Mize: These turkeys are still driving me up my walls
Part 3 (sort of) of "THE LEAK IS COMING FROM UNDER THE SLAB!"
EDMOND — Mike Warnke, a Christian comedian back in the day, told a story about an avowed atheist soldier he met while both were serving in Vietnam: Didn’t believe in God. Didn’t want to hear about God. Didn’t need no God.
"You wimps can keep your God to yourselves," he said.
Warnke said the next time he saw him, after a couple of trips in and out of the jungle, that guy had a cross on a necklace. And a star of David. And a little Buddha statue. And a lock of goat’s hair. And a silver crescent moon. And an arrowhead.
Mike said: “What gives, man?”
"I — I — I — believe, man!”
“I don’t know, but in my position, I can’t afford to make anybody mad!”
What gives? Mayhem continues to descend around me at home.
The flood mitigation people just left, yea and verily on this, the 26th day after the leak that came from UNDER THE SLAB (they forgot to reattach some baseboards and took their sweet time getting back to it).
The oven is still out of service, a week after I called for repair (to be fair, it took a week to get the part in; the repair guy says he will be here tomorrow, the day before Thanksgiving.)
And the fridge is still on the blink (the repair person is supposed to be here between 1 and 5 p.m. today; it's 3:58 p.m.; I will not get my hopes up).
It will be a turkey pot pie Thanksgiving (assuming the microwave doesn't give up the ghost).
So, in my imagination, I stand before the homeownership gods, with confessions of homeowner sin hanging around my neck:
Deferred maintainance; failing to maintain handyman abilities to match the skill sets for which my tool chest and garage workbench technically prepare me; misplaced receipts and forgotten-about extended warranties; lo, the random piece of plastic that somehow kept us from having to jiggle the handle to sooth the savage toilet tank beast for years; and other lazy indolences.
I — I — I — repent, man!
With any luck, this will all be over by dark tomorrow, the night(mare) before Thanksgiving, too late to thaw a turkey.
Someone told me: "I feel a sermon message on the sufferings of Job coming on!"
Nah. First World inconveniences is all they are. That would make a sermon.
See, I laugh to cut back on the cussing — and lots of y'all have been laughing with me (and maybe cussin' a little for me). For that, I thank you, and since this deal ain't done yet, I share some of your own musings on my mayhem. Trust me, I'm with the press. We are human. It helps.
• "I just want you to know that this continuing saga and your storytelling has been incredibly enjoyable. What you are describing is really a bummer and I feel for you, but you have brought me along with you in this journey in a way that makes me chuckle. I suggest maybe just not feeding your house after midnight anymore. Good luck. Godspeed. Happy Thanksgiving." — E.H.
• "I've enjoyed your columns about your house haunted with gremlins and goblins, because your column about the waterline leak reminded me of what we experienced several years ago.
"Early one morning in the middle of a rather cold winter, I heard water running while I was standing in our guest bathroom. I checked but found no water anywhere inside the house, so I went outside. Our front yard was like a swamp, with standing water. I rushed to my shed and found my meter cut-off 'T.' I removed the meter cover and stuck the wrench into the hole, which was full of water. Hard as I tried I couldn’t find the shutoff valve with the wrench, so I stuck my arm into the water and attempted to locate the valve, which, it so happened, was buried under mud.
"And that water was freezing cold! I realized why soldiers and sailors whose ships were torpedoed in the North Atlantic in World War II died so quickly from hypothermia. I gave up and called a plumber, who (bless his heart) arrived about an hour later. Unlike your situation, we were fortunate in that the line break occurred in our front yard about three feet from the house. They didn’t have to break our slab but they did have to dig a huge hole in the front yard, and the repair job cost us several thousand dollars.
"Here’s hoping life eventually returns to 'normal' at Mize Manor. — M.R.
• "Just smiled as I read 'Pipe goblin soaks us in hot water.' Thank you. Been there and have done that. Too many times." — M.H.
• "First off, Richard, we feel your pain. We have had 3 broken pipes, plus a leak from an AC unit in the attic, so we understand the mess, inconvenience, and noise from fans/air scrubbers. One of the breaks wound up costing over $44,000! But we want to know who the heck your plumber is? All of our breaks were repaired within hours. Plumbers and contractors were out here immediately, so we didn’t have to go without water for very long. If you need help with who to call, just contact us! LOL" — F.M.
That last one raises a point that, amid all the inconveniences of this dark comedy, deserves an earnest response.
Systems have failed me, but I believe most of these turkeys have been doing the best they can. It would be unfair for me to misuse the privilege I enjoy with this space to name names. People close to me know, and that's the fair market for home repair, such as it is, at work.