Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday So Far

My foolish mother had a plumbing problem -- house, not body -- and I'm the guy who deals with that. Toilet backing up. Snake didn't do anything. Then the shower backed up too, so it was deeper in the pipes. Well, a big pee company is always, always always advertising itself, "clear any drain for only $99." That's close enough to rooter-rental cost to make it worth while, so she called "Mike Diamond, the Smell-Good Plumber". Dude came out and asked where the cleanout was. She didn't know. So he said it would cost $1800 dollars. She called me, rather distraught. "Forget that," I ordered. You know, forget that, like the song. No way. So she said she'd had good luck with Rooter Rooter in the past. Guy came. $2400. No. They are crazy about their cameras, their very very apparently expensive cameras.

So that's what I did Sunday afternoon. Went online and looked up how to replace a toilet, if need be. Not as hard as I'd feared. Rented a Home Depot rooter. Got her washing machine line working -- she'd been letting it drain into the yard. Pretty rough on the fingers, that cable twisting around. Hunted down some gloves. Very earthy smell, sewer pipes -- not fecal, swampy. Went to the other side of the house to the four inch line, cleared it out to the sidewalk. Bit got stuck and I had to crawl under the house and cut the pipe open. Hassle, but I got the bit back. Toilet still backed up though. Crawled around some more, belly and back, dirt down my collar and up my shirt, silk of course, the very finest, and noticed the pipe from her bathroom didn't have any slope to it. So of course it wasn't draining. Plumbing is all about gravity. I propped one end up with a stone, and the problem was fixed. Total relevant cost, $0.

So this is where I expurgate my vulgarity re ripoff artists, who see an old lady and think they can have their way with her. Cuz, y'see, they'd like to help, but, like it costs $2000 to look under the freaking house.

Then I went and used the rooter someplace else that needed it, because it's a sin to waste. And then I went to Trader Joe's, a store with quality products at a reasonable price -- nuts and berries for me. Funny thing though. I saw my brother there, with his new wife. He didn't see me, so I just went about my business. Store was out of strawberries, and out of almonds. In line I hear a voice at my back, "My wife wants to say hello to you." And she seems to be a sweet young thing. Must be 20 by now. Little Asian girl. Well, Asians are okay, I guess.

But man. My brother. Earlier, before I saw it was him, and her, I just saw their backs, both dressed in night-on-the-town black, and my thought was, that man has strange posture. Then I saw it was my brother. And in line I got a look at him. Beard now. Haven't seen him for a couple of years. Very strange looking. Something is just off. Really rather unhealthy looking. Okay color though. Thing is, his basket had 15 or 20 egg cartons -- you know, by the dozen. And perhaps 10 quarts of yogurt. And a big heap of almonds bags. And another heap of frozen strawberries. He'd cleaned out the store. And that's what he eats. Eggs, yogurt, almonds and strawberries.

Man. Like my father's diet: cranberries and fishsticks.

It did not occur to me in line to ask my brother to let me have one of the bags of strawberries to buy.

On the drive home, I decided that from now on I will call everyone "boyfriend." So that's my Sunday, so far.


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