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Handymen Horrors and Hints

Michal Eisikowitz

Police. Hatzaloh. Fire. Handyman. These are the numbers posted prominently on your fridge. You hope to never call any of them. But it’s nearly impossible to avoid the handyman forever. To this end, Family First presents a collection of the most common and comical domicile disasters — both pre-Pesach and all year round — along with an array of solutions and prevention tips from the experts.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

A haggard looking housewife frantically scrubbing and scouring in a fraying model’s coat and dust-covered snood. Is this the first image that comes to mind when you think of hard-core Pesach prep? You’re not alone.

But as much as we Jewish women pride ourselves on our legendary meticulousness and stamina, we’d do well to remember that homemakers are not the only ones working overtime during these pre-Pesach days.

There’s also the handyman.

“I’ve done emergency house calls wearing my suit and tie on Erev Pesach,” attests Mark Solomon, CEO of A-1 Appliance Repair in Far Rockaway, which he founded over three decades ago. “When a woman with a houseful of guests and a stocked-to-the-gills refrigerator tells me her fridge isn’t working, I just can’t go into Yom Tov without trying to help.”

Homemakers and handymen agree that when the stakes are high and the tension at its peak, disaster always seems to strike. Whether it’s appliance breakdowns, plumbing problems, or electric shorting, the days between Purim and Pesach have earned a reputation as prime-time for household crises.

And it may not be coincidental. “In their sincere desire to be thorough, frum women often create their own problems,” asserts Mr. Solomon. “They have the noblest of intentions, but often take high-risk actions when they should inquire if it’s actually required.”

“Homemakers often abuse their appliances when they’re under pressure,” adds Harold Rosinsky, a veteran repairman who’s provided service to three generations of Baltimore families. “They’ll overload the washing machine, overuse the ovens and burners, or peel potatoes in the sink, allowing the peels to clog the drain.”

Erev Pesach is a time when we can all use a good laugh. And though we certainly appreciate our devoted handymen, Family First offers some amusing messes and helpful hints to help you minimize their pre-Pesach presence.


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