Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Pipes Of Wrath

We have two plumbers whom we know by name and recognize on sight. I know what you're thinking, but although we ask a lot of our toilets, we always treat them with respect, and they rarely let us down. It's not the toilets.

Part of the problem is we have that cabin in the forest, and Water wants us to know what a pain in the ass it is to follow the rules in a forest setting. There's water all over the place on that mountain but if you ask it to contain itself within a prescribed set of pipes, it goes all hippie on your ass. It'll stage a demonstration at a moment's notice. I'm free! water says. You can't tell me what to do! I'm going to Occupy The Carpet if you even think about it! Fight The Man!

Then, on the home front, we've got the normal amount of plumbing at our house, and then we also have the rental house next door, and who knows what they're doing over there. All I know is if you're planning to cut someone up into little pieces and flush them down the toilet, you're going to need a plumber eventually. Most of our renters have not struck us as maniacal, but they've all been musical, and it is possible they engage in a little midnight percussion on the pipes, all rhythm and freedom with a little whoopsie finish.

So we have the in-town plumber and the out-of-town plumber, but actually the out-of-town plumber, RW, was responsible for most of the new plumbing in this house when we put on the addition. And that is why we need the other in-town plumber.

We love RW--we really do. He's tremendous. He's also enormous. Plumbers need to get into tight spots sometimes but all spots are tight to him. He is a giant of a man and he always wears Carhartt overalls that wouldn't be snug on Asia. We took one look at him the first day and praised the Lord for those overalls. Then one day he showed up wearing sweatpants. The elastic had jumped ship ages before. Oh my god. Children could disappear in that butt crack. Survivalists could store three weeks' worth of freeze-dried packets in there without anyone knowing. Tiny mules worked their way down the switchbacks starting at his tailbone and far, far below, at the bottom of the cleft, miniature rafting expeditions shot by, one by one.

RW was on the job one day when Dave got a furniture delivery and concluded the only way to get the sofa to the second floor (because our existing stairs were too narrow) was to put them through the window-holes, before the windows went in. He set up the extension ladder and put a rope around the sofa, giving the free end to RW, the plumber, upstairs. The idea was RW would keep tension on the rope and Dave would walk the sofa up the ladder. When he got near the second-floor window hole, he had to push up and out on the sofa to try to get it horizontal, which was the only way it would fit. Dave's tall, and he's strong, but he'd reached the limit of his ability to get the sofa horizontal, and was just about to call out to RW to help him lower it back down again, when the sofa disappeared from his hands and whooshed into the window with no more effort than a bank-deposit in a vacuum tube. Dave shot down the ladder and in the house and up the stairs in time to see RW holding the sofa from one end like it was a Lego and asking where he wanted it.

We love RW.

In-town RW
But he installed one of our toilets with some kind of crimp in the pipe such that it takes over five minutes to fill with each flush. Crimp, loogie, whatever it is he put in there was subsequently sealed up with sheetrock. The bathtub, which we don't use, leaked the one time a guest did use it. And now we have a hole in the ceiling above the downstairs toilet where water drips down from the shower drain one floor up.

So that's when we call the in-town plumber, Also RW. In-town RW wears his phone on his face and sometimes when you call him he asks if we're home now, and when we say yes, he shows up, just like that. We love that about in-town RW, although we wonder if he spends his off-hours in our shrubbery, which would be either wonderfully responsive or creepily expedient, depending on your mood.

We love them both. RW the sofa-slayer, and RW the RW-fixer. We don't know why he's always right spang there when we need him. But we think it's the same kind of thing as when our dog Boomer used to sit right next to Dave's feet at the dining room table. Folks get to know where the crumbs are going to fall.


40 comments:

  1. Tiny mules worked their way down the switchbacks starting at his tailbone and far, far below, at the bottom of the cleft, miniature rafting expeditions shot by, one by one.

    Let's just say you don't want to be anywhere near the Grand canyon during the windy season.

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    1. Yup.
      Always makes me think: more spackle.

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  2. "Survivalists could store three weeks' worth of freeze-dried packets in there without anyone knowing."

    Yeah, but who'd want to eat them afterwards? o_O

    I liked "Occupy The Carpet". Even water is getting into the revolutionary spirit of the 2010s.

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    1. I think one of the joys of Prepping is storing things where other people aren't going to look for them.

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  3. I think I saw that sofa routine on an old Three Stooges short...different result as I recall.

    Funny stuff!

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    1. I wonder if it's true that the Three Stooges fans are pretty much 100% male?

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    2. In the house that rule holds true.

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    3. Pretty sure that Paula Poundstone is, too.

