Stop me before I Repair Again

A slippery slope

A slippery slope

I just succeeded in applying a rust-laden coat of paint to part of a ceiling in our home. The rust was cloaked within tiny globs at the bottom of the paint can. The paint was old but still fluid. But, in an effort to be frugal, I thought I could salvage it. I carefully popped the lid and then stirred the old paint with an attachment on my electric drill. It worked beautifully..right up to the point where I rolled hundreds of, hitherto hidden, rusty bits across the ceiling. It now looks somewhat like the newly laid egg of a thrush. This is not what I was going for, folks.

Nothing makes me angrier than home repair gone awry and I always ask myself the same question. Why is nothing ever simple? I used to think poorly of people who let their properties go…now I realize the wisdom of their ways. If it ain’t broke…don’t fix it. Even if it is broke…don’t fix it yourself. This is why God created guys named Earl who drive panel trucks !

The greatest example of Yours Truly boldly (and stupidly) striding into territory that should have been avoided, occurred many years back when, early one lovely morning, I got it into my head to look behind a chromed plate in our upstairs shower. I didn’t need to do this. I just wanted to know if there was some kind of waterproofed sealant back there.

So I stood in shower, in nothing but pj bottoms, and unscrewed the universal knob that controls the water to the showerhead. After three turns of the last screw the knob blew off the wall like a shot out of a cannon. It hit me squarely in the chest and the resulting gusher (like a fire-hose) not only flung my glasses out of the stall, it pinned me squarely against the glass wall of the shower. Then (like in an episode of I Love Lucy) I tried to put the knob back…all the while channeling water into the hole behind the now absent plate.

The kids, having their Fruit Loops at the breakfast table below, began to notice water trickling out of the ceiling fixture.

I tore down the stairs, threw myself into the darkened, concrete crawl space beneath the house and scrambled frantically about until I found the shut off valve. Then I just sat there…gasping for air, damply in the dark. I had a welt on my chest, blood running from my knees and a pair of glasses imbedded in the bathroom ceiling. It is part of my therapy that I write about it here.

Next time you see something you think needs attention, do yourself a favour and call Earl.


9 Responses to “Stop me before I Repair Again”

  1. As usual well written and entertaining post. Thank you Dave for providing me with a much needed laugh.

  2. I’m laughing too hard to write anything else

  3. Love the visuals you created in this piece!

  4. Having recently tried to unscrew a leaking outdoor tap to replace it and twisting off the copper pipe 12″ into the wall behind it (leading to the cutting of holes in the corner cupboard and drywall behind it) I get it. The downside of the alternative is the fact you too often pay someone to make you unhappy with a job you could have made yourself unhappy doing for free.

  5. Thanks for your cathartic honesty of the shower incident you described. It made my day & my problems seem to pale in comparison to that fiasco. Your writing was so perfectly descriptive that no video was necessary. I visualized every detail & you hit it home when you wrote, “Then (like in an episode of I Love Lucy) I tried to put the knob back…all the while channeling water into the hole behind the now absent plate.” A comedy of errors that can happen to any one of us unsuspecting fools. Without proper research some jobs are better left in the hands of seasoned professionals.

  6. What a fun read that was. You crack me up, Dave. Keep ’em coming!

  7. Good One Dave!!

  8. Takes a wise man to know his limits!

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