bunt sign

Saturday, September 9, 2000

The best-laid plans. . .

I was up early today to let in the guy who was going to solve my plumbing problem. I assumed I'd have most of the day to catch up on the busywork I've been putting off while I adjusted to the new house. Boy, was I wrong.

I was also going to wash my car, but I dropped that item from the agenda. I saw enough water without that. All over the laundry room. Seeping under walls onto the kitchen carpet. Standing a half-inch deep in the bathroom. Soaked permanently into every towel and rag I could get my hands on. Spreading as if a dam had burst, taking over more and more of my house. Water, everywhere I turned.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I was up at seven, waiting for Chuck, the handyman (or whatever) that the landlords were sending. I'm not a morning person, especially on a weekend, so I let him in when he got here around eight and then ignored him. He was in and out of the house for two hours, doing something, I guess. Then he told me it wasn't working. "I'm going to need a bigger snake."

While I was out running errands, Landlord Jerry left a message on my answering machine. Chuck took off the cleanout lid, so water will drain along the outside of the house, he said. "Go ahead and do laundry; I guarantee it won't plug out." He said he would come back some time next week to fix the drain problem permanently. Meanwhile, he repeated, I could do my laundry.

Since I'd left four shirts in the machine since the last flood, I decided it would be prudent to run them through again. Fifteen minutes later, I happened to walk by the laundry room, and my heart sank. There was water flowing from the machine, and it was an inch deep on the linoleum. It had started coming under the walls, but at that time I had no idea how much worse it was going to get.

I grabbed every towel that wasn't already soaked through from yesterday's adventure. It was a useless exercise, though. The towels were saturated and underwater. It was like trying to plug the bathtub drain with a lace doily. Twelve-packs of diet soda were floating around the room. I was living a nightmare.

laundry roomkitchen

Do I have to say that I didn't handle this setback well? I raged, I howled, I slammed my fist against the wall. (Ow!) Then I gave up. I called and left Jerry another message, then collapsed on the couch under the weight of my own helpless fury.

Jerry phoned back and said Chuck wasn't sure after all whether he'd left the cleanout lid off or replaced it. In any case, he sent Chuck back here with a Shop-Vac. He spent another two hours sucking up the mess, and snaking the drain one more time. As he left, he told me that the washing machine will drain outside for now, and Jerry would be here in a few days to put in a new pipe.

It was all I could do to nod soberly and thank him, rather than snorting and scoffing. Am I going to use that washer again before Jerry comes back to perform whatever miracle he thinks will keep me high and dry? I most certainly am not. Mom will gladly do my laundry for me until I'm confident in my own machine.

After he left, I took one of my few remaining towels and tried to clean up the remaining wet spots in the bathroom and laundry room. Left with a bucket full of sopping towels, I took them outside and hung them on the fence to dry. It's a shade on the tacky side, but I'm not caring much right now.

wet towels hanging on the fence

As for those four shirts, I ran them through the dryer. They got dry. Little victories.

Am I going to wash my car? Not today. Not until I have a dry towel to use. Not until I get rid of the feeling that I live in a swamp. Not until I can walk around the house without having to put shoes on. Certainly not until I can look at flowing water without recoiling in horror and disgust.

previousbunt signemailnext

Latest recommendation:

Check out what Bob and Goldi have been up to.

Jessie, Blueberry Hill, September 8, We Real Cool

Jane, A Little Peace of Me, September 9, Pokin' a Little Fun

Other recent recommendations can be found on the links page.
Subscribe to the list to be notified of updates.

There was a tiny area in the kitchen that was dry, until I was using the sink sprayer to clean off a plate, and the nozzle came unscrewed. I soaked my shirt, my shoes, and the rest of the kitchen. Thank you very much.