Monday, February 14, 2011

A Reluctant Drain

This morning I had a clear focus and a simple, or at least it seemed simple, goal: to remove the old rusty drain from the tub. And to this end, I have a cool little tool that fits into the drain, down between the metal crosspiece (the metal teeth that catch hair, not my hair of course but real hair) so that a person can twist the drain free and unscrew it from the plumbing below. In this particular case, the drain as been attached to the tub for nearly 100 years and is very comfortable with its present location.

I remember this drain from our first walk-through of the house. I remember how the house had all new toilets, sinks and faucets, but the bathtub drain was completely rusted. Why didn't they replace it, I wondered?

So this morning I took my tool and bent over the side of the tub, and I placed a big pipe wrench on the top of the tool to give me some torque. I pushed and pushed but nothing happened except I could see that the metal drain teeth were beginning to give way--if they broke I would be in trouble. OK, one more try. Careful. From what I've read, this is a delicate operation; too much force and the tub could crack.

Then I heard it give way.

No, not the drain. My back. I stood up, tried to shake it off with a few stretches. No use. It still hurts as I write this. So I drove down to John's plumbing, to the guy who helped me a few months ago by actually rebuilding my antique faucet as I stood there in the store. He would help me and, besides, I owe him some real work. But no, he is on vacation. Instead, one of his guys is coming tomorrow morning to take a look.

Coincidentally, as I was driving to the store, on the radio was a story about an 80-year-old woman in Egypt who was present during the demonstrations and who was nearly beaten last week, that is, before she was rescued by some young people. The woman has protested against the last 4 rulers in Egypt. She's been repeatedly jailed over the years, demonstrating when it placed her life in jeopardy. A brave woman, but now the young people protected her because, she said, "I look like a grandma. I guess I am."

I guess I am not a grandma, even if I do need some help with this @#@%$% drain.

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