Thursday, 13 November 2008

Irony.....

Oh the irony of yesterdays post bemoaning builder/fixer-upper men. Oh how the fickle, middle finger, of fate mocks me. For it was within a half hour of hitting the big orange PUBLISH button that I really wished I knew a fixer-upper man or at the very least how to get hold of such a person. Gather round and let me tell you a tale of swearing, drowning, shocks - both electric and emotional, and inadequacy, so much inadequacy. And smoking, big, dirty, lovely smoking.

???????

So as I say I had just posted my latest blog entry and had offed myself to the kitchen to make myself something to eat, chicken and chick pea curry with nan bread. Lovely stuff. I loaded the tray with all that I needed for my evening refection - aforementioned curry and nan, juice, tea and a pear. As I shuffled from the kitchen through the living room I was drawn to the sound of water. Now as we don't have a water feature in the living room I surmised that something was afoot. But I wasn't in the mood for playing house detective and I just really wanted to bate the curry in til me, as we say round these parts.

But fear overtook the hunger and so I deposited the tray in my room and headed back down to find the source of the watery noise. I also scooped a large spoonful of curry too, well if you had seen it you would have scooped some as well. I tracked the noise down to the cupboard where the magical control panel on/off switch is for the heating. I gingerly pulled back the little door to find, to my absolute horror, water literally jetting out of the bulky motor thingy ma jobby, later identified as the pump.

Shit Mittens, shit mittens with bells on.

I don't know much about household repairs, that is to say nothing, or anything in that whole general area but I do know that when you have water to the left and electricity to the right you have the potential for something to go quite seriously askew. Askew and then some. But what was I going to do about it? What the hell could I do about it? I'm a waiter for god sake and am only armed with a charming table side manner and, when needed, a good line in sarcasm. Neither of these skills would stop the waters from flowing no matter how I deployed them.

I poked and fiddled for a few minutes but soon realised that I was getting nowhere whilst the floor was getting covered in lukewarm water. I decided that I would have to rise my cousin, with whom I share my house, from his sleeping chamber. I kicked his door in, on reflection that was more dramatic than needed - meh, and hollered at him to get his slumbering largesse down the stairs. Now The Cousin is not a man known to react quickly to anything, save for the offering of alcohol based beverages. Add to that his mortal, and irrational, fear of paramilitary death squads, which he is convinced are going to kill him in his bed, and you end up with a man with all the reactions of a diplodocus. It took about five minutes for him to sheepishly make his way down to the scene of the problem.

I think he was relieved to see pishing water and not four men in balaclavas carrying guns. So when he stopped shaking I introduced him to the problem. He then set about repeating the same ill fated and utterly pointless moves that I had just done.

We stood back to assess the situation, actually that makes us sound like we were able to judge the problem and make plans accordingly which we were not. It would be much more accurate to say we stood back with our mouths open and scratched our empty heads.

"What we gonna do?", I asked hoping for an answer.

"We need to get it switched off", ventures The Cousin stating the obvious.

"You think?" Ah sarcasm, I was back on firmer territory. Well I wasn't really as my socks were soaking and my ankles were getting more moist than I'm used to. There then followed an hour rushing around the house looking for stopcocks and anything that resembled a water switcher off-er. No stopcocks were found but I did manage to get myself electrocuted. Which was alarming to say the least.

"I've a toolbox", I exclaimed with delight. As if by just owning a toolbox was enough.

"You do?", replied The cousin with a healthy dose of skepticism.

"Yeah got it in Ikea, I thinks it's a good one, it's got a hammer and spanners and eh other stuff."

"Where is it?"

"Dunno."

So that was another twenty minutes.

"Fucking got it!" I shouted. We gathered round the magical box of tools, with it's hammer and spanner and peculiarly shaped other stuff, as giddy as the kids of divorced parents on christmas morning.

"How'd you open it?" Seriously I had no idea how to get it open. There may as well have been Coco Puffs in the box as tools as I had no idea what to hit with the hammer and could get nothing to budge with the spanner. But the water kept on flowing and the contents of the living room and kitchen were getting perilously close to being ruined. It was about this point, two hours in, that a mop was introduced to the proceedings followed by towels and the bed sheeting and then pillows and finally hoodies.

By this point the kitchen, as well as the sitting room, was in danger of disappearing under the ceaseless flow of water. I was both perturbed and bewildered, which lead eventually to smoking. Not even a golden pear with the skin peeled by winged angels could have calmed me in the same way a Drum hand rolled smoke did.

We were at a loss. The landlord hadn't returned my panic stricken call and all the so called 24 hour plumbers were in bed. The lying bastards. But it was four o'clock in the morning and we reasoned that we had done all we could. As we sat there on the sofa paddling our feet in the lovely warm water I suggested that we could, over time, get used to it. I mean it was definitely a talking point for guests and whilst we would find it hard to cope with at first eventually we would learn to live with our sitting room being under a couple of inches of water all the time.

But twelve hours after the gushing water was discovered a wondrous and special man fixed our leaky pump. He had a toolbox too, not from Ikea it has to be said, and he appeared to know of it's magical ways and fantastic contents. Within three minutes of arriving he had switched the water off and ten minutes after that had replaced the faulty pump. Huzzah for men who do and fix things. We only discovered after he had left that the water was still off but neither The Cousin nor I had the requisite manly strength required to twist the valve thingy-ma-job back round to the on position again.