      By the way, did you consider titling this post "The Crack of Doom"? or has that already been said?

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    4. I didn't! Oh, and that's Saint Paula, to you.

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    5. We are going to see Saint Paula in a couple of weeks. I will ask about the Three Stooges, if she lets me. I cannot watch them, ever.

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  4. In this climate running water, both in and out, is against the laws of nature. We have hard water much of the year. Not hard as in lots of minerals, but hard as in it hurts when it hits you or you hit it. I can do most plumbing things, but keep a couple of plumbers on retainer for those difficult and/or unpleasant projects. I'm not as young as you used to be.

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    1. I sure know about how much it hurts when you hit it. I located some with the back of my head a couple years ago and had a goose egg for weeks.

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  5. So, here's an odd thing: The Husband and I were standing at the kitchen sink gazing out the window at the creek down below about an hour ago and he said "not much happening down there... it would be cool if a tiny raft full of people went by - kind of like looking down from the rim of the Grand Canyon and seeing tiny people in tiny rafts." Tiny people in tiny rafts seem to be the thing today.

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  6. Having any kind of a tradesperson who will show up on demand is a rare and perfect thing, and should not be jeopardized by the taking of photos that show a bum in need of a good facial.

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    1. This is true, and that is why I scavenged that particular photo from the "free to share" image section of Mr. Internet.

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    2. Hah! I thought you might've :)

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    3. When it comes right down to it I'm unable to click the shutter on the really good shots. I once stood behind a woman who was easily five feet across the beam and she was wearing a T-shirt that said Buns Of Steel and I could not press the button.

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    4. But see what you did right there with mere words? Your pithy descriptions disprove the old "a picture is worth a thousand words" argument.

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  7. Echoing jenny_o: And having a tradesperson who does the job you ask for on the first visit? Hen's teeth. Hen's teeth suspended from a chain made from unicorn's mane.

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    1. Still: a little freaky. I don't know how he gets out of the shrubbery, what with having to fight his way through the fairies.

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  8. I'm fascinated by the mental image of a sofa whooshing into an upstairs window.
    Good advice about not flushing people down the toilet, although if the pieces were small enough and you only flushed a few bits a day, you might get away with not needing a plumber, especially if you de-bone them.

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    1. You know, I wrote about a local woman who flushed her boyfriend down the toilet, in nugget sizes, but I'll be damned if I can find it.

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    2. Oh! Well hey, it's in Trousering Your Weasel, and also right here.

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    3. That was a great story. Now I'm going to be suspicious of anyone who keeps a toilet plunger in their car (*~*)

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    4. Really, most of us are already suspicious of that.

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  9. So Dave can climb a ladder carrying a sofa? Do you rent him out for other extreme manual labors? By the way, what are you going to do when the sofa needs to be replaced?

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    1. Hell with the sofa, what am I going to do when the man needs to be replaced?

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  10. I loved this one. I'm feeling particularly grateful for our plumber, who just unstuck a kitchen sink I've been working around for months. No, years. He figgered out it had never been vented. So he vented it. I've yet to get the bill, but he was here most of the day. I want to know whose plumber's butt is in the first photo.

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    1. "Most of the day." [shudder]
      And, no you do not. You're just saying that. (I got him off the interweaves. Because I can't take the great photos--see comment to jenny_o, above.

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  11. Tobe a plumber I think one of the job requirements is that your have a butt crack showing while working.

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    1. To be fair, they do have to do a lot of bending over. There's "Mailman crack" for emptying a mailbox.

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    2. Of course, you could always give said plumber a "Cure for Plumber's Butt" from Duluth Trading.

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    3. I was so hoping it was Butt Spackle! But in any case--good thing it has reinforced side vents. You need the vents.

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    4. There is this solution:
      http://www.buzzfeed.com/peggy/the-backtacular-ass-crack-shield#.xexxqwMX5

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    5. That is just wrong. I'd rather see the crack than something that looked like a mini-pad hanging out there.

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  12. While I do most of the plumbing for our renos, I do have a guy I call on occasion. He always answers and gives seven reasons he can't help me out, and finishes up his excuses as he's pulling into the driveway.
    As he works on the project, he complains about all the reasons it won't work.
    As he fills out my invoice, he always cuts me a significant break because I'm the only customer (he says) who doesn't grumble at him the whole time he's working. Well how could I? I could never get a grumble in.
    The best part is he always asks if my husband is home, first. This goes back to a very funny but very long story about a gun, a shower job gone awry, and timing that couldn't have been scripted any better.

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    1. Oh, WE have a story like that too. It involves a housemaid and a nekkid man. Obviously unarmed, though...

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