The guy arrived maybe half an hour early. I opened the door and he announced that he was from the purified water company, the waterman come to service our filtered water system. He was a young guy—early 20s or so—and looked every bit the surfer: tanned, fit, dark hair bleached by the sun, and board shorts. He carried a toolbox and a metal invoice case. “I hope I’m not too early for you,” he said.
I shrugged it off happily. The appointment window was 4 hours and I had begrudgingly assuming I’d have to wait until the last minute for someone to show up. “No, I’m actually a little shocked,” I said. “It’s sort of a cliché that the guy shows up as late as possible.”
“I’m trying to get done early,” the waterman said, sounding a little excited as he walked in the door.
I tossed off the first thing that came to mind after sizing him up. “Looking to catch the big swell coming in today?” I asked.
He looked at me with surprise. “How did you know?”
“Lucky guess.” I was looking forward to the same swell. I didn’t want to have to sit it out in my house waiting all day for the purified waterman to show up.
“So I guess you surf,” he said, sounding like a kindred spirit of a different waterman variety. Even his voice sounded a little salty for a kid.
“Yeah,” I said in pretty much the same tone though perhaps aged a bit more by the twenty years I had on him.
“Where about? I thought you might have looked a little familiar.”
“Harbor… Warm water… Carlsbad… all over really. Some buddies and I go to Mexico quite a bit.”
We ended up talking about surfing the whole time he was there. It was obvious he had the sea in his blood even though he said was a transplant from Iowa. He was crazy about the water from childhood. He had all the makings of a waterman—and it seemed a bit funny that water was his job.
“Oh, this job,” he said. “I guess I’m the all-around waterman. It was a toss-up between this or servicing swimming pools. I picked this because I think I’d have a hard time not jumping into the water all the time.”
I laughed. We talked a minute or two more and he was done.
“Well, thanks for being a valued customer… They want me to say that.”
“Well, I guess I’ll see you down at the beach a bit later.”
We at Original Waterman hope to see you at the beach, and armed to take on the water with the best swim shorts, trunks, board shorts, bikinis, tees, hoodies, and other apparel. Visit us at http://www.originalwatermen.com for everything the watermen needs. Well, you’ll have to bring the purified water, though.