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Nothing much here, just the usual crapola.

November 15, 2021
The crapster at his controls.

November 4, 2021

I no longer believe I am capable of plumbing.  Leaky faucet?  No.  Running toilet? Nyet.  Broken toilet seat?  Not really.

Eighteen years ago I set out to make sense of the plumbing in our house.  Copper pipes ran hither and yon across the basement ceiling to the kitchen sink on the other side.  Then there were drain pipes and other pipes to vent the stinky air and allow the drains to drain.  Clogged toilet?  Slow-draining sink?  I can do some good with this last one.  

My paramour has long hair.  I used to use Drain-O, a plunger, a six-foot sewer snake.  Had filth, trouble, loose connections, leakage.  Then I discovered the seven-inch length of coat hanger that I fashioned into a crochet hook.  I poked it into the drain (without removing any parts of the sink or drain apparatus) and managed to withdraw great masses of hair to be wrapped in toilet paper and placed into the waste basket.  Worked like a charm on our bathroom sinks.  

I worked in Lame Deer five days/week, so I’d drive 1.5 hours to work, then put in about 8 hours, then drive 1.5 hours home.  This left a remainder of thirteen hours of every day to be wasted in sleeping or fixing the plumbing.

As I mentioned, I set out to make sense of the copper plumbing.  Using a pencil and paper, I sketched the location of the various sinks and bathtub and faucets upstairs and downstairs.

In the end I had an interesting jumble of angles and cross pieces. At two a.m. i turned on the water.

It leaked heartily. So I pulled a 40-gal garbage can to catch the water.

As I watched the water splash gaily, causing bits of paper and trash to dance happily on the choppy surface of the water, I abandoned my post.  I sprinted up the stairs to wake my spouse.

“I fucked up the plumbing,” I said.

Back in the basement I turned off the house water at the entry valve.

Then I ascended the stairs, undressed, put on my pajamas, and went to bed.

Next day I re-soldered the many joints, ruining a perfectly good piece of sheet metal I used to mimic the steel in the galley trays when I made page proofs.  That piece of sheet metal is permanently warped from the heat of the propane torch.  I used the metal sheet to protect the house from catching fire when soldering joints in the basement.

Basement.  My life from the days when I first learned to toddle has been obsessed with visiting the basement to play with the tools and paint therein.  I didn’t play with plumbing early on because it scared me.  I should have been afraid of electrical wires, but electrical wires don’t threaten to flood the house.  Once, in the bathroom, I cranked both hot and cold water faucets on but for some goddamn reason I couldn’t turn the water off.  This was the first of three times I screamed.

I soon had the water turned off because I had no choice but to keep trying.  You can run away from electricity but you can’t run away out of the bathroom if the faucets won’t turn off.  You scream, but you keep ranking and pulling and twisting the faucets.  Nobody else was home.

The second time I screamed I got stuck in the elevator in the university library between floors.  Nobody heard me then either and I got my wits gathered enough to keep trying the switches and playing with the elevator doors that opened on the south and north sides of the elevator, but at different floors.

Third time I screamed was as a principle actor in an opera because I couldn’t sing my solo loud enough to suit Hall Diteman, the director of “Bastien and Bastienne.”

I’ve not screamed successfully since, although I’ve groaned, yelled, hollered.

And yet people ask me to help with their plumbing.  And lead to confusion and delay.

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One Comment
  1. Blaine Ackley permalink

    The usual crapola seems to be the consternation supplied by the plumbing. And if you can’t scream, at least you can still holler. But Dan, you didn’t give up, you persevered and prospered. B

    Best wishes, Blaine Sent from Blaine Ackley’s iPhone


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