by Pierre le Roux
Sometimes throwing money at a problem really is a good idea to solve it. However, when you are in the midst of a tough economic climate, as we all are of late, this is not always possible. But in certain circumstances your failure to do so will end up costing you a lot more that you might have thought. And to make matters worse you will end up realizing it was all your own fault to start with. This past weekend hubby and I decided to take on some long overdue projects around the house, and in an effort to save some money we decided to do it ourselves. As most of you know, we do not have the greatest track record when it comes to DIY and this time was no different. This is how giving our guest bathroom a makeover and overhauling our garden’s sprinkler system ended up having us in dire need of a Plumber and Electrician and why we may possibly not survive a Zombie Apocalypse.
Let me first start off by saying that hubby is very handy with power tools. He even knows what types of drill tips to use on different surfaces. I on the other hand have no clue and never bothered to actually give a shit. All I know how to use is a hammer and a screwdriver and that should be sufficient to save our lives if there ever is a Zombie Apocalypse. After all, in an Apocalypse there won’t be any electricity so a drill will be pretty useless and won’t make much of a weapon. And if that is all you are going to rely on you will die and in your final moments you will seriously envy my self-defense skills with a screwdriver and hammer. But I digress… Let’s get back to our DYI.
Seeing as I have always been brutally honest with you on my blog, I should admit something. I cheated. I did not install the new sprinkler system all by myself. I hired a guy to do it for me. Did you really think I would do something like that all on my own? Gawd, it’s like after four years you don’t even know me! I did however take him to a “Farmer’s Outlet” to go and buy all the material. It being early on a Saturday morning and me being slightly hungover from one too many glasses of Chardonnay the night before, I found the whole experience rather daunting.
Apparently real farmers shop there and me standing around pretending to Facebook or Twitter on my iPhone with my sunglasses on in the middle of the shop did not really help me fit into the setting at all. Also, apparently it is rude when a shop assistant in Khaki clothing asks you if he can “Help” you to screech out the word “No!”. But in my defense the fucker snuck up on and startled me and when he spoke I thought he was a member of some kind of far right militant group who was about to kidnap me. I mean really, who wears Khaki anymore these days? It’s so 1980’s Apartheid era, don’t you think?
About thirty minutes later, in a shop that made me feel like I was in a bad version of the Twilight Zone, we had all the supplies we needed. We headed home and he started with what seemed like the digging of trenches around our garden. I remember thinking how cool it would be to have a moat around our house and how useful that would be in a Zombie Apocalypse because zombies can’t swim, but then realized it would be totally impractical. So I left the guy to do his thing, went inside the house and caught up on some of my television programs. In the mean time hubby was out shopping for all the new additions for our guest bathroom’s makeover.
Sometime during the day I got called by the sprinkler guy who profusely apologized for severing some electrical cable in the garden. Being a tad confused seeing as I did not know that there were electrical cables under the ground in our garden and also thinking that it was dangerous and a health hazard I just looked at him for about five minutes not knowing what to say. Eventually, we figured out that the electrical cable supplied power to our garden lights and I told him not to worry about it and to just finish installing the new sprinklers. I also cautioned him to try not to cut off any other yet undiscovered health and safety issues in our garden. He eventually finished without unearthing any more dangerous and potentially lethal garden traps of doom. We tested the new sprinklers, they worked fine, I paid him and then wondered how much an electrician would cost to come out on a Sunday. In the mean time a more serious issue was about to develop in the guest bathroom.
Hubby decided that seeing as the style of our guest bathroom is a bit outdated and old that he might as well stick to that theme and hang old classic mirrors in the bathroom. He also picked out some old painted pictures from the early 1900’s of my deceased ancestors to accentuate the theme. No wonder our house gets so many ghostly visitors. So on Sunday afternoon hubby started drilling holes into the tiled bathroom walls. All was going well until hubby walked into the living room with a concerned look on his face and the only words that he spoke were “I think we have a problem”. And he was right. We did have a fucking problem. He had accidentally drilled a hole right into a water pipe in the wall.
Water was gushing out of the hole in the wall and it did not take long for us to determine that he in fact hit the hot water pipe. He had inadvertently created a steaming waterfall right above our bathtub, which would have been romantic and whimsical if that was indeed the look that we were going for. But it wasn’t. So now we had two problems: A severed electrical cable and the Victoria Falls, that was heated I must add, in the guest bathroom. To make matters worse – it was a Sunday! So calling out a Plumber and an Electrician would have cost us a fortune. So we did the only thing we could. We turned off the geyser and the water and pretended like nothing had happened. But denial can only last that long.
On Monday I had to take the day off to deal with our DIY mishaps and get in the professionals to help us fix our mess. Luckily hubby uses a handy man at his work that is not only good with plumbing and carpentry but electrical work as well. So at around 9:30 he pitched up and I had to explain to him that not only are Hubby and I hot messes but we had a little fuckup in the bathroom and in the garden.
He gave me that look that I am sure means “Thank God for people like you. Without you I’d be out of business!” and he started digging in. He removed the tile through which hubby had drilled into the water pipe, fixed the hole and patched back the tile, then he proceeded to the garden to work on the case of the severed electrical cable. It took him quite a few hours longer to fix the electrical cable and he did concur that the cables weren’t safe. He did something or another to make sure that our garden doesn’t kill us and left and we got his bill several hours later. His fee was reasonable and we were more than happy to pay him because we really should be punished for our own stupidity and we should be ashamed of ourselves. Which we kind of should be but in reality are not so much.
So this weekend ended up costing us a lot more than what we anticipated but at least we learned a few valuable lessons: 1) If there are any electrical cables buried under ground in your garden make sure you know where they are or you could die and 2) Always make sure you know where all the water pipes are in your walls before drilling any holes. Neither one of these two lessons will help save your life in the event of a Zombie Apocalypse but they will save you a shit load of money. Which is always a good thing.
Till next time.