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A Real Story w/ Real People. Really!
In a community far, far away, a streaming thought video broadcasts from my brain.
INT. HEAD – MORNING
A water pipe breaks. The drips are less than a second apart.
Water leaks beneath the kitchen sink and seeps below to the garage.
I call a plumber while worrying about my dog’s 8:30 a.m. appointment with a canine orthopedist to assess her knee.
The plumber says, “I can be there by 10:00.”
All brainwave function ceases. I forget about asking questions and about the importance of quotes – an estimated cost, not a favorite phrase.
I respond with unoxygenated words, “Great! See you then.” I continue obsessing on my dog’s ligament health. A knee-jerk reaction.
The appointment with the mutt orthopedist goes well. The dog doc says, “Her knee is strong.”
My dog bounds left then right, sniffing a package on the shelf, a cat in a carrier, a dog’s butt on the way out. “The knee is strong.”
Back to the house to check its plumbing.
9:35. Drip, drip, drip. Did I hear a gush? No. Just an extended trickle.
I start cleaning the house for the plumber.
Drip, drip, drip.
Ten o’clock goes out like a surge through a downspout.
No plumber or plumber phone call. No brain activity or quantitative thought on a possible drain to our bank account.
Onto 10:30 then 11:00 and the big 11:30. The dogs bark. A truck idles in the driveway; the motor speaks its last words and then dies.
A man stands at the door. He puts on waterproof booties before trudging through the hall.
He doesn’t want to get his shoes dirty.
He opens two cabinet doors beneath the kitchen sink. “You’ve got a bad leak here.”
Wow! He’s good.
“Do you have a well?”
Well … partial brain activity. “Yes, we do.”
“I’m going to shut it down.”
Like Chef Ramsey!
I lead him down the basement steps to the utility room, the engine room of a house.
“She can’t take much more of this captain.” – Scotty, Star Trek.
He turns off the water.
I think I have to pee. Just a passing thought.
“Where’s the garage?”
Dude, this is the basement. One plus one equals two.
“This way.” I show him through the door that opens to the garage.
Drip, drip, drip.
“Where’s the leak?”
Dude, can’t you hear that sound or is it just in my head?
“Over here.” We swing through a wooden gate to a dog ramp soaked with H20.
He gauges the problem.
“It’s a bad leak.”
I know that, Dude.
We walk toward the back of his truck.
Is this going to be a hostage situation?
“You need a new faucet,” he says, then jumps into the truck and picks up two boxes. “Which one do you want – Box #1 or Box #2? They’re Moen” – Not Moët.
The one without the goose neck.
“I’ll take Box #1.” I hope I made the right choice.
Still no brain function.
He installs the new faucet and hands me the bill. “This is my quote.”
Synapses activity detected – Shouldn’t quotes be given over the phone?
I read the bill. My heart takes a breather and then skips a beat. “$515?”
“That’s the total cost which includes parts and labor.”
Dude, I know about labor and this is way worse than that.
A hostage situation unfolds. I pay the ransom with a check. A credit card costs an extra 40%.
Maybe the check will bounce.
He hands me his card. “We also take care of boilers and water tanks.”
I bet you do.
He cleans up the mess and leaves, which jump starts my brain.
$515? That’s several weeks of groceries or a couple nights at an inn.
He wasn’t a plumber. He was a sideshow barker selling snake oil and I got snaked.
Do you have a plumbing horror story?