Bob the Grumpy Rooter Man

It’s annual rite of spring in Southern California where everything grows like weeds to get our sewer pipe shorn of any wandering vines. My wife decided to switch plumbers this year—because her old guy now only wants cash up front-instead of credit cards later. But Bob the Rooter Man that came yesterday morning was nothing short of grumpy. He left with the work undone because he felt the neighbor’s cars blocked his access.

He came back again today when the cars were moved, but why was Bob so grumpy?

It turns out Bob used to be a mortgage broker. He lost his job and his house and started sleeping on a friend’s couch. The friend owned a rooter business and opportunity knocked. He said the business was doing $2,500 a week before the housing market crashed. (It’s practically mandatory to get your sewer checked in Los Angeles when you buy a house.) Today a good week is $700.

And that’s the story of Bob the Grumpy Rooter Man.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.