Flashback to October: I was working from home. I don’t remember why, but nevertheless there I was. It was the last time I was home on a weekday in the middle of the day. I came out of the kitchen and into the living room and saw a man standing outside the second-story window. I let out a blood-curdling scream before I realized he was the window washer. You just don’t expect to see anyone outside your second-story window. I am surprised my scream didn’t knock him off the ladder. I started laughing. Actually, I was laughing so hard I ran into the office and sat down. Oddly enough, the window washer was nonplussed. I can’t imagine having no reaction like he did, but I startle easily. I am sure I would have done the arms-flailing-balancing-precariously-before-plummeting-into-the-grass-below routine, just like every man on a ladder in every sitcom ever. I also would have let out a “Wh-wh-wh-whoa” as I flailed my arms.

End the harp music and snap us back to the present: There I was Tuesday morning in bed, with the flu or whatever it was, when I heard an odd noise. It sounded like someone was right outside the house trying to get in. I thought I had a bold daytime bandit. I looked around for a baseball bat or some other implement to repel my robber. I didn’t have anything. I could have hit him over the head with a rolled-up Time magazine, but that wouldn’t have done any damage. I stood up and peered out the window, to spy on this culprit. That’s when I saw the truck with the details of the window washing company emblazoned on the side door.

I couldn’t believe I was frightened by the window washer a second time. I hunkered down in bed. Then, I realized he was right outside my bedroom window. I heard him slide his squeegee down the window and back up again. I was glad the curtain was closed. I heard him humming to himself. My bed is right up against the window and there was only a sheet of glass separating us. Since I was in boxers and a T-shirt, I ran into the bathroom and hid before he got to the other window; the one with open curtains. I stayed in the bathroom (the only room without windows) until he left, hiding like Jodie Foster in “Panic Room.” It was easier than putting on pants.

Had he seen me in my boxers and T-shirt, I am quite sure he would have been nonplussed, just as he had been the day I screamed when I saw him. I imagine the window washer sees all sorts of things.

I am going to have to add another resolution to my list of resolutions. I promise not to be afraid of the window washer, or, at the very least, be dressed when he visits.



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