Natalie Zed: Defying Gravity

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

roto-rooter vs. clog

It was 8am and I was sleeping peacefully. No cats yowling or biting my fingertips, no last-minute early-morning running around to do, just blessed warmth and comfiness.

Then a knock at the door. Sans glasses, my hair a bird's nest, I stumbled through the hallway to open it, thinking there must be some kind of emergency.

Nope, just the plumber. The folks that live upstairs have a drain that is completely clogged. When they were downstairs trying to locate the offending pipe, I casually mentioned our drain in the tub was being a little finicky -- just draining slow. As such, it seems they took the liberty to tell the plumber when he came to fix their drain, he really should take a look at ours too.

At 8am Tuesday morning. As a surprise.

There are many surprises I like. Theatre tickets. Flowers or a nice plant. Perhaps something fancy fort he kitchen, or a new book. A friend I haven't seen in ages showing up in town. Letters from family far away. All very nice surprises.

Having to deal with a plumber, and the resultant dampness and squirshy sucking sounds and terrified cats, early in the morning, is a surprise I could rather do without. I mean, I was still blurry and wearing pajamas and have the imprint of a pillow on one side of my face. I have no idea exactly when the landlord last had the place serviced. I just live in the basement. Look, I am making myself some tea, would you like some? Sheesh.

I feel a bit bad for my landlords. They're really lovely people who have taken care of everything we've needed. They are always ready to negotiate or write us a permission letter or hear any concerns we have, and they address things *right away*. They are ideal. And so I feel rather bad for them when I realize they've had to replace two stoves (mine and very recently the upstairs folks'), a dryer, two huge hot water tanks and a handful of water lines, and now have to wrestle with mutant clogs. Oh, I forgot: when I first moved in, like less than 24 hours after my plane touched down in Calgary for the first time, the toilet broke. Yeah. It's been an expensive year. Moreover, it looks evermore like the furnace, a great growling thing left over form the 70s, only has a little bit of time left. I'll be thrilled if it makes it through one more winter, but I wouldn't bet money on it. Maybe a toonie just for the good karma. I am not looking forward to make that call in mid-february to tell my long-suffering landlords that the furnace just gave up the ghost and they have about 6.5 seconds before we're opening the oven and roasting marshmallows over the elements.

A friend and I did that once. I stayed at his place for a week in my second (undergrad) year, and it was during that week that the landlord abandonned the property. Just disappeared, never to be heard from again, as far as we all knew. It may have had somethign to do with the fact that there was no hot water and the heating system completely failed. Nevermind that fice students lived there. He wasn't fixing anything; he skipped town. So for the week I was there, and until everyone could find somewhere else to live, we kept the open open and on (constantly supervised and in shifts, though not always completely sober), and most of our meals involved toating various foodstuffs over the exposed elements. Nobody's name was on the utilities, so He Who Fled would certainly be dealing with that. And besides, it was January. Yeah, I know. One of the dozens of times I almost died. eh.

My god, what is that clog MADE of? It sounds like they're dring to break up concrete with a compound drill inside the walls.
Natalie Zed updated @ 11:00 a.m.!!