|I ain't proud-but I ain't skeered neither.|
Oh Say, Can You Cuss?
Though one might think that a guy who could build a house from the foundation up, could also handle a little plumbing task, now and again, one should be careful not to leap to conclusions because you could end up flat on your face.
Allow me to set the stage with a short, sad saga of frustration and futility under the kitchen sink. This particular cross-to-bear persisted for ten-plus years, before I finally solved it with the old duct-tape-and-WD40-will-fix-anything routine. I ain't proud.
There was something inherently wrong with the whole setup, because the plastic pipes kept “popping” apart, due to tension which came about because one of the connecting pipes was a tad too short. I never figured out if that was because of the original placement of the incoming drain pipe, or whether it was due to pilot error, but I’d bet my paycheck on the latter.
As many times as I put the system back together, even going so far as to prop a small piece of redwood to help keep the drain in place, it just kept blowing apart. Water under the sink is not the same as water under the bridge.
Finally, out of desperation, I put everything “under there” back together for the hundredth time, and then simply used electrical tape (vast quantities) to ensure the futher-mucker never comes apart again.
|Around and around she goes.|
Rather than thinking of it as a cop-out, I thought of it as a great success.
I hate plumbing. There, I said it and it was easy. Everything always seems so straightforward, until I actually start taking things apart and trying to fix the problem. I got my baptism by fire, or I should say by ice, because in the early years, before we had the hang of "country living," the water pipes used to freeze every year.
The most horrifying sound in the world is not that of a dog barfing on the rug; it is the sound of copper pipes erupting. KABOOM! Under the house, close quarters, torch, freezing weather, cat poop, flashlight (no headlamp), plus all the tools of the trade to repair the damage: the trappings of the plumber.
This was as heinous a job as ever conceived, especially since one must wait for the thaw before one can even begin. As the ultimate in passive aggressive behavior, I set the house on fire one time with the torch, having set it aside in the most casual of manners. I didn't realize it until I smelled the smoke from a floor joist.
Anyone for marshmallows?
Back when I still had some modicum of control over my mouth, I used to raise eyebrows from my family when I was under the house. You know the seven words that George Carlin said you couldn’t use on TV?
Hah! Seven? With no thought whatsoever, I could triple that, and just in case you were wondering, the boys were right there taking notes.
For variety, I cussed in Spanish too.
No, I can postpone all I want, but ultimately I have to address issues or do what I have never even attempted to do: call a plumber. I am sure plumbers are lined up, dying to come five miles up Bell Springs Road, just to fix my leaky pipes, but I have yet to find that out for sure.
So yes, with Annie’s family coming up for Thanksgiving, I decided to replace the vanity in the upstairs bathroom, a task so monumentally challenging, that Annie thought maybe I had finally taken one bong rip too many in even suggesting it. Maybe two.
|Exhibit A-crumpled directions...|
Nonetheless, when we went up to Eureka this past weekend, our last stop on the way out Sunday morning was at Pierson’s, where in the space of five minutes, we had selected vanity, faucet and all the fixings.
Gosh was I excited.
Furthermore, afraid that if I delayed even one day, I would lose my resolve, I jumped right into the project Monday morning by doing the most unexpected thing I could possibly have done.
I read the directions.
Imagine that! No bells went off, no alarms sounded, and for the first time in the past couple of weeks around here, the earth stopped shaking. Considering how many years I emphasized reading comprehension to middle school students, and even practiced doing this exact sort of thing in front of them, I am the kind of guy (like most, I suspect) who does not need no stinkin' directions.
I spit on directions.
Don’t confuse me with any facts; if I were interested in facts, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. All directions have ever done is slow down the job, so why bother?
Defying my norm, I not only read the directions, but organized all the parts. Gosh this was so exciting! Bottom line: The whole project went so flawlessly, that I went ahead and R & R’ed the vanity in the lower bathroom too.
Just for the record, though, in case the subject comes up around here again, I am categorically denying the whole thing, lest anyone get any weird ideas about me doing more plumbing.