(Not) Working

I haven’t done a blog post in a long time, and a few people have been kind to mention that they’ve missed them.  It’s not that I’ve forgotten.  Life has interfered with my getting much work done.  During late summer we had some minor (ha!) renovations done to our house.  The decision to start renovations should be medical evidence of early dementia, but that’s another subject.  The projected two weeks somehow agonized into over two months of chaos, clamor and workmen playing country music.

But then I thought I could get back to serious work.  Ha!   Whatever at this address we hadn’t replaced, repaired, or otherwise spent unnecessary money on got together behind our backs and plotted sequential strikes.  Two per week seems to be the scheme.  Hannah the Ancient Lab, formerly so loyal, apparently suffered brain damage from paint fumes (or an overdose of country music), since she joined the Grand Rebellion, Non-Human Division.  Not getting a clear picture?  Okay, take this week for example.  It was Hannah’s anal glands and the bolt on the water supply line to a toilet that went blooey.

I’d finally started polishing the ending of a new manuscript.  I admit that on the night in question I might have been stretched out on the couch with Hannah the Ancient Lab’s butt altogether too close to my face (she of a New and Unpleasant Anal Gland Problem) watching a bit of television.  Even though the show was very demanding intellectually, I heard it:  a strange, loud hissing.  Hannah told me to raise the TV volume because that whooshing sound was making it hard to hear the dialog.  I did, but the noise still made it difficult to concentrate on (let’s say it was) Masterpiece Theatre.  I shouted for my husband, who, perhaps perceiving an emergency, didn’t answer.  He was in our bedroom watching something far less challenging, a pre-Halloween show involving a bunch of men in red and white costumes spitting into dirt.

“Can’t you hear that noise?” I yelled.  I couldn’t even hear myself at that point, which certainly didn’t quell my annoyance that he wasn’t taking care of this problem, and I was going to have to drag myself off that couch.

Before I made it into the hallway, I pretty much needed a raft.  A surfboard-able amount of water was gushing out of the bathroom.  I’m talking whitewater waves.  Now Alan made an appearance, coming from the other direction.  We stared at each other dumbfounded across Niagara Falls.  No one had been near that bathroom.  Not even Hannah, she of the New and Unpleasant Anal Gland Problem.

Cleverly wasting precious time, we tripped over each other first searching for life preservers, then trying to find the shut-off valve on the water line into our house.  Here’s a tip:  if the plastic bolt holding your pressurized toilet water supply line ever blows and spews multiple gallons a minute, do not fumble around looking for and turning off the water supply into your house.  There’s still an astronomical amount in the lines and it’s still under pressure.  Turn it off under the toilet itself!  We are exceptionally proud that it didn’t take our combined total of five undergraduate and graduate degrees more than fifteen or twenty minutes to figure this out.  We spent the rest of the night trying to drain the house.

The plumber came the next morning.  Seems that plastic piece blows randomly all the time; he replaces it with a metal bolt when the frantic calls come, about twice a month.  “Just a cheap part,” he says.  “You were really lucky you were home.”  Then the water damage crew came.  The carpet was so saturated that it had to be taken up for an anti-mold treatment on the padding after two days’ worth of an industrial fan blowing between on the padding.  This makes as much noise as country music, by the way.  Now the carpet has to be re-stretched and re-tacked.  If this happens to you, the water damage people will tell you, “Oh yeah, a plastic bolt on the supply line blows all the time.  Get it replaced with metal.  We get this call twice a month.  You were really lucky you were home.”

Time to take Hannah back to the vet again.  (You do not want your Ancient Lab to develop an abscess!)  That’s today, after the installer comes to re-stretch the carpet, I mean.   I’m sure I’ll get to polish that chapter tomorrow, as soon as the telephone repair people come.  Nothing outgoing works, although fortunately, we still receive all those helpful sales calls for flood insurance and from that sweet “Rachel at Cardholder Services” (You can tell she’s a doll!) but tragically if we “push 1” asking to be connected to an operator, it won’t happen.  Imagine my grief.   Anyway, really soon I’m sure I’ll get some work done.

How about you?  Are you getting much done?  If not, what gets in your way?  If you are…share your secrets!

One Response to (Not) Working

  1. Suggested Supplemental Reading: “Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House,” by Eric Hodgins.

    Supplemental Viewing: “Mr.Blandings Builds His Dream House,” (RKO, 1948), starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy and Melvyn Douglas.

    Supplemental Listening — if you can find an LP of the New Canaan Town Players musical revue, “Next to Heaven,” supervised by Paul Killiam: song, “The Gracious, Efficacious Country Life.”

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