Plumb Crazy

There are not many things I hate more than plumbing. There’s the “great Troy Tulowitzki”, Rally Sally’s upper deck dancing and maybe a trip to the dentist but other than that I can’t think of anything else I detest more. So when I woke up this morning and saw all the women in my house hovering above me with what looked like a broken faucet handle I knew today was not going to be one of those days that I was going to enjoy. It’s Saturday and Spring Training games have begun. Man was not meant to spend the day curled under a sink with a pipe wrench and Teflon tape looking for leaks. But considering that one faucet in the bathroom upstairs has been broken since the National League Divisional Series with the Cubs I had probably used up all the delays I could think of. Curse you Josh Byrnes! Why couldn’t you invite me to Spring Training so I had an excuse for not having to do plumbing?


I’m a pretty creative guy and I can usually come up with some kind of story that will get me out of doing things I don’t want to do but in this case there was a iron-clad waterproof case against me and no amount of sweet talking was going to get me off for good behavior. No I was destined for a day in the bathroom. The thoughts of that made me sick to my stomach. When I mentioned that to Trina and the girls their response was, “well then you will be in the right place if you do get sick.” Well they did have a point I guess. So after a trip to the garage to retrieve every tool I owned I trudged upstairs to assess the work. Hmm, this isn’t so bad. I got one sink without a faucet and I got another sink with a faucet with one handle and no way to turn the water on. I should be able to get this done and still make the last 6 innings of a Spring Training game. Things were starting to look up a little bit. That is until Dakota came up the stairs announcing that we have a new geyser in the bathroom downstairs. Seems the water inlet decided it didn’t want to get left out and launched a stream of water 6 feet away from the wall. Ok, well maybe if the Spring Training game goes extra innings I’ll be able to see the last few outs. I went outside and turned off the main water valve. The neighbor across the street in his most helpful voice called over, “Having plumbing problems?” I wanted to say, “No, I decided to become more environmentally conscious and decided to change my house to be a water-free zone.” Instead I just nodded as I turned off the water. My helpful neighbor just couldn’t let it go and asked, “Do you have a leak?” As I began walking back into the house I replied, “Not yet”.

Back inside I was just grateful for the peace and quiet. The only sound was the dripping of water off the walls of the bathroom downstairs. There are two things I hate about plumbing. First it is physically impossible for me to complete a plumbing repair without at least one leak. It’s not usually a large leak, just one that is there and annoying. It is like it is taunting you like a heckler in the outfield bleachers. You try not to let it get to you but if you have to listen to it one more time you are going to have to chuck a baseball into the stands and knock it out cold. The second thing I hate about plumbing is that it is impossible to be comfortable while you are doing it. You are either wrapped around a toilet like some kind of ballpark pretzel or you are crammed inside a sink cabinet in some sort of level-7 Yoga maneuver. Today was going to be a Yoga master kind of day as I had three sinks that I had to deal with. I once threw 120 pitches in a game and came back on 3 days rest to pitch another complete game and had no long term damage. Why is it then that my shoulder feels like a hamburger that’s been on the grill since Opening Day 1998? It is about this point in time when most normal men begin to speak only in four-letter colorful metaphors that are usually the domain of Navy ships and sports bars at last call. Trina had sensed that could be a problem so she sent my 10-year old son to assist me. After all I would never swear in front of him, right? It may be 80 degrees outside but I insisted that Dakota wear a ski hat. I could then at least claim plausible deniability by stating that he just misunderstood what it was that I said. No really son I said, “Gobs of Hammit which you may not know is a small village in the northern most fiord of Norway. I was telling mom we should visit Gobs of Hammit for vacation because they have cool plumbing.” Yeah that should keep him off balance at least for another sink.

So what I thought was going to be a small job that would last through batting practice instead took an equivalent amount of time to a double-header that went extra innings. My arm hung limply to my side and I had recounted and blessed all of the citizens of Gobs of Hammit. Tired and just a tad frustrated I trudged out to the street to turn on the water to the house. And there across the street was my helpful neighbor who asked, “Are you turning the water back on?” I wondered whether a pipe wrench thrown a distance of 60 feet 6 inches would send that guy to Gobs of Hammit?


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