Before Christmas two years ago, my husband and I decided to take the plunge and finally buy a house. We’d been saving for awhile, and this was the first house that either of us had ever owned. We were both working full time, but money was tight so we knew we’d have to settle for something less than perfect. While we both agreed we could handle a fixer-upper, visions of the movie “The Money Pit” kept flashing through my head. We looked at one house that needed a new roof and decided that it would be too expensive. Another house was beautiful, but located in a seedy part of town. Too risky. In our quest to find the perfect place to settle down, we finally came upon a nice single-family unit in a nice quiet suburb. Exactly what we wanted!
We took the walk through a few days later. I was sick to my stomach anticipating all that could be wrong with our soon-to-be new home. As the inspection progressed, many repair items were indicated, but none of them seemed too extensive. It seemed we had found a great bargain after all. My husband has experience in many areas of home maintenance and was able to replace or repair things as needed. We attended to what we could, but left one small repair to be dealt with until after the title was signed – a broken knob on the bathtub faucet. In our excitement, we overlooked getting a replacement.
A week later, we moved in. After a day of unloading boxes and furniture, my husband decided to tackle the broken knob. He managed to take the old one off, but had to wait until the next day to replace it. This left a small but intriguing nodule attached to a pipe coming out of the wall.
The following morning I arose and prepared to take a shower. Without thinking, I walked into what was to be my bathroom, the one with the missing knob. As I went to turn on the water, I noticed this funny little thing sticking out of the wall. Small and round, and protruding from the wall about 2 inches, it seemed quite strange indeed. My curiosity was piqued.
“What does it do?” I asked myself.
I refused to conceded at this point that a shower would be out of the picture.
“I wonder if I can still turn on the water….” I thought.
Having no working knowledge of plumbing, I had no way of knowing what was about to happen.
After studying this contraption for some time, I decided that my own ingenuity was proof against anything that man can create, and just knew there had to be a way.
“Aha!” I realized. “If I just push in like so……”
With only a whisper of a touch I laid my finger on the plunger-like piece of plastic.
It shot off like a bullet ricocheting across to the far end of the bathroom, and at that very moment, a gushing torrent of water came out through the wall like a geyser at full blast. I panicked as the water rushed out, Greenpeace panicked as the oceans ran dry, and somewhere in a small village in Africa a small band of villagers stood in confusion as the well with which they fed their cows and goats dried up.
As my mind raced, I glanced around to seek some sort of tool, an implement to cease the never-ending flow of water. Not having an Ark handy, I settled on the next most useful thing – my hands. While not remarkably effective in stopping the gushing flow, they were remarkably effective in diverting the entirety of the blast onto my face and every other non-waterproofed surface.
Realizing, after a brief moment, that I was not, in fact, Macguyver, I made a wise decision to summon assistance.
“Darling,” I cooed in the sweetest voice I could muster, “could you come here for a bit?”
No, I‘m just kidding. Actually, I screamed like a banshee through the white-water rapids pouring over my face and neck. Somehow my husband was able to interpret this as a call for help, and just as the superman theme started to play in the background, he appeared in the doorway.
“Thank God!” I thought, “Someone with bigger hands!”
Standing tall in the frame of the door, clad only in underoos he was the vision of Adonis. He cocked his head with a quizzical look on his face and then vanished. A moment later the torrent came to a halt.
My suburban Adonis came shlopping back into the house with mud on his socks after shutting off the main valve, and found his wife in a puddle on the floor. My lip started to tremble, and I briefly considered crying until I realized I was already soaked enough as it was. Instead, we both broke out into raucous laughter.
I love being a homeowner.