Next stop, insanity

Thursday, August 03, 2006

How handymen are made, or not

The shower at our house has two settings - scalding hot or freezing cold. After getting burnt, frozen, burnt and frozen in the span of two seconds, I decided to do something about it last Saturday.

Here is the chronology of events:

10:30 AM:
Decide to fix the problem

10:45 AM:
Read from the "Do It Yourself Home Repair" book that the problem is easily fixed by changing the shower stem.

10:46 AM:
Google to find out what the hell a shower stem is

10:57 AM:
Groan realizing "Do It Yourself Home Repair" and I have disagreement on the definition of "easy."

11:20 AM:
At Home Depot

11:40 AM:
Still cruising Home Depot to find faucet stem. Ok, take a deep breath and ask for help

11:55 AM:
After the numbnut associate took me on the exact same route I traversed to find the stem, look for somebody who has a clue and ask for help

12:30 PM:
Back home with the stem

12:40 PM:
Shut off the water

12:41 PM:
thirsty. Curse loudly remembering I had just turned off the water. I deserve a coke anyway.

12:50 PM:
Take off the shower knob. Home repair isn't that hard after all

12:51 PM:
Realize I don't have Pipe wrench to remove the existing stem. Panic. Curse Home Depot. Curse neighbor's dog, for no specific reason

12:52 PM:
Oh wait, the new stem came with a stem wrench

01:00 PM:
OK, got the stem out. All I have to do is put the new stem in, call my friends and brag about it

01:01 PM:
Funny optical illusions. The new stem in my hand looks considerably larger than the opening it needs to go into

01:02 PM:
Holy crap. It's the wrong size

02:00 PM:
Back from Home Depot armed with right sized stem

02:30 PM:
Stem firmly in place, I am minutes away from a lazy afternoon

02:40 PM:
*&*%%! now the knob doesn't fit. This white threaded thing the knob has to slide onto, is too short. What the hell is this white tube thing called anyway?

02:45 PM: Look up my trusted "Do It Yourself Home Repair" and figure out it's called a nipple. Giggle like a school girl.

02:46 PM:
Need to figure out the size of the *giggle,giggle* nipple

02:50 PM:
Explain to shocked wife why I was looking up "nipple" on google

03:30 PM: Go to Home Depot. Explain to the lady associate, who jumped in front of me asking "May I help you", what I am looking for in phrases that do not include any human body parts

03:45 PM:
15 minutes of searching and the only nipples I found were of the red-necks walking around without shirts. With a sudden surge in gray matter activity, realize if the nipple doesn't fit the knob, buy a new knob. I am a genius!

04:00 PM: Back home. Everything fits! Whoohoo. But why is the water coming out of the wall though?

04:01 PM:
Goddamnit, I didn't tighten the stem enough.

04:10 PM:
Aha! All done now. All I have to do is brag about it, carefully skipping over the part where I dropped the wrench on my toe


  • Congratulations! There is no way I could do something like that with a DIY book. I am a girl *evil grin*
    Times like this, when I am happy being a girl and i just have to call any of the dozen men i know and ask them to come prove it!

    But, i miss India, where i could've just called the friendly neighborhood handyman who can do everything from fixing the plumbing to raking the yard and all it would cost me is less than 100 rupees! *sigh*

    By Blogger freespirit, at Fri Aug 04, 01:50:00 AM 2006  

  • lol... /*Curse neighbor's dog, for no specific reason*/
    That actually happens a lot of times in these situations .. lol
    But congrats .. u were able to finish it..

    By Blogger Apy, at Fri Aug 04, 02:06:00 AM 2006  

  • He he he he!! Good one!

    So how many times was it that you went to Home Depot? Is it right next door?

    By Blogger Strictly for my friends, at Fri Aug 04, 02:37:00 AM 2006  

  • so the next time, ur gonna call the plumber. are'nt u??

    By Blogger harshavardhan reddy, at Fri Aug 04, 03:34:00 AM 2006  

  • kudos to you.
    you really had patience visiting home depot, but congratulations, you finally did it, without using phrases that included human body parts :)

    By Blogger Risha, at Fri Aug 04, 04:48:00 AM 2006  

  • Congratulations on not flooding the place!

    By Blogger video, at Fri Aug 04, 05:29:00 AM 2006  

  • lol

    By Anonymous heather, at Fri Aug 04, 05:41:00 AM 2006  

  • Congratulations.. you actually finished in about 6 hours!! When it started I bet myself the story will end with "And called the plumber".. but it didnt!! :-)

    By Blogger How do we know, at Fri Aug 04, 06:13:00 AM 2006  

  • hahahahaHA
    I like it.

