Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Veining The Main Drain

[Yesterday evening]

5:10pm (all times approximate) Arrive home from work to grab coupon which guy at pizza store assured my wife I had to have when she called in order.

5:15pm Arrive at pizza store to pick up pie. No one asks for coupon.

5:20pm Arrive home. Wolf down a couple of pieces before having to take eldest boy to skating lesson.

5:30pm Go downstairs to get boy's skates and helmet and discover that the main drain is blocked and has backed up into laundry room and office/spare bedroom (where the cleanout is located). Curse silently.

5:35pm Go back upstairs to inform wife and hustle the boy out the door to skate.

6:45pm Arrive home from skating lesson. Do some quick cleanup and damage assessment in basement.

7:30pm Participate in conference call for work.

8:00pm Head back down to basement to start situational assessment/cleanup in earnest. Wish I had some sort of head-to-toe hazmat gear to wear instead of flip flops and garden gloves.

9:30pm After picking up carpet pieces and rugs, cleaning up waste, and conducting a variety of tests to determine extent of drain cloggage, reach the conclusion that we're looking at a pretty screwed up situation far beyond my ability to correct. Knowing that I have a critical 7am meeting at work the next day only serves to add to my angst.

9:35pm Remember that I know a guy who specializes in such situation who just happens to live nearby.

9:36pm Ring up Augie's Drain Cleaning expecting to leave a message and hopefully be able to get the situation resolved early the next day. Am surprised when John the owner answers the phone. Am even more surprised when after a preliminary reintroduction exchange, he says that he'll be over shortly.

9:40pm-10:05pm Try to make sure that the path is clear for John to do his work and even find myself picking up and straightening out the living room. Wouldn't want to think we have a messy house or anything. Pass the rest of the time by watching the conclusion of the staggeringly dull Home Run Derby. Wonder why on earth anyone would want to sit through the whole thing in person. The kids shagging balls in the outfield look like they're having the most fun.

10:06pm John arrives. After some further banter, he gets down to business. The root of the problem is quickly identified in the line just a short run from the house. After its removed, he clears the rest of the line to the street.

10:40pm John packs up his equipment and presents the bill. Much less than I expected especially considering the timing of the service.

10:45pm-11:05pm John helps enlighten me on the ways of sewers, in particular some potential problems to be on guard for with ours (damn silver maples). Then, he brings me up to speed on the political situation in the Valley, an area that he has much experience in.

11:06pm John leaves and I do some further clean up. Crack a beer to unwind and drift off to slumber close to the midnight hour. Although my sleep is short it is sound knowing that I'll have full use of the important facilities when I wake for work the next day.

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