Sunday, Jack-O'Tober 8, 41 A.B.


My landlord is coming in the morning to replace my laundry room sink faucets and I don't know what to wear!

If I wear jeans, he might ask me to assist him.  If I wear a suit and tie, he might think it rather odd.  If I wear nothing at all - let's not even go there!

What am I to do??

It's too late to go out and buy a new outfit, so I'm pretty much stuck with what I already have.  And what my wife has.  Let's not go there, either!

I brought this on myself, you know.  I could have avoided this crisis had I simply accepted the squirrel trap my landlord brought over today and said "Thanks!  Bye bye!"  But NO.  I had to take the opportunity to try to fix the faucet that's been dripping for days while I waited for him to arrive.  I figured, hey, if I make a royal mess of things, my landlord can save my butt.  He was already coming, after all.  All I'd have to do is say, "Oh, by the way - I've just flooded the laundry room with a fountain of water that erupted when I broke off the hot water knob.  Do you have a sec to take a look?"

That was the plan.

I didn't quite break off the hot water knob, but I may as well have.  Once I got the faucet taken apart, I just couldn't get it back together right.  I mean to say, thanks to my diligent efforts with a wrench, a hammer, and crow bar, I managed in almost no time at all to turn a simple drip into a steady stream.

Yes, I remembered to shut off the water downstairs first.  Yes, I went and bought the right replacement part I needed at the hardware midway through the process.  The simple fact is, plumbing repairs never go as smoothly for me as they should.  The basement shut-off valves are always - ALWAYS! - corroded, or frozen, or apparently designed never to be turned.  Whenever I turn the damn things, they always - ALWAYS! - resent it and leak, or freeze in the shut off position, or snap off.  Today - well, today the damn thing simply refuses now to shut all the way off, which is why I still have a steady stream running, and why I mentioned it to my landlord rather than merely learning to live with no hot water for the laundry room sink.  I don't understand.  I can use a kitchen or bathroom faucet dozens of times a day for years on end with no problem, but if I try to use a basement shut-off valve once - just ONCE! - the thing breaks.  Maybe I should be turning them dozens of times each day, just to keep 'em in shape?  Or HEY!  How about this idea: Why don't plumbers install reliable kitchen- and bathroom-type faucets where they now put inferior shut-off values??

But I digress.  The point to remember is that I asked my landlord in to take a look at my stream.  And when I asked my landlord if he knew how to fix the hot water faucet right, he said, no - let's replace the whole assembly (hot, cold, spigot - the whole shebang!) first thing in the morning!  So I said, "Sure! Why not??"

Not thinking that I don't have anything appropriate to wear.

Not thinking that I might actually have to help if I'm not careful when I'd rather be sitting right here playing PC pinball.

AND I don't know what to have Jester wear, either.  A BIG problem, that, as our landlord thinks we have a baby and not a cat.  Babies, you see, are lease-approved.  Cats are prohibited.  So now, not only do I have to get up early and wonder whether to wear satin or leather, I have to dress my cat in infant wear that tends not to have a tail hole.

Oh, I'm going to have one cranky cat by this time tomorrow!

If we're not both washed away in the flood that's sure to occur if I thoughtlessly dress in jeans and am pressed into service as a light holder or a saw passer in the grand tradition of my Great Uncle Birtcher, First Mate on the Hindenburg.

Maybe I'll appear at the door with sunglasses and a white cane....

Maybe I'll just bribe the local radio stations to remind their morning listeners that federal law strictly prohibits the replacement of faucets on Columbus Day....



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(©Now by D. Birtcher when what he really ought to be doing is
practicing dressing up as a competent human being)