Friday, July 5, 2013

The secret life of vent cleaners - who knew?

I love getting feedback from readers.
Good, bad or anywhere in between it is just nice to know they are actually paying attention to what I am spewing forth on this page.
Most of the time, the emails are positive and rant and rave about how funny I am, how talented I am, how charming I am and what good dental hygiene I have. These people are awesome and obviously very wise.
Occasionally, I get an email ranting and raving about what an idiot I am (I didn't even know my mother-in-law could use email.)
One reader has sent me several emails proclaiming I am reducing the English language and the art of journalism to that of a single-celled organism with barely enough brain power to eat and make doo-doo.
The thing is, he has sent me more than one email which means he still reads my stuff. Score one for the microbe crowd.
People will write and tell me stories of similar events they went through, are going through, are hoping to go through or never want to go through.
I read every single email and try to respond to every one as well.
But for the first time in a long time, one reader sent me an email with a suggestion for a column.
It is not always easy to come up with a column based on a reader's suggestion, but this particular email involved sex, drugs, and vent cleaning so how could I resist.
Melissa M. works for a company that conducts air-quality testing, cleans out vents, heating ducts and what not, and she sent me a list of a few of the interesting items they found while doing their jobs.
I must admit, I never saw the duct-cleaning experience as being all that exciting, but her email proved me wrong.
In one case, a pound of marijuana was found in a vent in a teen's bedroom.
"Um, er, ah. I was holding that for a friend. Yeah, that's right. I was holding it for a friend."
In another case the cleaning crew found some vintage porno magazines.
"Um, er, ah. I was holding that for a friend. Yeah, that's right. I was holding it for a friend."
Melissa said the crew has uncovered more than $10,000 in cash, old coin collections, old beer bottles and in one particularly strange case, a pink wig and fur-lined handcuffs were discovered.
"Um, er, ah. I was holding that for a friend. Yeah, that's right. I was holding it for a friend."
They have also stumbled across old comic books, which can be a real find.
A gentleman in the United States recently found a first-edition Superman comic that he hoped would net him a few hundred bucks.
It went on the auction block and sold for $160,000. Yikes, that will help cover the cost of the renos he was doing that lead to the discovery.
Mummified rodents have also been found entombed within the duct systems of a home. (And I thought that nasty smell was an old sock I left under the bed.)
Melissa said toys and food dropped down vents by children are the most common finds, but once they located a live pet hamster (who was reading old porno mags while smoking pot no doubt.)
Anyway, it would seem there is a lot more to duct cleaning than meets the eye. I guess you just never know what you are going to find in the recesses of someone's home where they don't expect anyone to be looking.
Mind you, Melissa was not exactly looking for such unique items, finding them is just part of the job.
At least they will have plenty to talk about during their lunch breaks.
All of the items found are given to the current owners of the home - whether they want them or not.

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