Monday, May 31, 2010

Untoward (back and forth)

When we left Chicago, we did so at a pretty strategic time, and had an extra dime to drop on some property. Had to, actually, and it’s been a good deal for the most part, carrying the ball when up against a tough spot.

One of the occupants is the former owner, and in that it is his place of business, he takes special interest in upkeep...inside. The downside is that I don’t pay much mind to the place until I drive by. Then I see the weeds out front, and after another pass or two remember that I have to get rid of the plants misplaced. Today was that day of doing.

“Have you ever looked at the gutters?” asked DW. Why, no I hadn’t, the building being in town and on a relatively treeless block. “Well, you might want to check them out while you’re there.” But I forgot the ladder. And as I walked around the building, the amount of displaced mulch directly under those gutters told me I had a problem.

Back home to retrieve a ladder. Back into town. Set the ladder up in back, the gutters are spotless. Move around to the front, there is sludge an inch deep running along the entire gutter from one end of the building to the other. My gloves are inefficient nor sufficient, and the shit stinks like swamp gas.

I will need a steady stream of water to clear this baby. I know there is a spigot in the back of the building, so perhaps there is one in front as well. I had never bothered to look before, but lo and behold! No handle. I make a note that the part on which the handle would be placed in order for the spigot to be turned on and off is the square variety. I then go to fetch the hoses in back. I already know I will need to add a spray nozzle to my shopping list, and add a hose to it when I see that the male end of each hose has been un-rounded at some point by a foot, car, or some other weight and pressure.

Off to the hardware store. Fifty feet of hose should do it, a spray nozzle that looks like a miniature version of an old school fire nozzle, and the proper spigot handle.

Well, the spigot handle is square, but the piece in the spigot matches only in shape, as it is a fraction of a millimeter larger. Not wanting to drive back home and waste another half hour, I drive back to the Ace (just up the street) to buy a cheap pair of needle nose pliers (I can leave them for the building’s tool kit.) Turn the spigot, and water comes out where it shouldn’t. Turn off the spigot.

Fifty feet of hose is now inadequate for the job as I will have to bring the water from the back of the building. I could go home and pick up a hundred-foot hose, for I have several, which means that if I were to do that, I should have done it earlier and brought a fifty-footer from home as well, and a pair of pliers, and a spigot handle — even a whole new spigot. I was well-supplied at home, but not well-prepared here.

Behind our building is a garden center. We have a bit of history with the owners over the driveway that their clients must use and is owned by yours truly. Access is all legalized and such, but you’d think they own the damn asphalt. But, like I said, that’s history, so I worked up a smile and a spiel to borrow some length of hose I had spied from afar.

Everyone was very gracious.

I could now set about the chore I had set out to do an hour and a half prior.

Did I mention stink? Oh, and splashback.

I was able to spray down the front of the building afterward (it needed it anyway with all of the road grime) but I would have to wait until I got home to finish the job.


KenP said...

Wisely (for once) I invested in "Gutter Guards" a few years ago. They are overpriced but what isn't?

It is a two story and I don't like heights. I went up there once and it wasn't pleasant.

Crash said...

I'm not allowed on ladders anymore since I fell off a few years ago from one story up. As I dropped, I thought I would break my fall by grabbing the gutter with my hands. Didn't even slow me down, but it did pop the capillaries in my fingertips and bent the gutter. Didn't break anything, but maybe 1/3 of my body turned black and blue.

Memphis MOJO said...

I'm afraid of heights (as Ken mentioned), and hate to climb up ladders. You can kill yourself, lol.

joxum said...

Your posts are getting better all the time, sir!

Also, I think "spigot" is a superb word


Forrest Gump said...

Reminds me of a comedy skit i saw. In his routine he talked about the "fk-it" bin. Those jobs that look simple and then become complicated and test your patience? You just calmly drop it into the "fk-it" bin.

When the wife says "Is that job done"? You can reply "Dear, it's in the fk-it bin.". Then all should be understood.


Crash said...

A plumber once told me it is a bibcock, not a spigot. He, of course, had a whole line of jokes to go with it.

bastinptc said...

My terminology is off, I know. Just couldn't get up the energy to google the parts names.

Funny thing: I edited out this sentence I was going to open with: "Did I mention that I was thinking about becoming a stand-up comedian?"