150 Days

Day 10
November 10, 2009, 1:59 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

I may have mentioned that my arrival home has involved me using my man chore skills to fix or replace things around my parents house. As a result, my mother continues to bug my father about being shown up by his son in the handy guy department. Adding to this misfortune, my father is a competitive man. Today I witnessed the aftermath of such competition. During Day 1 when I was looking for a bucket to hold the water that I was about to release from the ceiling, I noticed that the sink in my parents garage was leaking. It is a plastic basin sink that is often bumped into on the way to the back of the garage. The constant movement caused the PVC pipe below the drain to snap, so that any water leaving the sink proceeds to pour onto the floor.

My dad took it upon himself to replace this broken pipe. His mini-project started off well, just like the front door lockset did, but quickly derailed. Rather than securing the new piece of pipe to the existing piece of pipe and then attaching it to the sink, he decided to attach it to the sink and then wedge it into the existing drain pipe. Unfortunately, the new piece was too long and the old piece was getting worn out from all the attempts to jam the two together. In only a few seconds the entire drain pipe and trap had separated from both the wall and sink. A bigger problem than what previously existed.

Plumbing is a tough thing and hind sight is twenty/twenty, so exploiting my Dad’s skills in this situation is not really the purpose of my story. The 85-year-old plumber who came to fix the mess is the story. I’m not sure where my parents found this guy. They don’t exactly have connections to the labour force and have definitely never met this man before. A nice guy with a labour cost structure from 1935,  my parents only had to pay him a couple of bucks to show up, replace the parts and get themselves back in business. There is something oddly off-putting about an 85-year-old man who is not related to you, enduring strenuous labour – even if he is paid. It is kind of like watching a six-year-old attempt to mow the lawn. It just doesn’t look right.

The guy did a great job and my mother was especially pleased that his rates were 353% lower than the average. I’m pretty sure they get the neighbours kid to shovel the walk way for about the same price. My worry now is that any hired hands who make their way into this home will need to be old enough to vividly remember the Great Depression. I’m still not sure what that sink in the garage is to be used for, the house already has four other sinks, so I’ll wait it out as I am sure someone will direct me further on its particular purpose.

Only 140 days left.


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