Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Plumbing Follies

I live in an old house, such as are subject to little foibles including weird, tiny rooms, odd built-in shelves, no closets, cave crickets coming up through the vents from the former coal cellar...and...

Tiny pipes.

In all fairness to my much-beloved, long-suffering landlord (two appliances and new central air in the last eighteen months), he re-plumbed the place after he bought it. However, who knows what eons of junk are clogging up my drains?

We had septic out on the farm, so my grandmother taught me to be especially careful about what goes down the drains. I keep a grease jar- yesssss, I believe I just heard you all say, "Eeew!", dear readers- next to the stove, scrape the plates in to the trash, and run some pre-emptory Drano through every few months. This little snafu, however, is beyond the power of household chemicals. What we have here is a job for the most expensive of all home services aside from HVAC: the plumber.

The pastor of my church when I was a teenager was the son of a plumber, something of which he was mightily ashamed. My friend Shane's dad was the campus plumber for a small elite private college in their town, and by dint of his employment there and the nature of it, he really pushed his son to get a degree...I remember Shane telling me that his daddy never wanted him to have to crawl around under somebody else's house in the dead of winter trying to unclog their pipes. The way I look at it is this: if not for skilled tradespeople who know their business, those of us who know NOTHING about real plumbing issues would be in a lot of trouble. Even if your expertise is not something white-collar, well, it's no reason for anyone to look down their noses at it, because they most likely couldn't do what you do if they tried.

I hate telling my landlord, the pastor of a small country church, about this, especially because just calling the plumber to look is going to cost a small fortune. Unfortunately, this is beyond the mad skills of the Self-Rescuing Princess, although I did actually purchase and use a toilet augur to try to resolve this myself. How's that for using my vast overcredentialing? :/

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