Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#112 In which our hero is no kind of plumber.

Christmas is damn near here, init? We are hosting the big family get together this year (mostly The Scientist's family -- my family has the good sense to gather in sunny Virginia). This will be our first Christmas in the new house. We could never have done it in the old house, i.e., the two bedroom bungalow with ONE bathroom... and even so, it's rather ill-advised in the new house anyway. It's just a lot of family in one place at one time.

So what could make a potentially stressful situation about a google times more stressful? Two words: fucked plumbing.

Our plumbing woes quickly went from bad to worse yesterday. As you may recall, we had our kitchen faucet replaced on Monday. While the plumber was here, he checked out our hot water tank. He declared it old and full of sediment, and recommended we replace it. "Call the office after the holidays and we'll come out and install a new one," he said. Sounded good to me.

Meanwhile, I noticed the guest bathroom was losing pressure in the shower -- but just the hot water, strangely. I figured it was full of the previously mentioned sediment, and all I'd need to do it clear it out. I cut off the water (which took some doing in and of itself -- why do they hide the shut off valve?) and took apart the hot water tap. It was chock full of sediment, which I cleaned out the best way I could think of: I turned the water back on.

Now, understand... everyone in the house is asleep at this point, and the guest bath is upstairs. So I took off the hot water assembly, went downstairs, turned the water back on for a minute, then came back up. I figured the water would come blowing out the nozzle and clear out any gunk that was left in there. And, since it faced the tub, I figured the water would be mostly contained.

Well, I was right about the water gushing out, but not so right about it being contained in the tub. Water everywhere. So I cleaned it up, put everything back together and tried it again

Still no hot water pressure. Even less, if that's possible. I tinker with it for another hour before saying, "eh, screw it," and go to bed.

Flash forward 24 hours.

Now we are less than a day away from a house full of people, and there's no hot water in the guest bath. Now, I'm personally not overly concerned about this, because we have a fully functional shower in our bathroom. It's not a tub, just a shower stall, but so what? People can still get clean. So I'm pretty casual about it.

The Scientist, on the other hand, decides that the best course of action is to FREAK the FUCK out.

She's horrified at the idea that everyone will have to share a bathroom. In my way of thinking, everyone but she and I were going to share the same bathroom anyway, so what's two more?

This, by the way, was not the right answer.

To this tragedy, add the fact that the house needs vacuumed (my response: so what?) the floors needed mopped (eh, they're good enough) and that none of the beds were made (people can't make their own beds?) it pushed my normally rational wife over the edge.

Bottom line: I spent the morning at home while the plumber (same guy who was there the day before for the faucet) replaced our hot water tank and taps in the bathroom. I also used the time to vacuum, mop and clean the bathrooms.

And now... how about a few good fucking tidings of joy, huh?


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