Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2021

I Was Only Trying To Help


I’D HAVE BETTER CHANCES STANDING IN FRONT OF A FIRING SQUAD. Jumping out of an airplane with a fried egg for a parachute. Having a surgeon who feels it necessary to sacrifice a chicken before operating. Any of those, please, but having to deal with a plumber about a leaking pipe.

Just shoot me now.

The only good part of that scenario was that it wasn’t our house. I was being helpful.

My Sister-in-law who really is, but isn’t my Sister-in-law, but is (long story) was the one with the wayward water.

Down in the basement of her circa 1920 house there was a pipe coming up out of the floor that had water creeping higher and higher…and overflowing. Not a good sign.

She had called a local plumbing cartel and made arrangements for them to come by the house the next day (It was not a geyser, so…)/ the snag in this plan was that she had to be in Chicago the next day.

Enter Krafty – the obvious choice to face the Buttcrack Brigade.

“We’ll be there at noon.”

Sure enough at 10 AM my phone rings and it’s The Plumbers.

“We’re at the house. Where are you?”

“It’s 10 AM. I thought the appointment was for noon?”

“Yeah, well, here we are.”

Those boys must operate on Nova Scotia time.

“OK, it’ll take me 15 minutes to get there”

After driving across town, and being stopped by a slow moving train, I arrived at the house. I feigned friendliness.

“So,” I said, “Your office filled you in on the details of the problem, right?”

“They said you have water in your basement.”

We are not off to a good start.

After fiddling with a handful of keys that I was assured contained a key to the front door, we got in. I have never been in her basement. I found it and down we went into that Terra Incognita – with a leak.

All I really knew going in was that there was a pipe and there was water – not exactly Too Much Information.

“Well, there’s your problem,” said Plumber #1. Famous last words before the blasting caps are brought in.

“That there pipe goes down directly into the Earth,” (Not Mars or Krypton). “It drains from your AC into that pipe and we have had a lot of rain lately.”

I looked at him like he was talking to me in Ancient Hittite.

“So,” continued Plumber #2, “When the ground is saturated it takes longer for this here pipe to drain. You don’t really have a problem here. Of course, you could install a separate pump to handle any possible overflow.”

“I’ll pass that information on to my Sister-in-law (Who isn’t really…etc.).”

I had a feeling that we had just dodged a very expensive bullet. If that Plumber guy and his youthful assistant wanted to put their kids through college they were going to have to finance it somewhere else.

It was now about 11 AM and we were done. As we backtracked out of the basement I was afraid to ask the next question.

“Well, gentlemen,” I said, trying to keep the tremor out of my voice, “How much do we owe you on this?”

I had visions of the Federal Reserve Bank crashing to the ground and me sitting on the sidewalk selling pencils.

Plumber #1, obviously the Boss, smiled and said, “Heck, we didn’t really do anything. I wouldn’t know how to write up the bill. You have a good day and we’re gonna go get us a Dr. Pepper.”

With that and the stealth of the Lone Ranger and Tonto they were gone.

The planets must have been aligned just right, these two Plumbers didn’t own the company, or my native charm is greater than I realized.

I locked up and as I drove away I could still hear the faint cry from the Plumbers, “Hi Yo, Silver, Away!”

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3 thoughts on “I Was Only Trying To Help

  1. Hope she was happy with the outcome.


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