Thursday, March 10, 2011

Hoo Bother...

Landlady's been trying to get the plumbing company out here for weeks, and they wouldn't return her phone calls. This afternoon I was thinking about maybe sneaking the Jeep into town, on account of I'm almost out of gasoline and could use - but don't really need - some other groceries. I thought I'd just put the boys in Gitmo, slip the (bright yellow) Jeep into the near edge of town and park it on an obscure sidestreet, and everything would be fine. I might do that yet, except now I'm not at all confident I've got enough gas to make the trip.


Just as I was thinking these criminal thoughts, I looked over and saw there was a voicemail on my cell phone. Turns out it was the plumbing guy, from about an hour and a half before. From the message, he should have already arrived. Yeah, thanks for the warning. So I call him back, and it turns out he's been delayed. I put the boys in Gitmo anyway, which turned out not to be the best choice. Gitmo surrounds the power shed, and that's where the busted pressure pump is. So to get to it the repairman has to enter Gitmo. Little Bear is friendly with almost everybody, but he's got a real fear-aggression thing with big guys. The repairman who was coming is a big guy. But mostly LB just stands off and barks, it's not like he ever offers any real violence, so it'll probably be all right.

Anyway, about an hour after we talked, the repair guy calls. He thinks he's lost. Turns out he was doing all right, I gave him directions over the phone but he didn't have faith in them. So he turned around and tried to see where he'd gone wrong, not accepting that he hadn't gone wrong.

I should explain that the "development" I live in is bloody enormous. I don't know how big it is, but several hundred square miles at a conservative guess. I think it used to be somebody's ranch. It contains a maze of dirt roads that even after years I can't honestly say I've completely explored, and getting lost is extremely easy. The condition of the roads ranges from pretty darned good for a dirt road to barely passable in a 4X4.

So he managed to go from right on track to good and lost. I got in the Jeep to go find him. We must have talked on the phone half a dozen times and a couple of times I thought I knew where he was, but he wouldn't hold still! I kept telling him to stay where he was, but by now he was frustrated and his "never ask directions" guy instincts were running wild. I've said it before: I didn't become a hermit in the desert because of my great people skills, and this guy was pissing me off. He was also blowing through my last gallon or two of gasoline while I chased him around the damned desert. But Landlady's been trying to get these people out here for weeks, so even though after a while I wanted to leave him there to bleach in the sun, I finally talked him out of the remote cul-de-sac he'd buried himself in and got him out to a main gate where we could hook up.

It's a pretty good haul from there to Landlady's place, and while the Jeep wasn't exactly hitching and hiccuping when we got back I'll bet there's not enough left in the tank to slosh.

Turns out he brought a dog with him. So naturally Ghost and LB went nuts. I leashed them up and put them (very much against their will) into the lair.

Well, he had a replacement part for the one that broke, so that was good. He got it fixed and told me he'd re-installed it, but the glue should set up a bit before I turned it on. I thanked him and sent him on his way, happy that he thought he could find his way out because I wasn't at all sure I had enough gas to lead him out.

A bit later I went out to the power shed, opened the water supply to the pump and plugged it in. The pump fired right up, so that was good. Two seconds later water started gushing out all over the floor. I yanked the plug, looked at where the water was running - a completely new place - and it turns out that in installing the pump he'd broken a different section of pipe right off and hadn't even noticed.


I grabbed my phone and called him, but could only leave a voicemail. This sucks.

It's getting late, so I'll see if I can find enough parts to make the repair myself in the morning. If I can't, I'll have yet another reason to go into town. Which I don't have the gas to reach.

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