Saturday, March 24, 2007

Changing my name to Jinxy McDeath

Today we wanted to plant some flowers and my wife wanted to paint the nightstand I made when I was a teenager. We also bought another rabbit.

So that was the plan and here is what happened:

Ever the busy-body, I went into the front yard to try and remove the stump from the tree I had to chop out to satisfy our home owner's insurers in the last half hour before I went to work tonight. The stump wasn't ready to go yet but I decided that I could at least plant a rhododendron I bought really quickly.

I started digging a hole about a foot away from the stump to put the plant in but found there was a thick root right through the center of the hole. No problem, I thought, because my axe was still at my side so I picked it up and gave it a forceful swing.

Then a funny thing happened. Pressurized water started spraying out of the tree root. Water filled the hole and threatened to flood the basement and the yard. It bubbled up and up and up.

I yelled out a swear word and picked up the one-year-old and ran for the front door. The front door was locked and I pounded it with a furious fist. Then I ran to the backyard and yelled to my wife, "I just chopped the water line with the axe!"

She ran and got some tupperware and started bailing the water onto the lawn to get it away from the house. I was dumbstruck because there wasn't a logical reason for a water pipe to be in that area of the yard only 3 inches beneath the dirt. It turns out it's a big fat sprinkler line lying RIGHT ON TOP of a tree root. I feel like I was set up because I have never imagined myself to be the type of person to chop a water pipe with an axe.

Anyway, I was scrambling all over trying to figure out how to turn the water off. I called the plumber we know to ask for his help and his wife told me that her husband doesn't work on sprinkler systems but that I should either turn off the water at the water meter or find the stop-and-waste valve for the sprinklers. I went to the water meter to turn off the water but I didn't have a turnkey for it. I tried to turn the valve with some pliers but there was no way it was going to work. I ran desperately to the old shed to find ANYTHING I might be able to use to turn the valve. Luckily, I found the previous owners turnkey tucked away in the corner of the shed and was finally able to turn the water off, about 15 minutes after the water started flowing.

Did I mention that during all of this, our one-year-old dove into the gallon of white paint that my wife was using to paint the nightstand? Because that is what he did. It's a lot of fun to deal with that when the water to your house is shut off.

I called my bosses and told them I would be late for work tonight. The plumber sent over his son-in-law to help us out. He helped us find the stop-and-waste valve so we could shut off water to the sprinklers and still have water in the house. He told me he is a supervisor at a warehouse and asked me if I would like to interview to work at his company. It was a strange time for a job offer but it's always a flattering thing, I guess. Maybe I'll do it.

Anyway, I was beginning to worry because our lives have gotten easier and quieter lately and it feels really strange when we go even a single day without some kind of insane drama. Even in the middle of the chaos, I started to laugh to myself as I remembered, "Oh yeah. THIS is how our life is."

I'm just waiting for the mofos to finish their lunch break so I can go to work.



Native Minnow said...

Holy Crap!!!

I hope you won't be offended by the fact that this made me laugh so hard (I'm assuming you won't be since you were laughing yourself). As if it wasn't bad enough already with the water problem, the fact that your youngest got into the paint made me laugh out loud.

It makes me wonder what's in store for me. I haven't had any utter chaos for quite some time. **knocking on wood**

Alpha said...

If only you had a picture of your one year old dipped in paint.
Hilarious. (Poor little baby, though)

Inside Stories said...

My husband did that same thing with a sprinkler line when he put in my clothesline, if that makes you feel better, but we didn't manage a one-year old in the bucket of paint at the same time. Although we have done that, too. :0) I think I must have been an axe-murderer in a past life and am now atoning for it. What do you think you did? :0)

Lightning Strikes said...

I must say picturing a little kid covered with paint is really funny! Although I feel for you with having to deal with it while having no water...your poor baby