Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Purell-ing Doorknobs

Or, my Mother's code about plumbers.

So, the plumbing in our house has been kind of weird lately. Ranging from "Hmmm, that's funny..." weird to "This fixture is possesed!" weird. First of all, our toilets quit working and when the plumber came to roto root it, he found tree roots in the pipe.

Which is strange enough, in my book. Apparently, this is not uncommon though, or so he said. You can never tell with plumbers. The twinkle in their eye is awfully hard to detect. But the toilets started working again, and I thought no more about it, except a while ago, when going down to do some laundry, it smelled like an open sewer. And behold, there was sewage (yes, the raw, brown, smelly kind) literally on the floor of our basement, coming from this big drain under our laundry tub (which is next to our washer and dryer).

We will pause for a moment of remembrance concerning my Mom's expression. And don't try to picture it. You had to be there.

Okay, I can go on. So after the whole reaction, a different plumber came to fix it. Somehow it involved unhooking the washer and everything went downhill from there. I can only report what I heard, for I was upstairs, but I was sitting next to the vent and heard this...whooshing noise. It was followed by shrieking. It continued, and continued, for a few minutes. Eventually it died down.

I tread cautiously down the stairs and saw my Mother, holding a mop and bucket, dripping wet, gaping at the plumber, who was also wet and sheepishly holding the faucet. Somehow the man had lost control of the faucet and it sprayed all over the place and spread the sewage further across the floor, since it couldn't go down the drain. And soaking them both.

All was right in the end, but it was touch and go for a bit there. I mean, for the plumber.

But let us back up for a moment, to before the plumber's arrival. My Mom was expressing shock and horror about the last plumber's sense of hygiene. To ascertain the problem, he flushed the toliet and stuck his hand in there, to feel the degree of pull or something, pulled it out, made some grunt of satisfaction and shook it off. My Mother watched helplessly as he trod all over the house, touching who knows what, without washing his hands.

She related to me, as she squirted Purell all over the doorknobs following his departure, that "You have to follow them around and open doors for them, do things for them, because they can't while they're working."

So the second plumber arrived and headed downstairs, with my Mom hot on his heels. I know not what his transgressions of hygiene were, only that I heard this excahnge through the vent.

Mom (over-eager): Here! Let me get that for you!

2nd Plumber (in good humor): Aw, no thanks. I can get it.

Mom (with desperation): Really! Here, let me-

2nd Plumber (tickled, but still the gentleman): No, no, I can get it just fine. Thanks.

I only hope they couldn't hear me laughing from upstairs.


Blogger Polka Dotted Pickles said...

Bwa ha! Tree roots in the toilet. That has made my day it is so funny. Although I am sorry you have had problems! :)

11:09 PM  
Blogger quirkychild said...

I'm just glad we can use our toilets again! :-)

There is an explanation about the tree roots, though. The plumber said it was quite common...We have big trees in our backyard and he said they like to send little roots out and they get into the pipe and clog it up. This has given me nightmares about things crawling up the toilet while I am using it...Brrr.

But I'm glad to have made your day!

1:34 PM  
Blogger Rabenstrange said...

I can just see the carniverous plant lurking in the camode waiting to devour an unexpecting person.

12:34 AM  

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