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I hired a contractor to build one simple thing! How hard could it be?! He claimed to have completed the job 3 times, but all I heard was this lame excuse:

I went out west to take a test

But he called me dumb as rust

So, I called a ride to take me

But the fishing was a bust

At my lake home destination, I did find with punctuation...

An alien invasion

He started to babble about french airplanes, but I kicked him out before he wasted any more of my time.

What was my contractor supposed to build?

Hint:

As he walked to his truck, I heard him shout something about a hot beverage.

Hint 2:

My contractor came back the next day with his lawyer and said: “Now I’ve done it 4 times and you owe me my money! Where I sat in l’avion served me loose leaf with honey!” To which I replied: “I’ll pay you for 3, but your last work is shoddy. Why not end with a subway ride to the Tea Party?”

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  • $\begingroup$ Is this long enough to be tagged with story? $\endgroup$ – arbitrahj Mar 19 at 23:15
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    $\begingroup$ No, this isn't really a story: A story should still have the fundamentals of basic story structure. This just sets up the riddle. Story isn't necessarily about length either. $\endgroup$ – North Mar 19 at 23:33
  • $\begingroup$ @North makes sense, thanks $\endgroup$ – arbitrahj Mar 19 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ Essentially, a story puzzle needs to follow some sort of plot: an exposition, a conflict, rising action, etc. The puzzle is the story, which is the important part. $\endgroup$ – North Mar 19 at 23:34
  • $\begingroup$ The hints all point to rot13(gur yrggre G: yrnirf jvgu ubarl, ubg orirentr, Obfgba'f fhojnl flfgrz...), so I was sure this was about a boa contractor that was hired to build a boat... Then I realized that I'd gotten the word confused with "constrictor". Rats! $\endgroup$ – jafe Mar 21 at 19:48
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In the spirit of Rupert Morrish, you wanted him to build

a cabinet.

I went out west to take a test
But he called me dumb as rust

This one I don't get yet. Out west might be CA (California), B is a score from a test, I is me, but how is NET dumb or rust or dumb as rust? Hmm.

So, I called a ride to take me
But the fishing was a bust

CAB (a ride) + I (me) + NET (for fishing)

At my lake home destination, I did find with punctuation...
An alien invasion

(from Rupert Morrish) CABIN (lake home) + E.T. (alien)

Hint: As he walked to his truck, I heard him shout something about a hot beverage.

CABIN (of a truck) + E (??) + T (tea, a hot beverage)

My contractor came back the next day with his lawyer and said: “Now I’ve done it 4 times and you owe me my money! Where I sat in l’avion served me loose leaf with honey!” To which I replied: “I’ll pay you for 3, but your last work is shoddy. Why not end with a subway ride to the Tea Party?”

La cabine is where you sit in l'avion, plus tea again (loose leaf with honey). This one is indeed shoddy since he reused the "tea" from the first clue. What he could have used instead is the Boston subway (T system).

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  • $\begingroup$ Nice! You pretty much have it all. The first clue requires the knowledge tag to get that rot13("ovarg znqr gur svefg VD grfg") and "he started to babble about french airplanes" was the beginning that was finished by the 1st Hint and clarified by the 2nd. That's a green check in my book! $\endgroup$ – arbitrahj Mar 22 at 4:29
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Was it

an ENTERTAINMENT CABINET?

because

went out west => WENT - W => ENT
… rust maybe umber? => ER
… ride maybe train? somehow loses R => TAIN
lakehome (CABIN) + alien (ET) => CABINET

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  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Close! The answer uses a few more hints from the story and is less of a cryptic stretch. It is also self-confirming. $\endgroup$ – arbitrahj Mar 20 at 2:17

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