I arrived home from a very successful trip to the yarn store today to discover Dad pulling out of the driveway. He failed to notice me in my car, so I tooted my horn and waved at him. I received a foul look as he sped away, which I took for his displeasure at my using the car's loud horn so close to his sensitive ears.
I was wrong.
When I walked in the house, I saw my mother and brother with looks of barely-concealed rage on their faces.
"What happened?" I asked.
"You missed Dad's blow-up," Paul said.
"Why was he angry?" I asked.
"Plumbing," my mother replied. She need say nothing more.
Plumbing, to my father, is like giving an untrained person with no knowledge of human anatomy a hacksaw and ordering them to do brain surgery. He has no idea what he's doing, and he's bound to do unspeakable damage to what he's trying to fix. That's just how it is.
From what I can gather, this is what happened:
Mom wanted to switch out the faucet in the bathroom for her new one before my cousin arrives for Easter. She discussed it with Dad and, since they needed to repair the gaping hole in the bathroom wall, they chose to replace the faucet themselves and use the money they were saving to, instead, pay someone to put in tile and fix the wall.
Mom placed out everything Dad needed to complete the job. He soon discovered it difficult to shut off the water, so Mom shut it off at the well*, so we would have no water through the whole house instead of just no water to that particular sink.
From here, things get a bit fuzzy. It seems Dad found something impossible to disassemble, so some kind of toxic substance was poured out or sprayed into the air in an attempt to loosen up the pipes he wanted to disconnect. This was unsuccessful. Then, more stuff was torn apart and when the time came to put things back together, doing so proved impossible for Dad (and likely also Mom and Paul), because by the time I returned home, Dad had thrown a rather epic temper tantrum and was speeding out of the driveway in order to "cool down" while driving.Mom, apparently, had warned Dad not to "hurt himself or someone else" when he left, meaning his rage was so great, it compromised his ability to think or make good judgements or drive.
Moreover, Mom had already called a plumber in, begging for him to come to repair the terrifying mess Dad had made of the plumbing, which was the only way we would be able to turn the water back on. When the plumber answered his phone, though, he was deep beneath a house, so he said he'd call her back.
My bedroom, at the moment, could be declared a toxic chemical spill zone by FEMA or the FDA or whoever does that sort of thing. The fumes in here are so strong, I feel like I got high** by just walking in here. In fact, I bet the chemicals in the spray Dad used are banned in California and other health-conscious states where they care whether on not their citizens are poisoned by uncontrolled plumbing-related chemicals. Plus the bathroom window is painted shut (something we failed to realize after we reattached the screen to the outside last fall) and impossible to wrench open. So the chemicals are trapped in the house with nowhere to go except--you guessed it--my room. My windows are wide open, but it's too late. I probably already am poisoned.
The plumber is actually on his way at the moment. He called Mom back to inform her that he had slithered back out from under the house like a snake, and was ready to show up at our house to put the bathroom back together, probably for an exorbitant emergency fee. Is the air wavy in here?
Mom says it will all work out, because Dad is totally paying for the damages from the money he saves each month to use for his various mission trips. So, instead of going away to some strange country to build things, he will be paying someone else to put the things he broke back together in THIS country, because Dad is, quite literally, a home-wrecker. He is why we can't have nice things***.
I feel pretty weird. I think maybe the open window isn't helping as much as I intended it to. The dog is barking, which means the plumber is here. So I guess everything will be okay. Unless I die of fumes. I hope that doesn't happen...
* When you live in the country, you don't get your water from the city. There are no pipes that connect to a central water supply. Instead, someone comes with a piece of machinery that looks like a giant screw, and they drill deep into the ground. They then connect a pump to this gaping hole and electricity pumps water from deep below the ground up and into your home. This only works when there's actually water underground for you to access, though. And if you lose power to your house, your well won't work, so you have no water. This should explain my complaints during power outages...
** Something I do not endorse or approve of.
*** I love you, Dad.