Category Archives: Humor

What a Year? What a Week!


What a crazy way to end the year…

With all the plumbing problems I have had lately, I was not too happy Tuesday night when my wife meekly broke the news to me that water was coming up the shower drain. You have to be kidding me! Water is supposed to go down the drain, not up the drain. I immediately went to work on the problem, but I could not reach the clog from the cleanout in the alley, and there was too much ice on the roof for an attempt through the vent pipe. I would just have to unplug my main sewer line the old-fashioned way, with flesh eating acid. If plungers, snakes, and sewer rods could not do it, then maybe hazardous chemicals would eat their way through the clog. After two days, several gallons of sulfuric acid, and 6 ½ pounds of sodium hydroxide, we could once again wash dishes, do laundry, shower, and flush.

It would have been a happy ending, if only that were the end of the story… but it’s not.

With the sewer water flowing in the right direction again, it was time to catch up on the dishes. Too bad the dishwasher decided to quit working. Thursday, while on my lunch hour, I took the dishwasher apart and discovered that the control panel had gone out. Shortly thereafter, I discover that the Maytag repairman doesn’t work on Maytags anymore. I located a new panel in Indiana, and had it overnighted. The new control panel arrived at noon on Friday, and I install it during my lunch hour. The dishwasher is fixed, and I’m feeling really good about that.

It would have been a happy ending, if only that were the end of the story… but it’s not.

Now the clothes dryer is taking forever to dry clothes; it’s not heating the air. I cannot deal with this anymore… but Saturday morning I’m up before the crack of noon, and I tear into the dryer. Of course, I have to run to the hardware store to buy a new continuity tester because like all continuity testers, they have always been ruined by battery corrosion before you have a chance to use them for the second time. I quickly determine that one of the temperature sensors has gone out, so I run to the local home for abused and abandoned clothes dryers to find a replacement part. Rex Winters looked in his truck, then in his coat pockets, and then we went out back and found a similar sensor on an old abandoned dryer. He only charged me $10 instead of the $12 he usually charges. So, I think I may have saved $2, I think. Anyway, my clothes dryer dries with heat again.

Okay, now it’s the end of the story, and a happy ending… and a Happy New Year!!


Kirby Sucks


I noticed this marquee at a local office supply store advertising Kirby Vacuum Items, but apparently, they must not sell spelling dictionaries there.

But seeing the vacuum advertisement, misspelling and all, brought back some fond memories and some not-so-fond memories from back-in-the-day when I was a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman. Oh, the stories I could tell you, the stories I can’t tell you, the stories I won’t tell you. The doors slammed in my face, the doors that were opened, and the doors I was thrown out of.

This reminded me of just how far I’ve come, how much I’ve accomplished, and from such a humble beginning too. My claim to fame, my greatest achievement; I used to be a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesman, but not Kirby.

Kirby sucks.

I’m an Electrolux man.

Here’s Your Sign Award


A truck driver couldn’t quite get stopped soon enough and took out the crossing-gate at my workplace the other day. Until a new crossing-arm is installed, the security guard decided to find a better way to stop the traffic. So, duh, he installed a better “STOP” sign.

With immense ingenuity and masterful use of duct-tape, this security guard delivered  the driver his own version of the “Here’s Your Sign Award.” Who needs Bill Engvall?

Obviously the old sign was just too hard to understand.

Plumber’s Half-Moon


Everybody always loves to hear a good Mr. Fix-It plumbing story, or perhaps has one to tell of their own. I have one to tell. As the title of my blog post indicates, this is a story of a plumber’s half-moon, although not exactly the same kind of a half-moon that is stereotypically associated with a plumber.

Lying in bed last night, almost asleep, I overheard my daughters talking in the kitchen. I thought one of them said something about the kitchen sink not draining. I get up, get dressed, and go to investigate. Yup, sink’s backed up, better get the plunger.

I plunge and I plunge and I plunge some more. It’s still plugged. I decide it’s time to pour in the hazardous chemicals, but I look in the garage and can’t find any. My wife gets out of bed and brings me a flashlight. I get that CSI crime scene investigation thing going with the flashlight, but I still don’t find any chemicals. I decide I must be out. Time for a Wally World run.

I stock up on plumbing supplies at Wally World because it is already past midnight and I don’t feel like making another trip later tonight. I’m getting stressed. Plus, you never know when you’ll need a fresh supply of dangerous plumbing chemicals on hand; tonight being a prime example of just that. I buy 5 jugs of various chemicals and a 25 foot plumber’s snake. I am ready for battle.

I pick my poison. The destructions [sic] say this stuff works on standing water, pour in ¼ of contents, wait at least 15 minutes, flush with hot water, repeat as necessary. I pour in the entire bottle and wait 20 minutes just to make sure, and then proceed to “flush” the sink full of hot water. Looks like I need to repeat, but the sink is now full of scalding hot water laced with commercial grade flesh-eating acid, with no signs of draining anytime soon. Not good. More stress.

I break open the big guns, the snake, but my kitchen sink has tiny little holes where the drainer sits, too small for the snake to fit through. I’m seriously stressed out now. Really not good, but I will NOT be defeated.

I drag out the ladder from behind the shed, the neighborhood dogs are barking like crazy. I try to be as quiet as I can be, climbing around on my roof at 1:00 a.m. in the morning. Carefully I run the snake down the kitchen vent pipe about 18 to 20 feet, and then it stops. I start turning the handle on the back of the snake-holder to rotate the steel snake, faster and faster and faster and finally I break through and I am able to put all 25 feet of the snake down the vent pipe. That had to do it. Something was stuck there. I reel the snake back up and just sit there, thinking.

There is a gentle, cool breeze blowing. It feels nice and is drying off the perspiration I’d worked up spinning the snake. It’s quiet now too, 1:30 a.m. The dogs have stopped barking. Surely my sink is unclogged now, it must be, it has to be. I notice there’s a big Oklahoma half-moon breaking through the branches that are just a few feet above my head, and I realize that what I’ve just accomplished totally embodies the true meaning of moonlighting as a plumber. An indescribable feeling of peace and tranquility falls over my entire tired body. I am one with the night, one with the unclogged drain. I am so relaxed now, my thoughts are clear and complete, and it is then that I realize…

I’m just one pair of low-rise Levi’s and a monkey wrench short of being a full-fledged plumber.