Thursday, August 18, 2011
Well, last night, or I should say very early this morning St. Joyce and I were awakened by a clatter at about 2:45 AM and it wasn’t Santa Claus. I thought she had gotten up and tripped while she imagined it was me. Then I heard the whooshing noise and knew something happened with the water pipe. Taking a peek out the window I saw water shooting up onto our house wall right where our main valve is, along with the attached sprinkler apparatus. Out I go quickly with Mag-lite, waterproof boots, and parka to find out what could be the matter. What to my wondering eyes did appear but a broken plastic fitting flush with our water pipe. I turned off the main valve. This stops the water of course… and our water flow inside the house. St Joyce meets me as I trudge back to the entryway with a towel.
“It’s busted where the sprinkler system pipe attaches to our mainline,” I inform her as I wipe off the excess water. By this time, the stray tomcat we call Big Boy sidles up to me and then trots in the house because he thinks it’s early breakfast time. Yes, we feed stray cats and get them fixed when we can catch them. Big Boy’s not bashful. He usually rams his head into our screen door until we allow him to come in.
“I hope Big Boy didn’t get wet,” St. Joyce says, watching him disappear into our kitchen.
Oh yeah, water’s drizzling off my parka but just so the Big Boy didn’t get wet, everything’s okay.
I go inside, plop down a food dish for the Big Boy and then go out to the garage. I need two things: an expander pliers to clamp the inside of the busted pipe inside our water line which I don’t have, and a pipe plug for if I figure out some way to get the busted piece out which I don’t have. I’m staring at what I do have when St. Joyce tells me in that exasperated tone that I need to just come back to bed and work on it in the morning. Oh yeah, I can go back to bed and just drift off into sleep with a day of appointments starting in a few hours and no water here at the house.
“You do realize I had to shut off the main water valve. That means there’re no baths, no showers, no tea, no coffee, and no toilet.”
“In that case, you better get to work, Dark Lord. Sleep is overrated.”
Yep, St. Joyce is on board for the long haul now. I stare for a few minutes while I root around in my plumbing parts and pet the Big Boy. I find a threaded stubby pipe I can use with a cap as a plug. I spot my handy dandy hacksaw. It occurs to me the main line is metal while the broken insert is plastic. Yes! I quickly disengage my hacksaw blade while Big Boy looks at me, wondering if I’ll put a few more morsels in his food dish. I do. With the blade, glove for holding it, small bladed chisel, and a hammer, out into the dark wet forest of foliage I go. I make three cuts in the plastic nub until I hit metal inside the main line, carefully tap the broken pieces free with the small chisel, and I’m ready for my plug. It turns out my plastic cap has a hole in the end so I McGyver the round bottom off another flexible plastic plug and seal it in the bottom of my cap with pipe dope. After fastening the cap on tight I went out and screwed my plug in and turned on the water. Oh happy day, because by then, it’s four in the morning. Big Boy passes me on the way in the house.
St. Joyce is sitting up in bed doing Sudoku while petting our eighteen year old cat Taco Bell. “I couldn’t sleep with you banging around out there.”
“Oh waaaahhhhh,” I sympathize with passion.
St Joyce chuckles and turns over to shut her light off with Taco Bell in hand. “Don’t wake me, Dark Lord. I’m thinking of taking the day off. I’ll see how I feel.”
“By your command, Master.” The Dark Lord knows who the next link in the chain of command is in this house.
At a quarter after five I’m back up, putting away the junk I left out in the garage. At seven, St. Joyce gets up. “I’m going to take a bath and soak.”
“It’s a good thing that troll we have repairing stuff got the water back on,” I reply, finishing the last shaving strokes while she draws her bath.
She brings the phone in with her. Before I leave for work, St. Joyce waves at me from the bathtub. She’s been consulting with her co-worker girlfriends. “The girls say they have it covered today and that I should take a personal day after the rough morning.”
“When the Dark Lord wakes you tomorrow, it will be the stuff of legend,” I promise on the way out.
“Take that back, Dark Lord!” St. Joyce cries out after me.
Heh, heh, heh… I don’t think so. :)