a little east of reality

Saturday, June 25, 2005

adventures in plumbing

Instructions on how to change a leaky tap washer at chosha's house:

1. Look up method for changing washers on the internet. Reassure yourself that everyone says this is an easy job that anyone can do.

2. Note which tools you need, but don't own. In today's example, we'll use a 'shifting spanner'.

3. Warn all residents of same block that you are about to turn their water off...then ask if they have any idea where the tap for the water mains is located. (They will have no idea.)

4. Phone the owner of the property. (She will also have no idea.)

5. Phone the water company. (They will give you the following vague but helpful advice: locate the water meter...the tap is somewhere within half a metre of the meter, usually positioned lower and towards the street, and can be located by following the lay of the pipe.)

6. Go outside and realise that the meter being at ground level means that the tap is underground.

7. Contemplate getting a shovel and digging around until your flatmate discovers a small metal trapdoor near the meter, which opens to reveal a long spooky looking pipe.

8. When said flatmate proclaims loudly that he is "so not putting his arm down that pipe to look for the tap" give him a look of mute appeal that makes it clear you are playing the girlie card.

9. Deeply appreciate the fact that he is letting you play the girlie card, even though he is actually as scared of spiders as you are.

10. Continue to play this card even after (especially after!!) a spider does in fact crawl onto his arm during the process of finding the tap at the bottom of the spooky pipe.

11. Once the water is off, drive to the hardware store to buy washers and a shifting spanner. Assuming all household kitchen taps are the same, don't think to take the tap with you. That would make things too easy for the hardware store employee assisting you, and we all need challenges in our lives.

12. Go home. Undo things, replace things, redo things, test things, adjust things. Feel as accomplished as if you'd just discovered a cure for the common cold.

13. Decide to do the other tap while you're there because you have a spare washer, and because you're j.u.s.t. .s.o. .d.a.m.n. .g.o.o.d. .a.t. .t.h.i.s.

14. Thank the heavens above that the boy is willing to put his arm back down the spooky pipe in order to turn the water back on. Plan to make lasagne soon because he likes it.

15. Explain to the other residents where the tap is located just in case there's a flooding emergency one day and you are not home.

16. Reward yourself with Indian food and a vampire movie.