Yesterday was not a good day. It started off not badly but after my morning coffee the curse of M.S.E., (the building I manage) stuck. You might ask what is the curse to which the answer will be ROTTEN, FRACKEN, PLUMBING. As I stepped out of my apartment at 9:00am to check the building I was greeted by the sound of a loud wet plop coming from the Lobby. Even before I saw it I knew what it was, there lying in a sodden mushy pile surrounded by a puddle were two large (2’x4′) ceiling tiles being further saturated by the rapid drip of water coming from above. At first glance I thought that the toilet or sink in the bathroom directly above had overflowed but upon going to check found that was not the case. No the dreaded curse had struck again. A pin hole in the hot water pipe inside the bathroom wall was the culprit. A hole the diameter of a pin (thus the name pin hole) was happily spraying hot water under 40 psi pressure against the concrete block and flowing like Niagara down through the hole in the floor forming a miniature Lake Ontario in the lobby.
Before I continue with my tale let me explain something about myself to you. I am about 5’7” but I have short arms. To tell you how short, the sleeves on a standard dress shirt are roughly 32″ long and my arms are 29″ from shoulder to wrist. Even my legs are short as most of my height is in my body and if I was properly proportioned I’d be about 5’tall. This shortness of arms has caused me a lot of frustration because of not being able to reach a lot of places and wouldn’t you know the leak in the pipe was about 2″ beyond my reach. I swear in situations like this I can hear the Gremlins laughing their butts off.
To get back to the subject. I now had one of two choice in fixing the problem. I could either break a hole through the bathroom tile wall or call the boss who is a lot taller than me therefore has longer arms. Now under normal circumstances I would break a new hole but here again the curse interferes. The colour of tile used in the bathrooms is no longer available. In fact it hasn’t been available for about 15 years and we used up our remaining stock about 8 years ago. No choice but to call the boss and see if he can reach the leak and temporarily patch it. If he can’t then he can make the decision whether to punch a hole through the tiles. I called and about 15 minutes. later he was here working on it. Because of the location of the leak it was difficult to tighten the gear clamp to hold the rubber patch in place, but after a few choice cuss words and some perseverance the job was completed.
In the meanwhile the chap who does our annual Fire Alarm inspection had shown up and off I went to get him started and unlock the door to the room that the control panel is in. Great now I can go sit down and have a smoke. Yeah O.K. who was I kidding. The dryers in the laundry room took this inopportune moment to have a vacation. The dryers take $1.75 to run, a Loonie and 3 quarters or 7 quarters. They took the Loonie no problem and they swallowed the quarters greedily but they would not register the quarters so as far as they were concerned not enough money had been fed to them and they went on strike. After about 40 minutes of looking, testing, cursing and probing I finally found the problem, LINT. A small ball of lint was blocking the counting sensor so it was not registering the quarters going by. For two freaking cents if I had a sledge hammer I would have fixed the problem permanently. Lint; a ball of lint in a place where it should not have been and could not have gotten to with assistance from those damn Gremlins. Finally I got to my office, sat down and had my smoke ,which I did not enjoy as I sat there waiting for the next attack by the curse.
Every year the boss lady has a Catholic Priest come and bless the building and personally I think it is a lot of bunk because it hasn’t lifted the curse and I do believe the Gremlins rather relish a yearly shower in Holy Water. It’s either that or they run like hell and hide whenever they see a Roman Collar. Whichever it is I can guarantee the they will be back with a vengeance armed with their little hammers and chisels playing havoc on the plumbing. Before I forget it is also my firm conviction that there is a compact betwixt our plumber and those little green buggers, one drives you nuts with frustration and the other drives you to the poor house with the bills. So far this year he has been here 11 times. The last being 4 days ago which ended up costing about $3,000.00 for 6 hours work plus material. All plumbers are crooks and I know they are giving the Gremlins a percentage of the take.