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Plumbers…

“Pokorn, you are a plumber!”  That’s what my high school basketball coach would bark at me.  Our sophomore team went 20-1 that year; I was the team co-captain and leading scorer.

So when Coach Wyllie would constantly critique me during practice and called me a plumber, I interpreted that term as a derogatory inference.  That might have been his context, but when it comes to plumbers my appreciation (and respect) has certainly changed over the years.

I was leaving for the airport recently; running late; and glanced down by the kitchen sink where a small pool of water had accumulated on the floor.  Rut row!  I opened the cabinet and sure enough, something was leaking.  I only had enough time to empty the cabinet and detect that the leak was coming from my garbage disposal.  Been there yourself, you say?

Returning from my trip, I put my plumber’s hat on – you know the one that says “Clueless”?  Anyway, I knew that this leaking disposal was a Badger 500 I had purchased at Home Depot.  (It seemed I had just replaced this thing a short while ago – but of course, I didn’t keep the receipt to see if it was still under warranty).  And I remembered when I installed it back then it was an all-day ordeal.

Have you ever noticed that plumbers don’t carry hammers?  In every other trade, the tradesman can “get it close” then pull out their hammer and “tap it the rest of the way”.  Tradesmen “tap”; hackers “bang on it”, true?  But plumbers?  Well, H2O doesn’t appreciate this man-made concept of “getting it close”.  That’s how leaks start – H2O’s sense of humor I suppose.

Now I’m no plumber, but this time I thought I could out-smart the disposal.  I’ll simply buy another Badger 500 at Home Depot; pop the old one out; pop the new one in and it won’t require any “plumbing” at all.  That’s when Naeser surfaced:

Naeser’s Law:

You can make it foolproof, but you can’t make it damn-fool-proof. 

Unknown Sage

With my new disposal in hand, the connection to the sink bottom worked out perfectly, just as I planned.  The hook-up to the dishwasher waste hose too.  I was even able to reuse the electric cord from the broken disposal.  But the drain pipe connection?  They changed the design!  Was that Murphy in the background?

Murphy’s Eighth Corollary:

It is impossible to make anything foolproof because fools are so ingenious.

Unknown Sage

So, it was back to Home Depot for me – where’s a plumber when you need one?  I brought the parts and pictures of the piping from under my sink, hoping I would find a helpful plumber in the plumbing parts aisle.  But no luck; no one was around; old Clueless was on his own.

Amazingly, I found a connecting pipe that looked like it would do the trick (fingers crossed).  $2.38 later I was back home hooking things up just like I knew what I was doing.  What’s that you say, “…even a blind squirrel…?”  And to my amazement – no leaks!

I headed to the shower planning my victory dance for my wife who had just returned.  That’s when she said, “the dishwasher isn’t draining”.

Just when you think you’ve graduated from the school of experience, someone thinks up a new course. 

Mary H. Waldrip

Back to Home Depot – looks like an all-day ordeal was lining up.  The $2.38?  Not even close.  Coach Wyllie, if only you were right about me being a plumber.

GAP

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