Friday, May 15, 2009

The Plumbing Incident: Please Cover Up the Giant Vagina

Click Here to Read the Previous Entry in This Series.

Editor's Note: There have been rumblings from the fan posse that I am dragging out this whole plumbing thing. Getting a bit stale. I understand that. However, you, dear reader, should also understand that I lost an entire month of my life to this heinous ordeal, and I must exorcise all of the demons. Otherwise, I will never be able to sleep through an entire night. I must triumph over the Linda Blair tortilla. But I'll try to wrap it up with this post...

So anyway, a few days later, there is a jackhammer attacking the innocent driveway. Do you know what it's like to be on a conference call (yes, I am on them all the time, if you haven't noticed), trying to appear professional and in control, while a man with a jackhammer is right on the other side of the wall from you, acting out childhood fantasies of proving his mastery over concrete?

And apparently the driveway is fighting back. This hammering goes on for hours, with angry chunks of said concrete slamming against the side of the house, full of bitterness and rage. (On the conference call, people are continually asking "Could you repeat that? I didn't quite hear you." Well, no duh, you horrid Executive VP of Bitterness, I can't even hear myself.) It takes every ounce of strength I have not to just tell all these Helen Kellers to go hell, and then slam the phone down. Bet they would hear THAT.

A knock on the door. I already know the drill. Door-knocking means there's another GD problem with the plumbing. Sigh.

I open the door, to find Dim and Wit shuffling around on the porch, working on how to express their next pronouncement of doom. I hate them.

"Well, we busted up that driveway, alright. But it looks like we're gonna have to get under the house and see what's goin on, cause sumthin ain't right." Then Dim and Wit smile nervously. They have obviously practiced this, with choreography just short of Jazz Hands. I see a total of three teeth. I am not amused.

So I throw open the door, and do the march of death to one of the hall closets where the entrance to the "basement" is located. See, this is Texas. We don't really have basements. What we do have, if you have a pier-and-beam house like mine, is a dirt-floored area under the house where you can crabwalk around and get to effed-up plumbing, should the need arise.

But first, you have to get TO the trapdoor which gives you access to the pretend basement. So I'm hauling all kinds of clutter out of the way as fast as I can. Vinyl dance mixes that no one has listened to for 20 years. Boxes of barely-used hair products. A taped-shut box that still manages to dribble glitter as I throw it to the side. Gee, do you think that me and my same-sex partner might be gay?

I glance at Dim and Wit, who now appear to be standing much closer to each other than when I counted teeth. Interesting. Shades of unshared desires? Maybe. But I really don't care. Hate them.

Anyway, I get everything moved and open the portal. Dim and Wit descend into the darkness, practically holding hands. I return to my conference call, where Hillary, the Pope and the VP of Bitterness are ready to rip me to shreds for stepping away.

Mere seconds later, Dim and Wit hop out of the portal. I put Hill, Pope and Bitt on hold again.

"Dude, it's really, really bad down there."


"Everything has to be replaced. The pipes aren't connected right, they slant the wrong way, you got leaks everywhere."

I force myself to take several deep breaths. Dim and Wit slyly look at each other, as if wondering "do gay people breathe like this? Do we need to practice that?".

Then I begin. "You're telling me that even though 6 of the 8 previous plumbers in your squad have ALSO been down in the pretend basement, that none of them noticed the issues you are bilging about now? Why didn't anybody say anything? And why didn't you check this out FIRST! This is where the plumbing slope STARTS!"

My cell phone rings. It's my manager letting me know that the Pope is not happy about the wait. Sigh. Do people NOT understand what it's like to have pickling issues? Jeezuz.

I turn back to D and W. "Okay, look, just go get what you need and let's get this done." They race out the door and pile into the truck. I think I can hear Gloria Gaynor wailing about how she will survive as they drive away. Apparently W has thrown caution to the wind and pulled out his bootleg CD of "Adventures of Priscilla" from behind the bottle of moonshine and handed it to D. The truck accelerates.

Two days later, cause these plumbing bitches never come "right back", they show up with two additional plumbers (ratcheting the tally up to 12 plumbers so far), and descend again into the pretend basement, lugging pipe sections and equipment and whatnot. Since they are working directly below where I am sitting in the home office and I can hear everything, it appears that they are having a frat party of some kind. Lots of laughter, sounds of mechanical destruction, and belching.

Hillary, on yet another conference call, asks me "Are you in a bar?"

No. Despite my aching desire to be in one. Why? Are you looking for Bill?

