Sharing Economies, Kiln-fired Vanities and the Sound of One Drain Snaking…

IMG_0339Backstory: I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown, Hombre al Borde de un Ataque de Nervios, soon to be a major motion picture and coming to a theatre near you. As a latter-day participant in the Air BnB so-called ‘sharing economy’, I’m at my wit’s end. People will say and do anything to spend a night in my superzonafragilistic turn-of-last-century digs at the Old (Mexican, ssshhh!) Boarding House and Hypertravel Hostel in Tucson… then when they get here, they proceed to get drunk and trash the place (fortunately that’s ‘trash’ as in trash, not destroy)…

It’s like: not only do they want to sleep, and be content to snuggle up in those big fluffy pillows, but they want to f*ck, too, and multiple times with multiple payback options.  The problem is that this place has not been f*ck-proofed (that’s a technical term), and so retains many of the beauty marks and much of the fragile charm that attracted me to it in the first place.  Sex should be reserved for your spouse, not the house–that’s my motto.

IMG_0259In other words: it needs some work, as always, and since I’ve found a buyer and fought my dual realtors to a duel and defeat in the bogus-inspection-cum-contractor-wish-list-rookie-seller-scam, then that’s the buyer’s job, not mine. I have just another month or two to go, then it’s all over, and I’m cash up and stress down, IF… nothing goes wrong (sound of one wood knocking)…

The main thing that goes wrong in a hundred-plus-year-old house, besides the electricity, is the plumbing, of course. Let’s put it this way: the sound of water running immediately evokes the sound of prayer; that’s me, on hand and knee, invoking the power of all gods to safely send water down drains without the need for additional burping slurping or Heimlich maneuvers to achieve the desired result.

More often than not, I’ll watch over-the-shoulder whoever is at the sink with their wasteful American water usage, usually taking over the chores myself rather than watch their feeble attempts at plumbing intuition (hint: less water use = fewer plumbing problems). The combo Hollywood/Churubusco film crew never got it right, backing up the drain the first day, dumping beef jerky down the drain hole, forcing me to play jack-leg plumber at 6 am and giving the pipes a taste for carne seca that will likely never diminish.

IMG_0007We survived their stay, the house and I, but found a shower drain swallowing slowly after premature celebrations from a successful snaking the week before, that I was forced to pass on to the new guest family from Santa Cruz as ‘slow drain: please bathe quickly’, while never batting an eyelash in embarrassment, knowing all the while that I was only postponing the inevitable.

Note: I’m overworked already, slightly over my head in details and multiple jobs, and my previous attempts at snaking drains have yielded mixed results, sometimes making things worse on cast-iron pipes ready to flake off with no warning.

So, meanwhile, I bought yet another drain snaking apparatus with rotating handle (in imitation of the friendly local plumber complete with ironic smile and–no connection–a full three inches of exposed butt-crack), so now I have that plus an 18′ foot toilet auger AND 15′ half-inch drain snake complete with plastic carrying case in addition to the flimsy little quarter-inch model for really effeminate jobs, WHEN… all of a sudden I received an epiphany while bathing in that same shower after removing the brass hardware for eventual repair and immediate meditation while counting drain times for future reference…

Hmmm… that opening looks a lot like the size of a toilet drain that self-described ‘plungers’ have been known to work wonders upon, which I immediately run to fetch and try, AND… voila! Slurp! Slurp! Swoosh! It works like a charm and one of my problems evaporates like draining bath water, hahahahhaahaha (sound of hideous laughter)…

That leaves only the other problem: do these drunken yahoos realize that their drunken orgies not only provoke mild disgust mixed with random annoyance, but absolute terror at the thought of what they might be doing to my precious architectural forebear? Nightmares ensue while clocks tick…

(Sharing economies?  More like ‘vanity economies’, I’d say, in which consumer is king, with their run of the house, and their lay of the land, quicksilvered mirrors and bonfires ensuing, seller beware, caveat venditor…)

I persevere… all it takes is a plunger, hahahahahhaha… LIFE IS LIKE A PLUNGER: IT SUCKS!!!  HAHAHAHAHAHA (just joking)…

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