    By Blogger La vida Loca, at Fri Aug 04, 06:28:00 AM 2006  

  • i hate to respond to a funny story with a serious view...but!

    its amazing how men dont really know how to DIY stuff at home... you need carpenters, plumbers, electricians.. at home my dad can still open up the music system, sort out the prob and put it back right... the OA on the other hand can't unscrew a light bulb without someone holding the chair and the bulb.

    and then men complain that women dont cook anymore!

    By Blogger the mad momma, at Fri Aug 04, 07:30:00 AM 2006  

  • Bravo!! now you deserve that coke... ;)

    By Blogger Nachi, at Fri Aug 04, 07:38:00 AM 2006  

  • Hhahaha!
    I Hate Do-It-Yourself projects... so..I got my husband does them for me!! (LOL!!)

    By Blogger Perspective Inc., at Fri Aug 04, 10:34:00 AM 2006  

  • you must be feeling great accomplishing that manly task.Congratulations !

    By Blogger SM, at Fri Aug 04, 11:09:00 AM 2006  

  • I recently found your blog and can't get enough of it. I think you are hilarious. I am blogrolling you. Keep up the good work :)

    By Blogger Bindu, at Fri Aug 04, 11:15:00 AM 2006  

  • freespirit:
    I miss India too for the same reason! I hate

    DIY stuff, uless it involves some


    Ya, think of all the things I cursed but

    didn't mention in the blog ;)

    strictly for my friends:
    Ya, fortunately (unfortunately?) we live

    about 2 miles from a Home Depot. Every time

    we pass by it, my wife thinks of something

    that needs to be done to the house!

    harshavardhan reddy:
    Unfortunately, now that my wife knows I could

    do some (clumsy) plumbing, she wont' let me

    call the plumber any more. This is what is

    known as no good deed goes unpunished

    It's not the patience that made the visit the

    home depot but the lack of water :) It's a

    mistake to turn the water off before I made

    sure I had all the stuff I need.

    I came inches to flooding the place and

    filling the wall with water :) That's one

    thing I hate about US. It's all wood! Water

    damages everything. In India, I can throw a

    bucket of water anywhere in the house and not

    be worried

    how do we know:
    "When it started I bet myself the story will

    end with "And called the plumber"."
    Me too, when I stared :)

    la vida loca:
    Thanks :)

    the mad momma:
    If I had said that about women and cooking, I

    would have been flamed out of blogspot. In

    the changing world, the line between the

    abilities of genders is fading... which is a

    good thing. As for me, I can handle

    electronics and computers but nothing related

    to hour repairs and cars! So, if you want to

    control the faucet with a remote control, I

    am your man. If the faucet is leaking, I

    won't be found anywhere near :)

    May be more than one :) We seriously cut

    down on all soda. So drinking a soda is a

    privilage these days and happens rarely, may

    be once in a month.

    prespective inc.:
    I hate DIY stuff too but in my case marriage

    exacerbated the problem

    "manly task" haha. I don't think a guy fumbling with screws, dropping the wrench on toe, looking clueless in general is the traditional picture of manliness but it's an accomplishment for me for sure :)

    Welcome to the blog. Glad you liked it. Thanks for the blogroll!

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at Fri Aug 04, 11:41:00 AM 2006  

  • I think it will be the only time "googling up nipple" will be allowed...

    By Blogger Mary Poppins, at Fri Aug 04, 12:55:00 PM 2006  

  • LOL! Congratz!

    By Blogger Anu, at Fri Aug 04, 03:32:00 PM 2006  

  • ouch!
    that almost sounded pathetically painful!!
    Haha...dont worry wev had similar experiences fitting the water filter at home coz so far in Idia wev been pampered to let the plumber or repair man do his job!...It took n readings of the manual to really understand all its parts and the entire process..sigh!

    By Blogger Ekta, at Fri Aug 04, 06:27:00 PM 2006  

  •'s the old toe doing?
    Did you look up 'broken toe' on the 'net and splint it yourself or....?


    By Blogger Tai, at Fri Aug 04, 08:34:00 PM 2006  

  • Wow, a well deserved 'Congratulations' for you.

    These are the reasons, I think 'plumbing' is the coolest and most sought after job.

    My kitchen sink is blocked......

    By Blogger greensatya, at Sat Aug 05, 02:35:00 AM 2006  

  • anu:
    Thanks for the "Put vote" mention :)

    Ya, in my case reading the manual didn't help either :)

    He he he. I don't even trust the recipies from internet... I would be very hesitant to try medical procedures from there :)

    I am on my way with my wrench :)

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at Sat Aug 05, 11:55:00 AM 2006  

  • I am sorry you droppped the wrench on the floor, but you did finish the job and got to write this really hilarious post. Think I am going to come to you for answers on the DIY projects.