The frat party abruptly ends. (Out of beer?) The plumbers arise from the earth, proclaim all is well, and drive off into the night. Gloria is still surviving.

A day later, the toilet overflows. Again.

Time for a Bay of Pigs showdown. Somebody better flinch here, and it sure as hell isn't going to be us. We get on the horn with the Plumbing Mob Boss and make our demands. Figure out what the problem is NOW. Repair the crater in the driveway NOW. Fill in the giant earthen vagina NOW.

Days pass. The plumbing mafia is working with the city, apparently all options have been exhausted and the issue must be with the city-owned side of the sewage network. Why this wasn't a consideration in the beginning, I have no idea. I am weakened. I accept and go on.

I finally have to break camp and actually report to the work office, fully expecting that my security badge no longer works on the entrance doors. Amazingly, I get in, although I do have to shoo away some new-hire that thinks he can sit in my cube. ("I have SPERM older than you. GO!") Magically, the lovebird plumbers choose this same day to return. Over the phone, Dim explains that he is at the house and waiting on the city people to show.

Later that day, I'm driving toward the house when I notice an irritating, huge equipment hauler parked at the alley entrance on the end of our block. Lots of city workers in orange vests are running around, waving flags and getting in the way. What the hell? I honestly make no connection between whatever they are working on and the faulty plumbing at my house.

I pull in our driveway, and my jaw drops open. There is an ARMY of these orange-vested city workers swarming all over the backyard and the alley. There is a two-story digging machine thing ripping massive amounts of of asphalt and concrete out of the alley and depositing said debris into a dumptruck bigger than my house.

I wander into the house in a daze. Terry is there. The noise outside is so deafening that we have to use sign language.

"What are they DOING?"

"I don't know. Dim called me and said the city found something, they're working on it now."

And work they did. For hours. Digging and ripping and hauling off. It gets dark, and they bring in these ginormous searchlight things that brighten the sky. Just in case the whole neighborhood wasn't certain where all the noise and commotion was coming from, our house is now lit up like Christmas on acid. We try to be polite and wave when appropriate.

Oh, and did I mention that half the houses on our block only have entrances to their properties from the ALLEY? And now they can't GET to their houses because the alley is blocked on both ends. We are so screwed in the neighborhood popularity contest. We will not get Yard of the Month for the forseeable future. If ever.

Then the noise stops. The army of city workers rumble off into the night. Um, could you maybe let us know what you found and did? Guess not.

With hearts pounding, we approach the guest bathroom toilet. And flush. The water rockets down the pipes with no problem. We flush the other toilet. No problemo. We turn on every device in the house that involves water. Everything whisks away with no sign of an issue. The long-sought celebration begins. I am actually a functioning human being again. I can release my pickles at will!

Then it dawns on us. Apparently, none of the things the Plumbing Committee pursued were really necessary in the end. Helpful in the long run, maybe, but not necessary. The real culprit was on the city side of things. The side where we don't have to pay for anything.

I am back in my dark place again.

Cut to five days later. The Plumbing Mafia Mob Boss is at the house to collect payment. He glares at me. I glare at him. This gets us nowhere, obviously, but I still enjoy it. He clears his throat. I make the fork-fingered sign that I think I remember from my days as a little Italian boy, the sign that means you are nothing to me and I spit on your grave.

He looks at me like I have Tourette's. Perhaps that was not my best move.

Then he slides the bill to me, face down. I turn it over with a flourish that I hope expresses my hatred for him. My disdain.

Then I see the total. 2300 dollars. Might sound like a lot, but really, he's had at least 12 people come out here. Repeatedly. For a month. They've rented expensive equipment, they've been here for hours on end, they've basically replaced every inch of plumbing in the house, all the way to the "city side" of this whole ordeal. I want to hate him. But I can't.

And he knows it. I am now HIS bitch. I sigh and sign the check.

He smiles as he walks out the door, the theme from "The Godfather" playing in the background.

My eyes wander to the Linda Blair tortilla. She is mocking me, I can feel it. The tortilla starts to levitate. I calmly walk over and snatch it up, march down the hallway to the office, and promptly shove the damn thing into the paper shredder. There are tiny little screams of pain and surpise. And it feels good, people. REAL good.

The end.

1 comment:

  1. o m g how I have missed this blog, I've been caressing it for the last 20 minutes. Dim, and Wit. (rofl)

    poor Linda, I was gonna serve some refried beans on her.

    We'll try that later.