Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Ductless Wonder


The Saturday before Mother’s Day began early with a dash to take my car to the shop for a brake check and oil change. I followed Himself in his car. We made the drop and I drove back and took him to the dojo where he taught budding grasshoppers. Home for a shower and breakfast. I made a mental note for the rest of the day’s schedule:

Drop The Eldest at work.

Get The Youngest Up.

The Youngest to help with the pre-holy day of obligation cleaning.

Wait for call from dealer re: auto

Pick Himself up from dojo after the beginner belt test

Pick car up from dealer with minimal damage to check book.

Stop at party store for table cloth, napkins for holy day table setting.

As the Eldest and I were getting into the car for her commute, Prissy called from across the street. Wanted me to go over when I got back.

I sighed deeply as this coffee klatch would cut a chunk out of the schedule. It’s far easier to go visit Prissy than to try to explain why I’m busy.

When I got to Prissy’s, she was crying hysterically into a dish towel. Crying is to mild a word. She was keening and couldn’t speak. The crying was reaching banshee levels, and I thought one of her children or grandchildren had died.

I kept asking what was wrong. She finally handed me a flashlight, pushed me towards the cellar door. I went downstairs with her following me still with her face buried in the dish towel.

“I don’t know where it’s coming from!” she blubbered.

In the dark recesses of the basement where the spiders lurk, I could see a large puddle of water on the floor. I bit my tongue. Yeah, the water on the floor was a pain in the butt, but nothing to cry hysterically over. Certainly, it deserved speaking in tongues, but not blubbering into a dish towel.

She pushed me toward the well pump. The foundation was soaked. I put my hand up to touch the wall. The light was so dim I couldn’t tell whether the wall was really wet or just discolored from age. Over the pump tank, I felt a fine spray of water on my hand and soon found a pinhole leak in the pipe that leads to the tank.

In between sniffles she tells me she called her children, but all they did was yell at her. They yelled at her to call a plumber. I had the same thought, but tried to keep my voice level and reassuring. What solves all sorts of problems? Duct tape.

I followed her upstairs to get the duct tape. She handed me a roll of electrical tape. I told her I’d go home to get the duct tape and for her to call the plumber.

When I got back, her daughter had arrived and was screaming and yelling at Prissy. Prissy had a small leak last year in one of the pipes over the washer. She had a few of the pipes replaced, but not all the pipes as her daughter told her she should. Prissy can be pennywise and pound foolish, a common OPD trait.

The daughter turned on me. “Duct tape isn’t going to work.”

I almost told her how well it would work if I took a piece and patched her mouth and then shoved the rest of the roll up….nevermind. I went downstairs with The Daughter hot on my heels. I patched the pipe. I went back upstairs and spoke to Prissy. Told her the patch would hold for a little while, but she needed to call a plumber and have him come over in the afternoon. I left as quickly as I could to the wails of Prissy and The Daughter’s yelling.

I tried to recapture lost time and got back to the pre-holy day chores. Not more than an hour went by when the phone rang. It was Prissy, and she wanted me to go over. I looked out the front window, saw the daughter had gone. I had just made a cup of tea so I told the Youngest I would be back on Tuesday and took my cup of tea across the street.

My first question was whether she had got hold of a plumber. When she nodded, I sat down, sipped my tea, and listened to how rotten kids can be. How she asks very little of them and how do they repay her? I nod sympathetically into my cup. Daughter screamed at her because of the leak and son gave her a hard time about coming to spread two yards of loam. After Prissy vented, I made my escape back to the pre-holy day obligations.

The Young One and I cleaned, dusted and vacuumed while watching “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” Just as we were leaving to pick up Sensei Himself. The phone rang. Prissy wanted to borrow a bicycle pump. Himself had some sort of foot operated pump, but this would be buried in the deepest, darkest recesses of the garage where the spiders lurk. I had already braved spiders for one day so told her didn’t have a pump. Not to mention the dealer was close to closing and I had to go pick up the car.

Himself had to listen to me vent on the ride up to the dealer. I’m amazed at the difference in the female generations. The need for someone else to solve the problem of the older generation. I’m glad I put the roll of duct tape on top of my black tool box, my purchased early by me Mother’s Day gift from Himself.

3 comments:

Erica Vetsch said...

ROFL! You gotta write a book, lady. This is too hysterical. You are truly awash in the elderly.

Donna Alice said...

You could move--but then where would you find all your great material?

nutterone said...

There is a reason god gave us the brains to invent "caller id". The simplest way to avoid a problem is to avoid it! *grin* You're a good woman. Prissy is blessed, especially by your duct tape.