    By Blogger starry nights, at Sat Aug 05, 05:18:00 PM 2006  

  • Loved your blog, and loved the whoile handyman business. Impressive work I must add.

    By Blogger jhantu, at Sat Aug 05, 06:50:00 PM 2006  

  • > Curse neighbor's dog, for no specific reason

    hahahaha! good one! :-) congrats, "genius" on getting it done, inspite of all the temptations & obstructions in your way. ;)

    By Blogger The_Girl_From_Ipanema, at Sun Aug 06, 10:28:00 AM 2006  

  • On a Sunday morning ..No way would I be working on my house. I would rather call all my friends and bitch abt the water not coming .. Land at someones house and take a shower. That sounds easier .


    By Blogger Ilaiy, at Sun Aug 06, 02:57:00 PM 2006  

  • Oh man!
    I soo relate to this!!!
    Hate doing this...why cant we have plumbers to do this goddam job!!
    and why does this always have to be a mans job??
    Whatever happened to equality??!

    By Blogger Anand, at Sun Aug 06, 11:32:00 PM 2006  

  • starry nights
    Thanks for vote of confidence :) But I know you are secretly wishing to see me drop wrenches on my toes :)

    Thanks :)

    The Girl From Ipanema
    ROFL. Truly said, all the "obstructions" ;)

    Man you need a wife... you sound too happy

    Haha. Exactly, equality rules only apply when it comes to T.V. remote etc. :)

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at Sun Aug 06, 11:39:00 PM 2006  

  • good job. next time try fixing up the thermostat in your shower stem. fine I have done it and i have exprience before you shout " hell dont give me suggestion and advice "

    heihei.. thanks to my dad - he always did things of pulmbing, gardening, carpentry, electrical work.. and no doubt i took engineering to do things of my own.

    is int it fun.. i enjoy doing

    okie simple stuff. - you buy a thermostat knob for the shower . fix it instead of your knob to open the shower - it has temperature marking - it allows the cold and hot water in propotion to temperature.

    check it up.

    By Blogger Known Stranger, at Mon Aug 07, 01:36:00 AM 2006  

  • it would have been really funny if after all that you were still getting burnt and frozen.

    By Blogger The Agony Aunt, at Mon Aug 07, 02:09:00 AM 2006  

  • known stranger
    That sounds like a neat idea. I didn't know about those thermostats. But I hope I won't have to touch any of the shower thigns for some time now :)

    the agony aunt
    I still do, but it's a different shower :)

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at Mon Aug 07, 10:40:00 AM 2006  

  • LOL!!! You think you can do something about mine when you're in India?? I have the same problem! :-)

    By Anonymous Dilnavaz, at Mon Aug 07, 11:53:00 PM 2006  

  • let this be the start of 'the list of alternate professions that pay more than your regular job' ;-)
    and go on adding to it...i'v started mine....its fun!! :)

    By Anonymous nithya, at Tue Aug 08, 09:03:00 AM 2006  

  • You said, nipple.

    Thanks, for stopping. Hope to see you often.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Aug 10, 10:15:00 AM 2006  

  • Ahh .. half way down this post.. i feel so very fortunate to have the good old water geyser with the traditional balti and tumbler :-)

    Love the wood-fired furnace of my village bathroom too!!

    By Blogger Nagesh Pai, at Thu Aug 10, 11:04:00 AM 2006  

  • Hey, our shower is on the fritz too....think I'll call the plumber and avoid the need for Googling "nipple". Great post.


    By Blogger H.E.Eigler, at Thu Aug 10, 11:24:00 AM 2006  

  • I curse Home Depot regularly too. But I keep going back. I'm addicted to home renovation sadly.

    By Blogger Spider Girl, at Sat Aug 12, 03:13:00 PM 2006  

  • dilnavaz:
    I see that a second profession is in my future :)

    With my skills, I don't plumbing pays more than a summer job. But there definitely are alternate jobs that can pay more than what I make.

    I said a lot of things, but people do quote that specific word most ;)

    nagesh pai:
    For the likes of me, not having direct access to fire is actually a good thing

    Haha. If I can do it, you can do it too. It's probably physically impossible to be worse than me :)

    spider girl:
    That is one addiction I am sure I will never have.

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at Mon Aug 21, 01:28:00 AM 2006  

  • Hilarious read! Hope the shower's still working :-)

    By Blogger Nee, at Fri Sep 08, 04:18:00 AM 2006  

  • Nee:
    DON'T jinx it :D

    By Blogger Twisted DNA, at Fri Sep 08, 01:38:00 PM 2006  

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