It started as a drip, one minor inconvenience that I was ready to ignore for all eternity.
“Sink’s busted. We should call a plumber,” he said.
The slow pitter-patter tumbled from the faucet head, hitting the ceramic sink with a sharp tet.
“It’ll come out of it, just you watch.”
Ghoul yanked the handles of the faucet, tight.
Tet. Tet. Tet.
“This is just going to get worse; we need to take care of this.”
Ghoul pulled the mesh screen from the faucet head. “Almost got it,” he jammed his finger up until exposed knuckle brushed metal.
“I’ll be buying bottled water for the rest of my life now, thanks.
“The money saved from this debacle is going to be well worth it. Luckily for you, it could be a gasket. I can’t really feel, but that is my guess.”
“I doubt it, man. Just block it out until the water system works out the kinks, or whatever.”
“Or whatever… you don’t have any clue,” Ghoul flailed his arms, clearly flabbergasted. “Any clue to how this all works, do you?”
I walked away, to the basement. It seemed the best thing to do when a combative situation arose. And it was yoga time. I had no idea what I was doing, but it didn’t feel as pretentious as it appeared. But just as I was settling into a praying-jackass, an eruption of clanging metal came from above.
“You alright?” I asked with a pant. “I wasn’t even into my routine yet.”
Water shoots from underneath the sink in hurried jets, blasting the fiberglass counters and my brand new yoga pants. My opened-toe sandals had zero traction and I fell, slipping and sliding on the slick laminate floor.
“I think I’m making progress, but we’re not there yet. Run down to the hardware store and get a new u-trap. And a left-handed pipe wrench—that is a must.”
“That is the oldest trick in the book. I’m drenched, not stupid.”
I trudged forward to the sink, then lowered myself to the exposed workings underneath. Ghoul’s right arm was dislodged, gripping tight to the wrench mid-turn. It was like something off a Disney-Romero collaboration.
“You weren’t joking,” I said, then left for the hardware store shortly after changing.
Knowlton Hardware was ran by a straight-shooting redneck named Marcus Izzard. He was also an asshole, the crusty and abrasive type.
“Sure, we have left-handed wrenches. Double the price, though, because you’re an idiot.”
He spat a heaping wad of chew into a stained Mountain Dew bottle, then, surprised me by offering gaskets on the house. Although his sudden shift in attitude appeased the moment, I declined his gesture, knowing that later down the road he might weasel a favor out of me. He seemed the type. I left, seventy-four ninety in the hole and a paper bag full of hope.
Pure chaos awaited outside the house on my return. I was three houses away, slowing to a stop to a firefighter who was motioning for me to turn around. I leaned and said, “I live down there,” then pointed down the road.
She approached the window. “I am sorry sir, I can’t let you pass until we get this under control. It isn’t safe.”
I was about to protest this major inconveience until I looked ahead and saw Ghoul, standing on a small motor boat. He was arguing with a man circling on a jet-ski.
“I told you it has to be on your end!” Ghoul yelled.
“Impossible. Knowlton Water Works hasn’t had any real issues in years. Do you know when the last time I did actual work? Back in eighty-three, when the entire sewer system burst into the water main. And that was from a worn gasket!”
“Yeah, well maybe if you did regular maintenance instead of leeching off the tax payers, then there wouldn’t be any issues.”
Ghoul then launched forward, spearing his target off the jet-ski and into the water. I leaned out of the window, struck with a mix of confusion and humor as the two battled near the scene of the crime. Deep down, I knew the answer as to why this mess started in the first place, but I asked the volunteer fire fighter anyways.
“What did you think happened?”
“The guy in the yellow slicker dismantled the fire hydrants along the road, claiming that it would flush the water out of his pipes before he swapped the gasket.”
“What an idiot,” I said. “When do you think the road will be clear again?”
“Couple of days from what the boss said. If you know that guy in the slicker, you might want to tell him he is going to be charged with a fine.”
“How much do you think it will be?” I asked.
“Few hundred bucks, give or take.”
About the price it would have taken to call a plumber.
© Copyright John Potts Jr 2016 – 2017. All rights reserved.