Opinion

This old house

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Brad and I have been working on the house we live in for the past five years under an agreement with the owner.

A week ago, that gentlemen's agreement came to a successful conclusion and we now own the house.

When I told a friend about the purchase, he made a prophetic declaration. "Welcome to the world of maintenance and repair, insurance and taxes."

It just so happened that my birthday fell just a few days after we signed the check to purchase the house.

Brad and I were driving home from a dinner out one night and I looked at him.

"I've been thinking about my birthday present," I told him.

He went pale and swallowed hard -- he's never been fond of buying presents.

"You don't really have to buy me one," I told him. "You just bought me a house."

I could see the flood of relief come across his face.

"But," I continued, "my washing machine is about to give out."

The relieved look passed quickly and once again he looked pale enough to pass out.

One of the reasons Brad may not like buying presents is that I've laid down a few rules about gift giving. The major rule I've given him is "Don't buy me anything that has to be plugged in, or washed in dishwashing liquid." So obviously this was no birthday present.

It didn't take much convincing, before he agreed to let me get the new washer. Especially since I had just bought him a Reuger rifle that afternoon.

I didn't want to give him the opportunity to change his mind. I went out the next day and picked out my new washer.

We spent the weekend running around in Kearney, so my new washer sat unused in the basement for the next four days.

Tuesday night when I got home from work I decided to hook up the new household appliance.

I grabbed a pair of pliers and headed for the basement. I took the hoses off the old washing machine, got the drain hose detached and started working on taking the hoses off the faucet.

Obviously Brad had put the hoses on the faucet because they weren't coming off as easily as they would have if I had put them on.

As I made one last attempt to release the hose, the water line snapped and I ended up showering in a pouring spout of cold water.

I managed to get the water shut off before there was more than two inches of water standing in the utility room and made my way upstairs to call Brad and let him know what I'd done.

"Bob Vila you're not," Brad commented as he prepared to make the necessary repairs that night.

"Well, you're no Tim Taylor," I shot back, trying -- and failing -- to come up with some kind of retaliatory comeback.

"No," he threw back, "there's only room for one Tim Taylor in this house."

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