The Rant (August 14, 2014) 

Level Nine Services sends its siren call, and Tim has a few jobs for them.

Wow. Wow. Wow. While reading the latest newsletter from the Lipscomb and Pitts Breakfast Club (see, I'm not a hippie communist ALL of the time, and I enjoy that newsletter, and the LPBC folks do some really great things, like getting new socks and shoes for a ton of kids whose families couldn't afford them to help get them ready for school), I just learned about a company in Memphis I'd never heard of, and I am feeling like a little slice of heaven just landed in my lap.

It's called Level Nine Services. It's a personal concierge-type business that will do pretty much anything for you to make your life more convenient. They will go to the grocery store for you, drive you anywhere in Memphis you want to go, pick up your dry cleaning, find hotel-room deals for your out-of-town visitors, house sit for you, walk your dog, take your elderly relatives out on fun field trips, and STAND IN LINE FOR YOU AT THE DMV. I've never played the lottery, but I think I might need to give it a shot because my life and needs, while simple, present me with all sorts of challenges with which I think "L9" could help out.

On their list of things you can request them to do is "organize my attic." Oh, Brother ... L9, where art thou?!

click to enlarge STEVEN RIVIECCIO | DREAMSTIME.COM
  • Steven Rivieccio | Dreamstime.com

I've lived in my house since 1994 and I am petrified to go into my attic, even though it has permanent steps and is mostly floored. But I'm afraid things are alive up there. For one, and I've mentioned it here before, at any given time it is more than likely the dwelling space for untold numbers of raccoons. I don't hear them up there, but I have a feeling they are there because they come down at dusk to see if there's any cat food on my front porch, and they stare at me through my den window. Just the other day, one came down and was munching on some leftover Meow Mix on a paper plate near my den window. I walked out onto the porch to shoo it away and it just grabbed the entire plate in its mouth and climbed up the tree adjacent to the porch and ran with it — and probably took it straight into my attic.

So what I would like to do is "L9 it" and have L9 come see about these varmints. L9, does your attic organizational team handle this? And while you're up there, somewhere in a box there is a letter from Joan Crawford that belongs to a friend of mine who sent her a fan letter when he was a child. She actually wrote a really nice letter back to him and it's up there somewhere, unless the raccoons have found it and shredded it for nesting purposes.

And the gnats. This summer, gnats have taken over my kitchen and I have tried every home remedy possible to get rid of them. They are horrible. According to one website I researched for help, "Gnats have a total life span of about four months, and a female can produce­ as many as 300 eggs, in small batches, in fermenting or decaying organic matter. This means that if you notice that you have a gnat problem but don't know where it's coming from, several dozen females can each lay a few hundred eggs in the time you spend looking for the source. It's a vicious cycle!"

How in the hell am I supposed to deal with that? I've scoured and scoured and filled the sink drain with everything imaginable and have removed all food from any area of the kitchen save for the refrigerator, and they have not gone away. Oh, they will go away briefly just to make me think they are gone, but then they are right back again — in swarms. I wonder if the raccoons have anything to do with this. Anyway, L9, please come rid me of these flying menaces.

Now, the part about being driven around is the thing that intrigues me most because I hate to drive. I've also mentioned this on this page before, but I reiterate: I hate to drive, and I've always said if I ever hit the jackpot I will still live a simple lifestyle, but the one luxury I would afford myself is a chauffeur. See, if I look up and the street I'm on is straight and stretches out far in front of me, I feel like I'm going to faint. I'm not talking highways here. I haven't driven down a highway in 10 years and probably never will again. I'm talking about Peabody Avenue between Cooper and Cleveland in Midtown. Yes, I know the speed limit is just 35 miles per hour and the traffic is very light, but looking up and seeing that long stretch of road really freaks me out. So, L9, please send a stretch limo to my house near Overton Square and drive me down the street that drives me crazy.

All of this is just for starters. Believe me, I need you for more things that can fit on this page.

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