Friday, January 27, 2006


We moved into this house in September and, God knows, there are LOTS of jobs that need to be done to make it acceptable. I've been working away - new sub-floor and laminate in the Family Room, fixing the hot-tub (apparently the previous owners didn't understand basic chemistry) etc.

Anyway, we decided that the portable dish-washer that we brought from the previous house needed to be built-in. (The previous house was a rental with a small kitchen.) So I did a little research, bought the parts that I needed and decided on the placement for the built-in dishwasher. One problem: the hot-water pipe was directly behind where the dishwasher needed to be placed so we had to move it about 4 inches to make the dishwasher fit.

Not a problem - our friend Richard is a Wiz at plumbing, so we asked him to move the hot water pipe.

Now, I've gotta tell you - I'd rather do electrical work than plumbing because electrical either works or it doesn't whereas plumbing can 'sort of work' and I've never been a big fan of soldering copper. I think that compression fittings and flex-tube are the greatest inventions of the modern age.

But Richard is a die hard believer in copper and he is very good at it.

So Richard comes over to the house and decides to re-route the copper pipe. No problem - I think we would do just as well to replace it with flex-tube but hey, HE's the plumbing expert. So he goes about it.

Have I mentioned that I am a cheap bastard? Well, I am. And just like Richard believes that copper is superior to plastic when it comes to plumbing, I believe that aluminum is superior to plastic when it comes to venting. So when we moved in, I replaced the plastic exhaust from the dryer with an aluminum tube. But, being a cheap bastard, I used an eight foot length of tube rather than paying for a ten foot tube. My eight foot tube 'just' fit.

Anyway, Richard decided that he needed to move the dryer in order to do the re-routing. And, of course, my 'just fit' eight foot tube tore in the process. He tried to re-affix it but anyone who has worked with aluminum tubing can tell you that won't work. I told him not to worry about it and I would take care of it.

So I decided to splurge and buy a ten foot length of tubing. I also deciced to buy a 90 degree angle piece to make it easier to install (because installing the first one had been a bitch). So I figured I was ahead of the game - I had more tubing than I actually required and a piece to fit it to that I didn't have the first time.

Away I go - remove the old tube, replace it, fit the new piece, attach it - phone rings.

'Jennessa - Can you answer the phone?'

'Okay Dad.'

Keep working - this shouldn't take long.

'Dad... They want to talk to you...'

'Who is it?'

'I dunno...they said it was important.'

So I stop working on the dryer and pick up the phone...

'Mr. Clarke... What are you paying for long distance?'

'Are you serious? You told my daughter this was important?'

'Well it IS important, Mr. Clarke. We can save you 30% on your long distance calls...'

I hang up on them.

'Jennessa...' I call out. 'Please don't interrupt me unless the caller tells you who they are. Okay?'

'Okay, Dad.'

Back to work on the dryer. And those clamps can be a real bitch, you know?

'Dad... telephone!'

'Who is it?'

'It's the bank.'

Oh shit...maybe I better take this call... 'Hello?'

'Hello Mr. Clarke...I am authorized to offer you...'

I hang up on them.

'Jennessa...' I call out. 'Please don't interrupt me unless the call is a matter of life and death. Okay?'

'Okay, Dad.'

Back to work on the dryer. And I've almost got the aluminum tube hooked up to the vent outlet when...'

'Dad... telephone!'

'What is it?'

'They said it's a matter of life and death...'


'Hello Mr. Clarke... I am an associate with Manulife. Do you know what will happen to your family if...'

...And I hang up.

...Is it possible to sue Alexander Graham Bell even though he's dead?

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