You can make all this stuff up, I suppose, but I don't have to. More to the point, you wouldn't hear about it if you lived in, say, some new construction in a suburban Atlanta subdivision. Maybe that's because such structures generally don't demand as much maintenance. But I suspect there's more to it.

Old houses, almost by their nature, create an instant connection between the contractor and the homeowner. Connection might not even be a strong enough word. It's a sort of intimacy. It starts with the simple step of inviting a stranger into your home to do work. But the intimacy is instantly deepened by history—the history of the house. And possibly, while you're at work, by a burglary suspect snooping through your things.

The very act of opening your home's doors—or windows or pipes—to a contractor is to share something important and substantive. Perhaps that provokes in our contractors the need to return the favor. The walls may have ears, but we are the conduit, and with our group of guys we are honored to play the role.

Evening, kitchen interior, full of the noises, sights, and smells of making dinner. The wife removing a tray from the oven. Enter Sonny, carrying his exterminating equipment, the husband following behind.

Wife: You like chicken parmigiana?

Sonny: You know I do! Did you hear the Secret Service caught a guy trying to scale the walls of the White House today?

Husband: No.

Sonny: They told him, "Sorry, Mr. President, you have to stay until January 20th!"

Fade out.
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