Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Take twelve

I can overhear the plumber talking to someone and explaining that this job is very difficult because I speak English and not Italian (and here I thought we were communicating so well with our half Italian/half English conversations!).

I know that right now you are probably scrolling back to old posts and thinking, Wait? What? The plumber?  Wasn't the plumber there last week? And the week before? And the week before? And last month? And two months ago? Do these people still not have hot water?

And to that I answer: yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yes, we do have hot water. And yes, the plumber is here once again.

Because yesterday I heard a noise and it turned out it was our newly hot water leaving the pipes in a steady stream and hitting the floor. No amount of plumbing efforts on our part could slow down the impressive leak and so we had no choice but to turn off the water supply for our apartment. That's right. Now we have no water.

And so the plumber is back (two hours late,  right on time).

And now, apparently the plumber is totally bummed by my lack of Italian. But as we speak the common language of you-screwed-up-and-now-you-need-to-fix-it; actual words aren't necessary! For example, he looked at the hot water heater and shrugged and said, "It is new. It is not possible." And I silently unwrapped the three sets of beach towels that were stemming the flow of water and the water was able to resume pouring onto the floor and the plumber said, "Oh! That part is not new. That part is old. Maybe it is possible that it is that part." And I walked into the other room.

See how well we communicate?

Earlier this week we had had an issue with the kitchen faucet (something the plumber had also worked on…I'm sensing a pattern…). Water was not coming out of the faucet. We know better than to complain about something so small and so we took apart the faucet in hopes that we just needed to dump the latest batch of rocks. Which we did. As Mike was reassembling the faucet, he pointed out how gross strange it was that my hair ( it was very long and blondish; really, it could have been anyone's) was completely wound around the faucet spout.

And it was weird, but considering that over the course of one week the dogs and I could blanket a small country with the amount of hair we shed, not as weird as one might think.

Except that when I was inspecting the leak near the hot water heater, I noticed long blondish hairs wrapped around those pipes as well. And there was no way those were mine.

And then that made me think of how I had noticed a large pile of blondish hair near the plumber's tools over the past couple of months. I had noticed it because I had thought it was my hair that the plumber had pulled from drains and I was horrified and mortified and I rushed to clean it up and apologize for my general grossness. Except. Except it wasn't a pile of my hair. It was…a pile of other hair. Hair that wasn't a random pile but that was all connected. Like a wig. I couldn't make sense of what I was seeing and so I forgot about it.

How can you forget about the plumber carrying around a pile of wig hair? Well, I am an American who lives in Italy. My life is all about things that don't make sense to me. For instance, the plumber's business card is for a pasticceria (pastry shop). What is the plumbing/pastry connection? Dude, I don't know. See what I mean?

So, as I looked at the hair wrapped around the pipes, everything fit together like I was on Scooby Doo and had just discovered the culprit was Old Man Jenkins and he was shaking a fist and saying, "And I would have gotten away with it if it wasn't for you meddling kids!"

The hair we were finding wasn't my hair so much as it was wig hair the plumber had wrapped around the pipes. And this was undoubtedly why the plumber said the hot water heater wouldn't work if the wind blew because, duh, the hair would get tangled in the wind. And even though LD and her sister had been here to "keep an eye" on the plumber, he snuck in the use of wig hair.

And you may ask: What exact function is performed by the wig hair wrapped around the pipes?  And although I couldn't say for certain, I suspect it has something to do with pastry.

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