Just Call a Plumber – It’s Cheaper than Bail, Part 1

rubber duckI was minding my own business Saturday, getting caught up on laundry, grocery shopping, and doing all the miscellaneous mindless bullshit that sucks the life right out of a weekend. There I was, finishing the last of the dishes, and feeling pretty smug at my own productiveness. Yes, the very smugness that precedes, by mere seconds, impending disaster.

So I am putting things away under the sink, all Martha Stewart-ish, when I note a bit of dampness around the various assorted kitchen sundries crammed under said sink. Because I am so enamored of my “a stitch in time saves nine” Martha-ness, I am determined to immediately resolve the issue.

Out comes the giant Sam’s-Club-sized boxes of trash bags in three sizes. Out comes dishwasher soap, glass cleaner, Mr. Clean, stainless steel cleaner, copper cleaner, a cache of useless small sponges (just how useless will soon become evident), and of course, the always on-hand can of RAID. When viewing all of this stuff spread across the countertop and island, it is hard to believe it all fits under the sink. But that is a mystery for another day.

So there it is – a little drip . . . drip . . . drip from the copper pipe. Based upon the small amount of water on the cabinet floor, I conclude this is a recent development. No worries, all is good. I give the shut-off valve a quarter turn, intending to isolate the little problem.

The first clue that the little problem was really a big problem was when the shut-off valve came off in my hand. Not only did the little knob thingy NOT shut anything off, it opened up a flood of HOT water, which spewed at an amazing force right at me. It spewed. And spewed. And spewed.

I yelled to Coe, “Help! Help! I don’t know what to do,” while gallons of water pour from the cabinet onto the tiled floor. It is not lost on me that I am asking for help from a man five weeks out of back surgery, who still takes five minutes to get out of the recliner when I’m not around to get him another pack of cigarettes. And he takes his sweet time to come see what the problem is, because he probably thinks I am screaming about a spider. This possibility is not without some justification.

“What are you doing?” he asks.

Seriously? How does one respond appropriately to such a query as 50 gallons of hot water are flooding the kitchen floor?

Coe finally ambles down to the furnace room to shut off the water. Or the water supply exhausted itself. One of those. I am frantically trying to mop up the water with those four little sponges, which soak up about a tablespoon of water each.

“We need the shop vac,” I shout, while doing the reverse bailing of water.

“Shop vac?” He says this as though he has no idea what a shop vac is.

“Shop vac. To vacuum up all this water.” For emphasis, I sweep my sponge-holding hand dramatically around the little lake in which I am now sitting.

“Oh. Well the suction isn’t working. I haven’t had time to get it fixed. I’ll get a mop.” Coe meandered around the garage, full of enough pack rat crap to choke a horse, and finally returned with some disgusting string mop. During that time I had commandeered every towel – hand, bath, shop, dish – within reach and sopped up most of the water.

“Do not bring that filthy thing into my house,” I said, without using even one eff-word. I should get a fucking medal just for that.

And then the REAL real fun commenced . . .

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