"Hello, is that the plumber?"

I'm so inadequate you have no idea.......

34 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

Medbh said...

Eeep!
So everything's ruined?
I would think about moving.

Don't feel guilty about the cigarette. What else could you do?

daisyfae said...

not irony... revenge. bob the bastard builder reads your blog, and was pissed about yesterdays entry... he broke in, wearing a balaclava, of course, and busted the pump.

they're all in collusion, you know...

Manuel said...

medbh: no it's not too bad......the "wooden" floor is bad and will have to be replaced.....apart from lots of swearing, nothing!

psychoknitter said...

You're being sorely tested on your quit week Manuel.

Even if you're not a fixer-upper type, always know 3 things: where to turn of the gas, where to turn off the main current, and where to turn off the water.

Hope you dry out, soggy sitting rooms aren't much fun!

Manuel said...

daisyfae: damn it! I never thought of that....that would explain the ridiculous amount of money joe the bloody plumber was looking.....

Manuel said...

psychoknitter: I am now intimately acquainted with all three! try again tomorrow with the no smoking thing.....

belfastyouthworker said...

lol, sure joe the plumber (distant cousin of joe sixpack) is coming all the way from the failed republican campaign, that's why you couldn't reach him by phone! i hope you have house insurance!

Manuel said...

byw: I have better than that, I have landlord insurance.....I break it, he pays for it.....awesome-o.....still my precious vinyl collection was looking doomed for while.....i would have by passed the smokes and gone straight to hard drugs if they had been damaged.....

Native Minnow said...

Ugh. I'm glad you got the problem fixed, but sorry that you had to deal with such a hassle at such an ungodly hour.

Manuel said...

minnow: these things never happen at 10 in the morning eh.....

Silverstar said...

Reminds me of the time a friend came to our house and asked the ex why I was putting together a microwave cart. Fortunately for my ex he replied that I probably wanted it put together correctly. You are not alone.

Manuel said...

silverstar: ha! and now i have michael jackson in my head now.....

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

I am useless at fixing things as well.My wife won't let me fix anything. She does all the fixing in the house. She likes it when I buy her tools. Just quit again the smoking starting tomorrow , not a big deal.Better than not having smoked for a year then starting up again.

Manuel said...

steve: i'm even more determined now......!

Waiter Extraordinaire said...

Right on!

A.B. said...

"The Cousin is not a man known to react quickly to anything, save for the offering of alcohol based beverages"

I think your cousin is my brother-in-law. Welcome to the family.

Manuel said...

a.b: bwahahahahaha!

MJ said...

I knew hoodies were good for something!

Hand rolled?

Ya dirty hippie.

Red hair, Red face said...

It wasnt bob that broke the pump.....it was the tabacco companies......

harried_dad said...

did you try wrapping brown packing tape around the pipe ? That was the fix it tool of choice at my first share house. And it was definitely the tobacco cartel what did it. You are the only thing keeping them afloat at the moment

Sniffle&Cry said...

"my ankles were getting more moist than I'm used to", just how moist are you used to?

"as giddy as the kids of divorced parents on christmas morning" how I laughed! so good .

Excellent Manuel and so sorry for your trouble.

And you shouldn't frighten your cousin like that! Is he very funny when he wakes up?

Conan Drumm said...

Sorry for your troubles... did the water keep 'gushing' even after you turned the power off?

conortje said...

hehe makes my leaking roof seem very trivial now - a man after my own heart you are!

sheepworrier said...

Im trying my best not to picture some moustachioed german pornstar walking into your house and asking to see your plumbing, while eyeing up your crotch area...

why do these thoughts enter my head?

Manuel said...

mj: ex- ex dirty hippy....

red hair: aha! the conspiracy deepens....

dad: I was.....now the people who make kit kats own me....

sniffle & cry: not moist at all....he is rarely funny at any time of the day....

conan: yes, yes it did....

conortje: or at least a good diy service...

sheepo: misspent youth or drugs...it's really hard to say...

Conan Drumm said...

That's interesting to know should it ever happen here... was the cause of the gushing gravity or excess pressure, do you know? I take it you're an expert on such things now!



ps hope you tipped the plumber!

Manuel said...

conan: it was caused by a busted doo da in the thingy-ma-jig....the hell do I know? I mean when he was fixing I trying to decide what shoes to wear......tip him? I didn't even pay him....

Anonymous said...

Hi Manuel
I've been reading for a while and felt rather odd not introducing myself. I am Kelly and am one of those weird chef beasties you talk about sometimes. Being female and also the only one about the bloody place that can fix anything I found your post today extremely amusing. Thanks for a continually great read.

kelly said...

Apparently good with food, blog comments not so much.
Kelly the chef

Manuel said...

kelly: welcome! I was wondering if you really were a chef for a moment......now I can see that you definitely are.....hehehehehe

Crispy said...

OMG, I have never laughed as much. When I told Percy you have tool box, he near crashed the car!!! Brilliant!

Manuel said...

crispy: it's so lovely and clean and unused......

dethmama said...

So sorry about the mess, but what a great story! Oh yeah... shit mittens? Shit Mittens!?! WTF??

The term has now bored a hole into my brain and ,no doubt, will soon be coming out of my mouth!

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