He came back today (a day earlier than originally scheduled and very early in the morning).
I have consulted several homeowners about the "handsome tree man" phenomenon (surely an analogue in terms of trades and appearance to "plumber's butt," though more aesthetically pleasing).
Here's the prevailing theory: tree trimmers have to 1) climb high things, 2) do dangerous things around electrical wires, 3) wield power tools, 4) care about preserving the lives of trees and 5) spend a lot of time outside. Ergo, the kind of people who become tree trimmers are 1) limber, 2) thrill seekers, 3) strong, 4) tree huggers (more likely to eat vegetables, remarked a colleague of mine) and 5) hikers. That's why they look so nice.
Now, what physical markers characterize mothers of small children who are also trying to write books of literary criticism? Underarm odor? Flyaway hair? Smears of dark chocolate?