June 17, 2013

BOWYER: When bad days turn into bad weeks


---- — Flowers were planted at my house because someone thought my place was a little drab, and I would be the last one to argue with you about that. I haven’t planted any flowers since Janie has been gone, and they do look pretty. Flowers are nice, and about the only thing wrong with them is that they have to be watered which always involves a bucket or a hose. I have a spigot down by my garage door and I have attached a hose to it and ingeniously run it above my west garage door and hooked it to a hose reel in my side yard above the basement level. It works fine but when I hooked it up this year the hose had a leak in it. I don’t know why, but there it was.

	A visitor and I decided to buy a new hose and hook it up, which we did. The visitor and I were both a little careless inasmuch as I was turning the hose reel at an angle that would allow her to pull hose off of the reel at the same time she decided to yank the hose. The result was that my hand was trapped between the crank and the reel support and all of the skin was ripped off of the top of my left middle finger. Things got a little gory and my visitor thought she had ought to lie down on the bed while I bandaged my finger. She felt a little sick, she said. I felt a little sick, too, when I looked down and saw all of that skin torn loose and realized it would never grow back. That meant I had to tear it the rest of the way off to clear the area for bandaging, which I had to do all alone.	Now, I don’t know about the rest of you, but that’s the start of a bad week for me, and it was about to get worse. My frost-free spigot, which the hose attached to wouldn’t turn off. Hello, new spigot, yes indeed. My first stop on the quest for a new frost-free spigot was Logan Lumber Co. They had some and I bought an 8-inch one, which looked like it might be a little short. They had 8-inch ones, and 12-inch ones, but no 10-inch ones, which turned out to be the one I needed. After trying the eight-incher and finding it too short, I returned it and continued my quest. My next stop was Rural King, and they had none at all. On to Home Depot, which had all sizes of them. The only trouble was they had a larger nut on them than my old one did.	 I had my old one with me and after comparing them, it appeared to me that the nut was too large on the new one to pass through the hole I had in my wall. I voiced an opinion to that extent, but having no other recourse, I decided to take one home and try it. I was right, it wouldn’t go through the basement wall, so I had another return on my hands. Am I the only one who gets into these messes?

Tonight I stopped at Logan Lumber and ordered a 10-inch one that should go through my wall. It should be here Thursday afternoon. They said they would call me Thursday, a forlorn hope if ever I heard one. They don’t give you cash for returns now either. They run it through their register and have it added to your credit card. I sure hope it gets added like they say it will. I liked the old way of dealing in cash a lot better.	That old saying that when you have a plumbing job to do it will take at least three trips to town, and that’s before you ever tape a pipe. To those of you who will attack a plumbing job someday, you had better believe it. It isn’t hard to figure out why plumbers have trucks with all of those bins full of parts on them. It saves them at least one of the trips to town.	During this time among my plumbing, I discovered my water softener was nearly empty so I had to buy six bags of salt pellets and refill it. It’s always nice to discover another job that has to be done. Salt pellets have gone up considerably, just like everything else, which goes to show you that printing money really does make its value go down. Hopefully I can get my spigot replaced before they raise the price on them.	So there you have my week so far and it’s only Tuesday. I’m trying to look ahead and see if there’s anything else that might go wrong. The last time I had a week like this I ended up with a flat tire, or was it the time I hit the wild turkey in Michigan with my new Ford Edge?

I almost hate to get out of bed in the morning on weeks like this.

Joe Bowyer is a columnist for the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached via email at