Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Money Pit

Pat, who doesn't have a blog I can link to, asked for the family flow chart, and I said to myself "It's about time I do that." So thanks for asking, Pat!

First real quick let me tell you what I'm doing besides mountains of school work and trying to get my students to write an intelligible sentence.

The house is falling apart. All of a sudden everything in my parents' house, where I now live, decided to break and OH MY GOD, I am not kidding you people, I just glanced out the window and a SCUBA DIVER is traipsing across my lawn in flippers, wet suit and mask. Never a dull moment people.

Anyway, the house has begun to remind me of The Money Pit. Do you all remember that movie? It's actually one of my favorite movies from the late 80s. I remember going to see it with my friend and I was probably about 11 or 12 when it came out, so we felt like we were so grown up getting to see it at the mall by ourselves. If you haven't seen it, Tom Hanks and Shelley Long are engaged and they buy their dream house, an old mansion on Long Island (I think) and they get it for a steal and think it just needs a little redecorating. Once they move in everything falls apart and the situation just gets worse and worse.

I am now living in the Money Pit. All of the toilets are broken, the pool is broken, the stove is broken, the TV totally died, weird bugs are inside, every light in the house inside and outside blew out at once, the landscaping is dying and Bomboclaat is having a nervous breakdown and must be heavily medicated. Also, I keep hearing this deep voice saying "GET OUT" and blood was dripping from one of the bedroom walls.

Ok, so the Scuba dude just rang the doorbell and when I came to answer it he peeled down his wet suit revealing his enormous tattooed beer gut. He then asked me for a hundred bucks to go to Jamaica with and I noticed that he had three teeth. The Scuba dude's name is Dave and he is one of a breed of many boat people that roam the neighborhood working on boats and docks. Dave scrapes barnacles from the hulls of boats docked in the neighborhood and I guess my parents made some sort of deal with the boat people that they could all park here and use our yard to get access to the waterfront. My parents are also friends with all the boat people and often ask them to dinner, hence Dave's idea that it would be ok to ask me for a hundred dollars to go to Jamaica. I wanted to tell him he might need a little more than that, but I guess he'll find that out on his own.

The boat people all have problems. They are a transient lot with all sorts of outrageous life stories. They're always ending up in jail or needing a place to stay. For some reason boat work attracts the unstable of South Florida society. I guess it has something to do with the impermanence and mobility of boats and the constant shift and flow of tidal waters. One day I'll tell you some more stories about the boat people.

Right now I've got to get back to this falling apart house. Husband and I pride ourselves on our Do-It-Yourself skills. Husband thinks pussies hire help and I think girls should know how to fix things, so together we usually figure out how to get things done around the house and that's what I've been doing.

One of my claims to fame is that I know how to fix toilets. I love fixing toilets, because really toilets are a simple mechanism. Or so I thought. When all the toilets here decided to break at once I figured oh, no problem, let me at it. Very wrong of me. Very, very wrong. These toilets are electronic, computerized, new fangled devices. I've never seen anything like it. I opened up the lid and found what looked like the control panel off of Darth Vader's chest inside. What the hell??? So I have to order new control panels and have an expert install them, except Husband will decide that is pussified and try to do it himself, which will then cause the toilets to erupt, overflow and then cause severe water damage, thus creating even more problems. I'm really looking forward to this, I have to tell you.

So basically what I've been doing is school and trying to get things fixed.

Ahh, but back to Pat's flow chart. I think it needs it's own post.


Amblus said...

Wow, I really don't like the idea of a toilet that's smarter than me. Not at all.

the Bag Lady said...

If the electronic toilet mechanisms AND the light bulbs all blew at once, is it possibly an electrical problem? (like a power surge thing?)

The Bag Lady is also of the self-sufficent, do-it-herself school. Mostly because she lives way out in the country and it costs a fortune in travel expenses just to get the damned repair guys out here (a whole 10 miles - you'd think it was 100, the way they charge!!) (keeps the scuba-gear-clad boat people to a minimum, though!)

Hubby, on the other hand, can't fix anything that doesn't involve a chain-saw, sledge hammer and duct tape. Keeps life interesting. If he had his way, he would have fixed the curling linoleum with duct tape and a staple gun...

Wide Lawns said...

Yeah the electric went out and everything went haywire after that.

Anonymous said...

Computerized toilets? We had one of those presurized ones once, that had a plastick tank inside that looked like Darth Vader. Ours blew up one night, threw the lid in the air and made a big noise to scare the dogs. Good thing no one was in there using it at the time or it would have been traumatic to get an explosion behind and hit on the head by a heavy tank lid, and wet from the squirting water.

Reb said...

I agree with the bag lady, get the electrical checked as well, or you might find yourself fixing toilets on a regular basis.
Hmm, ask your neighbours if they had any electrical problems about the same time, maybe the monster house across the street is wired wrong and pulling too much power.

Anonymous said...

Um, seriously about the voice and blood? Come on....nobody else comments on that but me? Share the love...tell me more! WTF?

misha said...

the nicer the house, the more work it needs. My parents house has 15 ceiling fans if you combine both in and out, and maybe 400 light bulbs. it is as far as you can get from a mc mansion at least - on stilts, in the grove, wrap around patios, end of a cul-de-sac so the kitties dont get hit by cars anymore. It seems to me, that the more money you have, unless you have enough to have people do all for you, the less free time you have. but they have finally started going on vacations!

MamaD4 said...

When we were living in Japan a couple of years ago, the toilets there would issue you a polite greeting in Japanese, plus the seats were heated and had a control panel that allowed the user to choose from several options, including bidet function, etc. There was also a choice that made the toilet flush repeatedly while using it, because Asian ladies are very modest about having people listen to them using the bathroom.

These were the nice toilets. The toilets that were most readily available were holes in the floor. I developed an iron bladder while in Japan due to not wanting to use the holes in the floor.

But I digress...

Anonymous said...

Water conservation is the reason your toilet has all that stuff in it. Congress passed a law several years ago mandating low flow toilets in all new construction. What has happend is all you toilets have the same design fault and they all broke at the same time.

You can get, old fashioned, high flow toilets you can fix your self by mail ordering them from plumbing supply houses in Canada. The Candians do not have toilet water conservation laws.

Anonymous said...

I've never heard of an electronic toilet!

Ahem - "it's own post" - cough cough.

Architect Critic said...

Actually, you can get low flow toilets with just the standard flapper or ball valve. The modern ones actually flush better than the old high-flow variety because of better trap designs. Reverting to the old toilets is a waste of water and not exactly legal.

Anonymous said...

This reminds me of when lightning struck near my house. All sorts of electrical things (including a battery-operated clock!?) went out at once.

One suggestion: look up your toilets online and see if you can find repair instructions.

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