NEVER, ever, AGAIN! friend or no friend, it will not happen again. ok, here it is: friend calls to chit chat. this guy and his family were my nieghbors during my childhood, into my teen years. we moved here from new york, and one day when i was 10 yrs old, i was in the backyard playing, when through the fence i saw a boy, a little older than me, maybe 2 yrs or so, with a paperbag up to his face. i climbed to the top of the fence. "what are you doing?", i asked. " sniffing glue", he answered. "why? ", i asked. he answered, "well, my older brother taught me this, its cool, wanna try?" naturally i declined, but it was the beggining of a long, long, friendship. we will just call him benny. so benny called last week to chat. benny is broke, homeless(stays with who ever will have him for as long as he can) , and has a drug and alchohol problem. i truly feel sorry for him, i think hes very "slow" in the head, and thats why he does the things he does. about 4 months ago he had nowhere to stay, he showed up at my doorstep, i gave him a fifty and turned him away, i felt awful, but, i just couldnt have him living here. so during our chat i mentioned that we are looking into doing some home improvements before the winter. he asked if he could do it for me, he really needed the cash, and is quite capable of doing the work we need. i say ok.this will require him to sleep here until all is done. well, i make the hour and a half drive to pick him up(no license). we get back here, and he looks over the bathroom we need redone, and says no problem. he will get right on it......tommorow! im like, ummmm, ok. then he asks for a "small advance on his pay", so he can visit the local tavern. well, its now 1 am, do u know where your benny is? i didnt. so, we go to sleep. 3:30 am, hes pounding on the door, i let him in, he passes out on the couch. about 5 am, my wife wakes me. theres a strange odor. it smells like a gas leak. we go down the stairs, check the basement, all the pilot lights, funny, it seems as we get closer to the couch where benny is sleeping, the odor gets stronger, it turns out, ITS HIS FEET! amazing, i could almost see the odor comming from them. now my wife is getting a little annoyed. anyway, we wake up the following morning, and unbelievably, hes awake. my wife makes breakfast. we all sit down. benny smokes two packs of kools a day, which is how he developed his respiratory condition. when he eats, it sounds like a pack of hyenas devouring a fresh kill. wife is getting really annoyed at this point, kids think its funny. ok, time to get to work. wife drops kids at school, and now has to cart him around to stores to get the things he needs, including TOOLS to do the job, which she paid for. he got the wrong parts, so the job was delayed until wife could bring him back for the right stuff. great, now he has the right parts. unfortunately, while removing one of the walls, he damages one of the other walls, so now we need to replace that one too, back to the store, more money for materials, and we are in business. he replaces the walls, installs a new shower stall, minor plumbing work, cieling, etc. i come in to check out the progress, WHAT A MESS! and the dust from, i dont know what, but dust everywhere. i had 2 suits in the closet , black ones, that are now white from the dust. and at least 8 pairs of shoes are damaged also. he said this is my fault, for not moving them. ok, now its time to do the sink. again, carting him around, buying parts and tools. the sink gets done(mind you, 3 days have already passed). my blood pressure is getting higher, and higher. hes already cost me a fortune in ciggarettes and booze alone, not to mention tools, and driving him around for the stuff. ok, the bathroom is done. time to replace some windows. he breaks one in the process, and you know who has to pay for it. ok, that gets done. he rewires my boat trailer, about 15 times before he gets it right, 2 trips to pep boys, and we are in business. ok, ive about had it at this point, its now 5 long days since he arrived,he has not showered or brushed his teeth, and the work is done, but ive put out a fortune in materials, tools, beer and cigs, and the place is a wreck. finally, im gonna take a shower in my new bathroom, and best of all, when im done, im driving him home. i turn it on, and hop in. ahhhhh, nice hot water on my aching muscles, im in there a long, long time. uh o, whats that i hear? my wife screaming? ITS RAINING IN MY DINING ROOM!. water pouring through . the cieling is destroyed! benny took the shower apart, to get to the plumbing, and said there was a defective part. back to home depot, he gets what he needs to fix it, and also replace the ceiling which was destroyed. ok, all is done. time to take him home. he gives me a written breakdown of what he is charging me for. included are installing the shower stall, TWICE! he said it was not his fault the part was defective, and he had to do the job twice, so i have to pay for double the labor. also on the bill was the dining room cieling, which was destroyed as a result of the "defective " part, also not his fault. and finnaly, the broken window was my responsibility , yes, he dropped it, but it was an accident, so it was not his fault. of course, we argue over this. i also mentioned it cost me $200 in booze and cigarettes to have him here. he said that since we are friends, that should not be an issue. i didnt pay him what he asked for, but it still cost me more than if i had hired a professional, it took longer, he left a huge mess, and i had to house him for 6 days. never, ever again. HIRE A PRO!!!!