Friday, 15 November 2013

Jesse Green The Cartoon Guy - Eccentric Rich

“Off the Deep End” - A weekly window cleaning cartoon strip by Jesse Green. Green The Cartoon Guy - Eccentric Rich... Up Close & Personal: One of the best things about being a window cleaner is the chance to observe the lives of the eccentric rich... up close and personal.

History is rich with tales of wacky aristocrats and the strange things they are compelled to do.... or just plain enjoy doing.

Take for example Francis Edgerton, the 8th Earl of Bridgewater. A scholar and aristocrat, he took pleasure from the finer things in life. Things like throwing elaborate dinner parties for his canine companions. Dressing them up in fancy petticoats and leather boots, he sat them at his table, serving them elaborate meals from fine china.

Jemmy Hirst of Yorkshire, was another odd one. Instead of a horse drawn carriage, he preferred his bull, Jupiter, to pull his oddly shaped wicker carriage about town. He even tossed a saddle on old Jupiter from time to time for fox hunts with his pack of trained hunting pigs.

My own witness to eccentricity concerns not the “master of the house”, but one of the “servants.” A wild Frenchman house cleaner. One of those rare specimens who doesn't seem to give a crap what anyone thinks of him.

One who is completely free.... or completely nuts (depends how you look at it).

I ran across this fellow a couple of years ago while I was cleaning the windows of a very large home with a spectacular ocean view. The owner of the house, a modern day aristocrat, introduced me to him with a wink.

At first, I did not know what that wink meant. Soon enough, I did.

As I was cleaning the interior windows, I got to talking to this little rascal of a man. He was dressed in a pair of old sweat pants rolled up to the knees and and an equally worn t-shirt. Atop his balding head was a cap much like the one Jacques Cousteau wore on his ocean expiditions.

“So, you clean zee f***ing windows, eh?” he said cheerfully. I was a little taken aback when he started in with the “F word”, but he seemed friendly enough. “Yeah, sure”, I said. “It's my job.”

“Good, good, a strong young one to clean zee f***ing windows. Climbing zee f***ing ladders, scrub, scrub, squeegee, squeegee.... it takes the young ones who are strong an peppy. Me, I'm too 'f***ing old for that s**t !” he said, waving his arms about.

I couldn't help but start laughing - this little old man, dropping f-bombs that echoed through the hallways like silverware falling to the floor.

“You think zat's humorous, getting old and wrinkled like a raisin?” He said. “Don't worry, you'll be old and feeble soon enough...... look at me, cleaning zee house like a women, eh?”

I didn't correct him - didn't tell him, I was laughing at his choice (or lack thereof) of words. But there was a child-like innocence to it, really.

If swearing was like nudity, he wasn't the perverted flasher who liked to offend and embarrass, but rather the carefree nudist who couldn't be weighed down by the heavy clothing that binds the rest of us.

Or, maybe, he was like a free flying bird lettings his droppings fall where they may, unconcerned if they landed in the wrong spot.

Being my first year in the window cleaning business, I was still very uptight about saying the right thing and not rubbing the customer the wrong way. I imagined that I had to be very careful not to ruin a good thing when I landed a big job with lots of windows like this.

I pictured the customers in the fancy houses as being very prim and proper, so I was surprised how a guy like this was able to work in these big houses.

But then again, maybe someone who has all the money in the world gets bored after awhile. Maybe Jacques the naughty house cleaner is like the court jester in days of old. Perhaps, the wealthy get tired of everyone kissing their hindquarters.

Who really knows what people get a kick out of. Maybe it takes all kinds to make the world go round, I thought.

"Fly free, you crazy Frenchman, fly free” I thought to myself as I scrubbed, scrubbed, and squeegeed, squeegeed my way through the job.
Jesse Green of Sparkle King in Cape Cod, Massachusetts: Hi, my name is Jesse Green. I have the fortunate job of cleaning windows and gutters in a really great place - Cape Cod, Massachusetts. I fell in love with the area when I came to see my friends get married here. The history, the natural beauty, and most of all the people won me over. I have been very fortunate. Cape Codders have welcomed me with open arms – spreading the word and referring me to friends and family.

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