Friday, May 24, 2013

Mr. Fix-It Gone Wild

(A little lengthy, but worth it!)

Here's the deal...I'm the kind of self-reliant guy...why pay a repairman $75 bucks for a home repair when I can screw it up and pay him twice that?  But, sometimes, things go right for how I got myself embedded with the Army in Baghdad all on my own without any help from CNN or any other major news network.  (Of course, there was that little incident where the Air Force security crew threatened to strip-search me, but that's another story!)

So, this morning, I see a little water on the kitchen floor.  (Now, listen to the first measure of the Jaws sound track...du dum.)  Don't think much about it...I prolly just spilled some when cleaning up, right?

When I come back from errands, I start to thaw the perch for dinner, and then I see some more water on the floor.  (du dum...du dum.)

I open the sink cabinet door and see that the space beneath the sink is god-awful wet. turn off the sink water, and pull all the fricking cleaning supplies and trash bags out so I can see what's going on, but there is no apparent leak. 

So, I grab a flashlight, turn the sink water on, and stick my head up under the sink.  And then I see it, a steady trickle of water from base of the faucet.  It's not a standard hot water on the left, spigot in the middle, and cold water on the right type; rather, it's one of those all-in-one units.  At first, I figure just put a pan under the drip and call the plumber.  But, then, I decide to investigate further.  (du dum, du dum, du dum!)  

So, I find the valves for the hot and cold water lines and turn them off.  I pull my wet self out from under the cabinet and test the faucet.  Turn to the left, no water.  Turn to the right, no water.  I've successfully cut off the water so I can work to my hearts content.

It is at this point where I reached the MOFU fork in the road.  (Every home repairman knows this Moment of Fuck's the point of No Return...the point at which you should proceed past only with extreme caution.)  I could have just left things alone and worked with some inconvenience, but, no, I go to the Moment of Fuck Up and bulled right through it...although I certainly didn't think I was.

My trusty allen wrench fit the recessed and mostly hidden retaining screw and a few turns later I was lifting the spigot from it base "just to check" if there was anything I could easily see amiss.  (du dum, du DUM, DU DUM DU DUM DU DUM!!!)  I lift the spigot one inch and nothing, I started to lift it a little more and...


I clamp down on Old Faithful with one hand and now the fountain now sprayed horizontally in all directions.  

Next, I grab it with both hands, like I'm gonna choke that fucker.  The water then just gushed out and up, but nowhere near as bad as before.  But, there's one little problem:  IT'S HOT WATER!

I mean, my hands are being boiled alive.  

No choice but to let go and dive under the sink cabinet again, this time looking for the damn third water shut-off valve.  (Who the fuck ever heard of there being THREE shut-off valves, anyway?) 

While I'm fumbling around, trying to find a valve (they are itty bitty little valves that are hardly noticeable), I'm wondering where the fuck is the t-handle so, at worse, I can turn the water off at the street.  

I groping around, hot water is pouring down on me, I know my wife is gonna kill me, and then, BOOM!  The overhead ceiling light explodes because the water has hit hot glass.  

So there I am, boiling hot water pouring on me, glass raining down on me, I'm on my back, barefoot, and stuffed under the sink.  At this point I want my wife to just kill me where I lay and get my torture over with.

But, I find the valve and turn it and, mercifully, the fountain of my despair ceases.  

So, the next thing I did what any self-respecting, do-it-yourselfer does and reach for...

Only then do I assess the damage.

Water is fucking everywhere: on the ceiling, on the kitchen/breakfast room/den floors, on the counters, and in the drawers.  Apple computer was drenched, I-phone wet, recipe book soaked...and on and on.

So, I start mopping...THE CEILING.  Can't reach it.  Have to stand on a fricking wobbly stool.  And, yeah, by this time the wine is kicking in.  Imagine a half drunk man, wearing shorts and a t-shirt, standing on a stool and trying to mop the ceiling, all the while trying to avoid the recessed light socket that is hissing and spitting...that's me!

Long story short, I called my wife and said that I would meet her for dinner out.  She asked why and I said that the kitchen faucet was broken...that I tried to fix it but had bad news and good news...the bad news was that my attempt resulted in no water in the kitchen, but the good news was that the den, breakfast room, and kitchen were spotless...and that her interior flowers had plenty of water.

Two wine glasses later for her, she laughed.

1 comment:

Laurie Harper said...

Oh my god...I cannot imagine this, and the PAIN. COLD water would have been bad enough, but scalding hot water? How are your burns? Seriously, how are you after all that? BRAVE MAN to tell this story. Great writing and detail by the way.