The Money Pit. Part 6. Warren The Cranky Plumber.
This is part of an ongoing blog. To read it from the beginning read the Money Pit. Parts 1-5.
Now that our home was officially raccoon free we were able to get back to more pressing matters. Like finishing the floor, and addressing the leak that the flooring guys spotted in the dining room while installing the hardwoods. “A leak? Are you serious?” I asked Ray.
“Yes Ma’am,” he said. “If you look right there you can see that there is some moisture coming from somewhere in the walls. You’re going to need to get this fixed, and soon. If you don’t, it’s going to ruin the new floors we’re putting in,” Ray informed me with sympathy in his eyes, and an almost toothless grin. I’m sure he could read by the expression on my face that I was not only not happy about this new predicament, but I was actually feeling as though the house was starting to get the best of me.
Luckily I had Facebook and a good friend online to talk me down from the depression the house was starting to cause. “I think we may have bought the money pit.” I typed to my friend Christina. “Now we have a leak in the walls.”
“Stacy don’t talk like that,” my girlfriend Christina, wrote. “Everything is going to be fine. You have to stay positive. This house is going to be wonderful! It’s going to be a place you and your family are going to make wonderful memories in. Don’t get down now.” One thing about Christina is she’s a perpetual optimist. Which was exactly what I needed at the time. This was the first and last time I cried about this house. I took a deep breath and just calmly accepted that I had no control over the leak. What I did have control over was how I was going to handle the leak. And how I was going to handle it was, I was going to take a xanax and tell myself it was going to be a minor repair. Stay in denial. Stay in denial. Stay in denial.
Luckily with the flooring guys came a plumber. And now that the bathroom was finally finished, Warren the cranky plumber could come back and re-install the toilet and sink which had been currently residing in my garage. I figured while he was here I might as well hit him up about the leak in the dining room.
My first day with Warren didn’t start off as well as I would have hoped. First off, he was 45 minutes late. Which was another 45 minutes that my daughter and I could have stayed in bed. Also, he called me from his cell phone to tell me he was late because he had lost his cell phone. I was starting to wonder about Warren. He was an older man and I wasn’t really sure about his memory. We had met in person twice so far and had spoken on the phone at least five times, but he never could remember my name. This, despite the fact that his daughter and I shared the same name. How do I know this? Because every time I mentioned my name, he would say, “Hey, my daughter’s name is Stacy.” It was cute the first time. It was sweet the second time. It was old the third time, frustrating the fourth time, and by the seventh time, I was downright concerned. Was this simply poor recollection for my name, or was he constantly having to remind himself of his daughter’s name? I hope for the first, but I fear it was the second.
Surprisingly, Warren was at least able to remember where I lived.
“Hi Tracy!” he said with a big smile on his face. How could I be mad at Warren?
“Hi Warren,” I replied, not even correcting him on my name. “How are you?” I asked.
“So sorry, I thought I left my phone at home, when I really left it…” and that’s when my mind began to wander. You know what would taste really good right now? A peanut butter, bacon burger with ketchup. Man I miss San Diego. We really need to get our windows washed. Oh, what’s that? It’s so shiny and pretty. “….and that’s why I’m late.” Oh my God! Is Warren still talking? Come back Stacy. Focus Damn it!
Warren eventually stopped telling me the phone story for the second time and we discussed the mystery leak. I knew this was dangerous. Now that I introduced him to the leak I was making a commitment to have Warren be a part of my life on an extended basis. Considering I was new to Houston I didn’t see where I really had much of a choice.
From where the flooring guys spotted the moisture, we had a couple of options for where the water was coming from. Option #1 was the sink in the bar. Option #2 was the icemaker under the sink in the bar. Then Warren dropped an Option #3 on me. “It could be in the walls,” he said, very nonchalantly. I felt sick. How the hell were we going to pay for this? We had just put a big chunk of money down on the house and now had a mortgage. Home ownership was becoming all too real. If it was the sink or icemaker we were golden. But if was in the walls…I didn’t even want to think about it.
Warren got to work on putting the sink and toilet back into the bathroom, and 8 ½ hours later he was still at my house. The toilet went in no problem but the sink just wouldn’t lay right. I wasn’t surprised. The house was cursed. I’m shocked he got the son of a bitch in at all. He did so and complained about it the entire time. To top it off I wanted to help Warren with his frustration by buying all new faucets for the sink. I had ripped out the gold ones and asked him to install the new bronze ones. I loved them and had got them from Lowes. Warren reminded me every chance he got how much he hated Lowes and I almost had to ask Warren to step outside and settle this like men. No one talks shit on Lowes!
As the sun set on us, Warren began sharing that he is a test subject for various hospitals in the Houston area. Oh, so we’re at that level of intimacy already, eh Warren? I was riveted. I got to know everything there is to know about Warren’s prostate and even some things I’m not sure his doctors even knew. Did you know his prostate holds the world’s record for being the fastest swimmer to cross the English Channel?
After Warren let me take pictures of my daughter posing with his prostrate it was finally time for him to go. He had gotten my bathroom put back together despite the “shoddy” Lowes products, and he had even told me that my mystery leak was most likely the second sink. Music to my ears. Warren bid us adieu and finally left at 8:21 pm that night.
Peace and quiet. Finally. With images of martinis floating in my head, I made my way for the liquor cabinet. I just needed something to erase the images of Warren’s prostrate in a swimming cap and Speedos. Then the doorbell rang, and he was back.
“Hey Warren,” I said while opening the door.
“I’m sorry, but I left my doors on my van open all day and now my van is dead. Could you give me a jump?” The martini was going to have to wait. I was over Warren and I needed him to leave my house NOW or I was going to shorten his lifespan considerably. So I pulled my van up next to his and gave his car a jump and sent him on his way.
Even though I had ordered all new fixtures for the second sink so Warren could come back and repair it, I have yet to hear from Warren. It’s been 7 months. I’m wondering if he ever found his way home or if he’s just been busy plotting to destroy Lowes. There is some good news though. His prostrate has just won a Pulitzer Prize in the category of Editorial Cartooning.
To be continued…..
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