As the last three weeks have slipped by this problem has been confounding us more and more as time has gone on. We figured we had an open circuit somewhere and just couldn't find it. Landlord Bob looked at it a couple of times after telephone consultations with Electrician Bob and managed to arc it out and weld the fuse to the box again. I wasn't home for that one. He even crawled around in the attic for awhile and couldn't get anywhere. The Electrician Bob managed to be unavailable or forgetful on about five separate occasions. But Landlord Bob didn't want to call in an electrician for hire. He was pinning his hopes on his buddy from work, Electrician Bob. And I don't blame him. Electricians are expensive. Plus, if I know the wiring in this house (and it's obvious I don't) they would have insisted that the whole house was rewired. They probably would have reported us to some sort of inspector or code official. Because the wiring is all messed up and probably crumbling.
So in strolls Electrician Bob (can we call him E-Bob for short?) with his trusty meters and buzzers and flashlight. And up he climbs onto the ladder to the electric box. I tell him what I know and off he goes, pulling apart wires and connecting his tester to stuff. I am in there, the ever present assistant, holding lights and flipping switches upon command. And the more he tests, from outlet to outlet, wire to wire, switch to switch, the more confused he seems to be getting. At the point where E-Bob says "This gets more strange with every thing I test" I think I reached the bottom pit of my hopelessness. You see Company, as the days had gone by and nothing was happening, I gradually slid from anger and frustration and foolishness to compete and utter despair and resignation. I just basically assumed that it would never work and that I would be sleeping on my futon in the living room for the rest of my life. So as the creases in E-Bob's brown got deeper and deeper so did my despair.
It was just about this time, as we were searching for some wire to make a jump, that Landlord Bob (we are going to call him L-Bob) walked in. Monica had called him and told him E-Bob was here and he made a bee line home. Cool. So he knew a little more than I did and at least it was someone who knew the both of us. So that livened things up a little bit. E-Bob kept plugging away little by little and pretty soon he pulled two wires off to the side and declared "These wires go to that outlet." Success! My spirits perked up. We were actually getting somewhere. Then it was "These two go to this switch." And so on and so forth until there were only two wires left. And he had no idea where they went. There were two that went to one switch. There were two that went to another switch. There were two that went to an outlet. There were three that had on discernible use, one of which just ran off across the attic into oblivion. So those three were bundled together to be removed. Then there were a set of two that went somewhere, and needed to be hooked up but that E-Bob couldn't figure out.
So he hooks up everything else, including the ceiling fan and decides that we should see how it looked. So L-Bob runs downstairs and plus in the fuse. We are all cringing. E-Bob flips on the light switch. And the fan motor starts to turn. The fan light comes on. It was glorious! There are unconfirmed reports that I may have begun weeping. But the reading light over the bed didn't work. Nor did any of the small bathroom. Nor did the outlet by the bed. So L-Bob comes bopping back in and looks at us, and we look at him, and E-Bob declares "I guess I know what those other two wires are for." Chuckles all around. So he figure out which is white and which is black and hooks them up and all is well. Everything works. In the end we had to remove one of the two switches because it was complicating everything. So it's gone, and soon will be covered by a stylish white plate. But that's okay. It's a small price to pay. E-Bob even stayed and hooked up the mounting bracket for the fan, which is where it all went wrong for me all those weeks ago. And the fan worked after that. It was up there, turned on, no blades, motor whirring and E-Bob says "It's not moving much air." HAHAHAHA! Bad joke but I liked it nonetheless.
So E-Bob is my hero. Today, after I am done with this and after I am done with lunch I will reassemble the fan, put the blades on and whatnot. And since I am feeling industrious I will probably put in the window AC too, for those days when I have to sleep during the day and it's hot an muggy. And I will put clean sheets on my bed and all will be well. Thanks to the Bob's. With very little thanks to me. L-Bob and I decided no more messing with the electricity. So I guess it's plumbing projects from now on. And that's okay. Because those usually take less than a three weeks. Plus, I am sure that there is a Plumber Bob he knows out there somewhere, and I would love to meet him.