#193 In which our hero writes about two things currently vexing him: the basement and the paperboy, not necessarily in that order.
My basement flooded again. Well, that is to say, we got water, running water, down there. "Flooded" makes it should like there was a foot of standing water, which isn’t the case. And, since I never removed the sandbags from last go-round, no damage was done. I found myself remarkably calm about the entire situation. Ho-hum, water in the basement again, la-la-de-dah!
I don’t even want to deal with it. We are, of course, because we’re not idiots and we know that we have to make some major changes or things are just going to get worse. We already have a crack in the foundation due, no doubt, to the pressure of the water on the outside of the wall. This crack was there when we bought the house, and maybe we are idiots for still buying it… but the home inspector told us it wasn’t anything to worry about. Clearly the owners before us had done some drainage work to address it. But we see now, with equal clarity, that it wasn’t enough.
So we’re making the big decisions, and are going to fix this fucker for good. Extra drainage in the back yard, two drains in the lawn itself, additional drainage around the one side, and grading the entire she-bang away from the house like it should be.
As you might guess, this will not be inexpensive.
We’ve been collecting opinions and quotes to address the problem -- and we’re received a wide variety of both. I’m hoping that we can actually have the work done this month, before it decides to snow again. Seems like now is the time, since it’s crazy-warm for January in Cleveland. Of course, there were flurries on my way to work this morning, so we might get screwed on scheduling.
The Scientist is freaking out over the money, of course. We’re probably going to have to refinance or get a second mortgage or something… honestly, she deals with our finances and for as much as she takes the time to explain things like this to me carefully, I don’t feel the need to really understand it. Sorry honey… it’s not that I don’t care, it’s only that I trust you completely to make the right decision, the one that won’t kill us financially long-term. And Lord knows you’re better with money than me.
The other reason I’m not overly worried is that I don’t have a choice. We HAVE to do something, and whatever we do is going to involve money we don’t have on hand. So we go further into debt. If it could be avoided I would try hard to do it… but short of winning the lottery, I don’t see any other options. Hmm… maybe I could rob a bank…
But that’s not what I wanted to write about today. What I really wanted to write about is my jackass paperboy.
First, it’s not a boy at all, it’s a grown woman. Once or twice when I happened to be up at 6am I’ve seen her car, slowing prowling through the neighborhood; a disembodied arm chucking papers out the window. I wouldn’t even have known it was a woman, except for the holiday/please-give-me-money card that appears in my paper every December. Maybe I’m a jerk, but I don’t really feel obligated to tip my paperbo--, er, person. Maybe if it really was a kid; waking up at 5am to bag papers, peddling his little heart with a giant sling of papers over his shoulder, trying to save a couple bucks toward college. But this is a grown up, and she uses her car… aside from getting up early, that job sounds pretty easy. Then again, what do I know? I’ve never delivered papers.
But here’s the thing. As you know, my front yard is a giant mud pit right now due to all the construction. And that fucking paperlady, without exception, tosses my paper in the middle of the mud every morning. The big, wide, clear, dry (and I might even say inviting) driveway is less than two feet away… but she throws it in the mud. I’m probably paranoid, but I’m sure she does it on purpose because I didn’t tip her. Why else would she avoid the (inviting) driveway and aim for the mud?! Come on! It’s not like I’m asking you to put the damn thing on my doorstep. I just don’t want to have to step in the mud to fetch the daily news, y’know?
Maybe it would have been worth a $15 tip to avoid this frustration. Hmm… there might be a lesson in there for me, somewhere.