Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Plumbing Incident: Gawd I Feel Dirty

Click Here to Read the Previous Entry in This Series.

So the party was a success, despite the threat of our poo spilling into the neighborhood.

(Dudes, did you EVER think you would see a post start with THAT line? I think I deserve a reward of some kind. Have your people call my people and work something out.)

Yes, there were a few love/hate friends running around at the party and proclaiming things like "And I didn't even wipe my ass!". Then laughing hysterically. This was SO not amusing to me. I just sat there and twitched. And cursed them repeatedly. And drank. But then, I always do that. No harm, no foul.


The plumbing committee wanted us to "monitor" the situation by checking this damn trap thing on the side of the house. Okay. We can do that. Not really excited about it, but we can do it. So for the next several days, my ass is marching out there every time we do anything involving water, and taking notes. And surprisingly, it seems to be okay. Sometimes there's a little bit of water not flowing through the poo pipe, but most of the time, pretty dry. Yay.

But of course this doesn't last. There is nothing in this world like popping the top on a plumbing trap, and seeing one of your little byproducts splashing upwards on a geyser of water. Not a pretty sight. Demoralizing. So we call the plumbing Mob Boss again. He'll send someone out. Of course he will.

And it's yet another new guy, with a new buddy. I now officially know more plumbers than my total number of friends on Facebook. My life is so Girl, Interrupted at this point I could spit.

So the new duo does the whole snaking thing again, using the marvelous and fancy trap on the side of the house. Hours of snaking. But hey, they've brought with them one of those famous camera things that really let's them see the innards. So maybe this will actually be worth it in some way. Then they knock on the door with a report.

"Well, we've snaked it as best we could, but it seems to be pretty cleaned out. Looks like your real problem is that you've got a couple of bad falls."

I'm totally mystified by this sudden dramatic change in the dialogue. I have bad falls? What could this possibly mean? I even look down to see if my knees are bloody, on the odd chance that there has been a recent blackout and I took a tumble reaching for another Michelob Ultra. Nope.

"Come on, we'll show you."

So we traipse over to this freakin trap thing that has become the focus of my entire existence, and I get to peer into the monitor for the camera that's been shoved into my plumbing. I don't understand a single thing I'm looking at as they push and pull on the camera. Looks like the ultrasound for Rosemary's baby, that's all I know.

Long story short, the main drain pipe does not happily descend to the sewer as it should. There are a couple of sections that have sunk lower than the others, meaning the sewage has to perform a miracle leap to get to the next section. Picture poo as salmon swimming upstream to spawn, if you will. Yay. But I'm pretty sure Mutual of Omaha wouldn't have approved this episode.

So it looks like they'e gonna have to dig down and replace the whole damn pipe. Kinda pricey, that little game plan. But they're gonna keep snakin the thing, just to make sure there's not something else stopping the salmon. I sigh, and stagger back into the house to begin sealing the windows and deciding which outfit I'm going to wear when I shove my head in the oven and turn on the gas.

But wait, there's another knock on the door. The latest update on the funfest? The fancy, hard-to-find drillbit snakehead thingy they were using to hack away any obstructions? It's broken off at one of the salmon jumps. They can't get it out. And the fancy magnet thingy they normally use to retrieve broken-off snakehead thingies? Won't work, cause this plumbing is CAST IRON plumbing, apparently installed shortly after the Mayflower docked, and the magnet can't get down the pipe, just sticks at the trap opening.

My sixth sense picks up on the fact that Plumber #9 is a little bit concerned about losing the fancy drillbit thingy. (Maybe it was the fairly obvious signs that he had just wet himself before knocking on the door.) Seems this drillbit is really expsensive. Seems he RENTED it. He's gonna have to pay for the damn thing if he doesn't return it. They really need to dig down to the pipe in order to get this pricey salmon blocker. Whoops, he MEANT to say, they really need to dig down to the pipe to fix MY plumbing issue.

I realize, ladies and gentlemen, that the tide has just turned. This man is suddenly in a pickle, instead of it just being an issue of my pickles not being able to go where they need to go. Normally, I'm a fair and decent guy. Too fair, really. But I've just been through weeks of having to arrange for my pickles to be released at work or at the bathroom of the gas station down the street. I can't even pickle in my own house. I'm done, over it, and I'm tired of the escalating cost of repairing the pickle pipeline.

"Don't know if I can really afford that, replacing the pipe and all" I say. I pause, and pretend to be looking at something in the distance that doesn't really exist.

His eyes actually fill with tears. (That must be one expensive drillbit.) I own him now. He is my bitch. I actually feel a slight erotic stirring over this turn of events. Power is GOOD, people.

He breaks. "Okay, we won't charge you labor at all. Just the cost of renting the digger, no upcharge."


So, a few days later, I'm at home on yet another conference call with work, trying to be polite with the likes of Hillary Clinton and The Pope. When suddenly it sounds like Air Force One is rumbling up the driveway. I peek out the window to see this behemoth machine ripping the earth apart in the backyard. I have to cut Hillary off because of the deafening noise ("LOVE the dress, sweetie. Let's do lunch?") and I grab the cats on the way to the bomb shelter.

Hours later, I have what looks like the Grand Canyon in my backyard. ("Hey, is that Thelma and Louise racing this way?") Once again, the Chinese are pissed off. There's debris everywhere. Parts of the sprinkler system, dinosaur bones, Jimmy Hoffa. Three neighboring houses are sucked up in the sinkhole.

Then Air Force One leaves. Thoughtfully, Michelle Obama leaves a thank-you note at the end of the driveway. And one of the dogs that they rejected because of Malia's allergies.

Next day, plumbers 9 and 10 are busily replacing the naughty cast iron pipe with PVC. This is a major initiative, takes all day, someone arranges for a parade, and the mayor is out there cutting a ribbon. I stay inside, because I can't stand people. Seriously.

And another knock on the door. New problem. They've replaced 100 foot of pipe, but now they realize that the main drain leading out from the house and under the driveway is too low, resulting in a super-high spawn jump for the salmon pickles at the point where the new pipe connects with the old pipe that leads to the sewer. Miscalculation. They will have to rip up the driveway and replace even more of the pipe and raise everything. Oh, and they might still have an issue under the house, won't really know until they check it out. Hee hee.

I pause.

Then ask "So, you're telling me, that after all this work, and three weeks of no unauthorized pickling, that we have nothing to show for it except a giant earthen vagina in my backyard that has claimed the lives of several neighbors and totally alienated those who managed to survive? And now you want to rip up the driveway. And even THAT might not work. Do you have any idea how much I hate you right now? DO YOU?"

I fully understand serial killers at this point. I really do. It is now crystal clear to me how someone who all the neighbors thought of as "that sweet little boy" can one day pick up a fireplace poker and gut the mailman.

Click Here to Read the Next Entry in This Series.

1 comment:

  1. I can't even pickle in my own house.

    R . O . F . L .

    You're as good as published, you PICKLER!!

    or, that is just the newest character in the Batman series, (he hates the riddler, but he loves the hamburgler, because he gets on so well with him, and mustard and ketchup of course)