Posts Tagged ‘ car ’

Searching For An Untroubled Plumber

Thursday, September 12th, 2013

The Sink That Started The Frantic Search

Here’s why I need a plumber.

Bill’s car died and has to be hauled off to a Car Cemetery.

Bill tripped over his feet and fell flat with a thud on the patio. I thought the thud was his head, but it turns out it’s his elbow which is black and blue. He smarts in many places but the good thing is his back was hurting for 3 months and now that pain is gone. We think the fall gave him an adjustment.

The drain in Bill’s kitchen sink is plugged up clear to the back wall and we need a plumber.

So. Now I am Bill’s chauffeur and he has to wash his many dishes in my sink, in my house. However, the body wreckage he’s suffered doesn’t affect me thank goodness, as I have my own.

Our first order is to find a plumber. The car burial can come later.

The plumber I always use is not returning my calls. I believe he has run off. My guts say his wife left him. I am sorry about that, but I can’t fix him and obviously, he’s not emotionally able to drain Bill’s sink and clear the pipes. He may be drunk some where, I don’t know.

Bill gets out the town’s yellow pages and begins the hunt for a good plumber.

As I am his landlordess, I give him instructions.

“Get the Senior Rate. Get a plumber who doesn’t charge to come out and look. Ask me before you choose one as I have lived in this town a long time and know a lot of people.”

Bill doesn’t want my instruction. He curls his lips and gets to work. From the other side of the door I hear him drop the yellow pages and turn to his computer. He’s making calls in his Studio. These darn walls are way too thin.

My brother Jim comes over to nap on my living room couch. (Oh come on now, I haven’t time to explain that one. I’m trying to tell you about looking for a plumber.)

Bill raps on the door between his studio and my house. He comes into my Great Room and says, “Hi Jim. OK. This guy I called will do the drain for $80 and he’s asking questions about the leak in your tub faucet and what else you want done.”

“Who is he?” I ask.

“What does it matter who he is?!”

“I may know him,” I say.

Bill turns and goes into his place and I follow.

“It’s Dan Donovan Plumbing, if you must know,” he says.

“Not him!” I yell.


“I can’t remember why. I just know I have a down feeling about it, some memory in the past.”

Bill snorts.

Then, I notice he’s on the phone.

“Ah..I’ll call you back,” he says and hangs up.

Darn. Why didn’t he tell me he was talking to the man?

“You can always do this yourself you know!” Bill snarls.

He gets all irritated and comes back into my house with the phone book.

Jim shouts from the couch, “Who? Dan Donovan!? He ripped me off! He charged me an extra hundred dollars and then left shit everywhere in my place! ”

“Oh,” Bill says as he turns around and goes back into his studio. (more…)

By Golly, It’s Another FOD!

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013


Jim, Wearing My Glasses, Fighting With The Air Hose

It’s turning out to be a FOD.

When my granddaughter was about 7 she mentioned that every time she’s with me we always have “Fun, But Odd Days.”

“We have FOD days, Babba,” she said.

Right now I am not having so much fun, but it is an odd day.

I’ve asked my brother Jim to show me how to check the air in my car tires and to show me how to fill them. I have 2 blinking lights in my car and when I look the symbols up in my car manual, it says tersely, “Pull over to the side of the road immediately.”

Eeeh gads.

Jim meets me at the gas station. He’s huffy and puffing around like he’s in a hurry to be somewhere else.

After I rustle up 4 quarters he gets the air pump going but he has forgotten his glasses. He can’t see what he’s doing without them and so he takes mine.

Now, I can’t see what he’s doing and the whole point of this is that I will watch closely and see what I need to learn.

Jim is busy unscrewing some little tubes on the tires and I try unscrewing one, myself. My hands are now streaked with black grease. So are Jim’s.

Next, he yanks and pulls the long air hose away from the pump and says “We gotta’ hurry before the air runs out. We only have 3 minutes.”

I wonder out loud why we started the pump before we got the ‘thingers’ out of the tires.

Jim is whipping the hose around and complaining about how his day has gotten all scrambled up.

I wrote a list,” he says, “and this wasn’t on the list.”

The hose won’t reach the back tires. Jim has a hissy fit.

I move the car.

The hose gets away from Jim and snaps in large circles in the air, like a champagne fueled horse whip. We both scream and duck.

Jim then leaps into the ethers like a ballet dancer, grabs the hose, subdues it and starts to fill the tires to 33 pounds of pressure. I’m hanging over him, trying to see where he puts the hose and trying to see how he measures the air. Of course, I can’t see because Jim is wearing my glasses.

I’m frustrated and run my hands through my hair.

My white hair is now streaked with black tire grease.

The pump stops. Our three minutes are up.

We have one tire left to fill.

“No problem,” Jim says. “Leave it.”

“Leave it?!” I stammer. “What if that’s the tire that is bad?”

Jim checks the tire. It’s at 32. “Close enough”, he says.

He runs his black-greased hands through his white hair.

I look but I say nothing.

The day continues in a similar vein, too vexing to even write it out for you to wade through. It’s just one of those days that I don’t have on my list and neither does Jim.

When our sister Candy was in college, one of her teachers was an African American man. One day, someone in class mentioned the lists we make that we think will take control of our days and keep us in order.

The teacher said, “Only white people make lists. Black people never do. We just roll with the tide.”

That made a big impression on me but it didn’t stop me from making lists and getting frantic and fevered when during a day I couldn’t cross most things off that piece of paper.

All these years later I am still making lists. You can always find an old list of some kind in all my jean’s pockets and in the washing machine.

However, sheer age and time have worn me down.

I now make lists but I am loose with my days.

Every morning I think, ‘OK, I have a day planned and I have my list, but I know today will go however it goes and it probably will take turns I never expected.’

And, unlike in my former, more harried life, I look forward to the surprises.

As for today, how many times in my life have I almost been horse whipped by an arcing air hose?


‘Dang,’I think. ‘That’s something I wouldn’t have put on my list, today. I did have a FOD after all!’

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My 3 Cats

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

My 3 Cats

It’s been a difficult day. So this is short.

My blog photos have hugely increased my disc usage so I am having to learn how to convert my photos.

2 glasses of wine later and a frustrating call to my daughter, The Computer Genius Who Is Trying to Get The Kids Picked Up And Herself Dressed To Go Out With The Girls And Has Only 5 Minutes To Teach Her Mother All About Technology…I finally figure things out. This happens after I have almost cried and have then hung up the phone to ponder how to find these cats which have now been re-configured so they don’t screw up my disc usage.

I have done it. It’s a miracle.

Earlier today, when I am uptown, I can not get my red car to un-lock. I click on my clicker and pull on all the doors. I walk around my car and click and re-click. I am thinking, ‘What do you do when your car won’t un-lock?!’

I keep hearing the beeping when I press the clicker. Then, I have a disturbing thought. I walk several paces and there I see it. My car. (more…)

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