I like to live by the old maxim – never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.
It has stood me in good stead over the years as some problems manage to fix themselves and others just fall apart..
I mentioned a few weeks ago that there was a problem with my kitchen sink. Water just wasn’t flowing out as quickly as it should, and emptying the sink was taking longer and longer. Yesterday I decided to tackle the problem.
Now in the good old days it was a simple job – you just unscrewed the U-bend and cleaned it out. Nowadays however they have to complicate things and the piping under the sink is like a final test in a plumber’s apprenticeship exam. There are pipes and joints everywhere.
The first job is to clear out all the bottles and spray cans and all the other cleaning junk that I never use from the shelves under the sink. Then I have to find some kind of container to catch the inevitable flood. Finally I unscrew as many joints as I can reach. That went well and I ended up with a basin full of bits of pipe including the U-bend.
I carted all the bits into the bathroom to flush them out. I’m not going to make the old mistake of flushing them in the kitchen sink! The bits were dirty a right – all gunged up with grease and shreds of food and other yucky stuff but none were actually blocked. Fuck! That meant it was the plug-hole unit itself.
The plug of course is one of those where you twiddle a lever, instead of a good old rubber plug on a chain so it is relatively complex. I unscrewed it and sure enough it was nearly blocked with revolting stuff. I cleaned it out and that’s where my problem began.
The unit is like one of those horrible looking burgers they keep advertising on television – layers of different items all squished together. My plug unit consisted of about four pieces each with a rubber seal and all held together by one bolt. To make matters worse they all had to be held in place underneath the sink while the bolt is inserted from the top. As neither of my arms is detachable this required some fierce contortions, with my left hand trying to hold the pieces in place underneath while my right hand tried to insert the bolt from the top. As my face was half way between the two, I had to do everything by feel. It only took about twenty attempts.
It’s working now. Water drains away properly and there are no leaks. I couldn’t connect the overflow as part of my contortions so I can never overfill the sink or else I’ll flood the kitchen.
It’s nice and clean looking too as I polished everything before reassembling it.
This time we have to halve our meat and sugar consumption or else the planet will grind to a halt in 2050. Or explode. Or the oceans will inundate the landmasses and drown us all. Or we will all weigh 40 stone. Or something.
As will all Chicken Little forecasts they give us a date, some time in the future where if we don’t do X then Y will happen. Usually Y turns out to be some sort of Armageddon just to scare the pants off us.
I am somewhat bemused by the idea that if I eat two rashers instead of four, or take one spoon of sugar in my tea instead of two, then somehow I can sit back with a sigh of relief safe in the knowledge that I have not only saved the obesity “epidemic” but saved saved the planet as well.
Doubtless there have been doom merchants throughout the course of history, but in the past society had the common sense to burn them at the stake [or even burn them with the steak?]. Maybe we should have another look at that idea? I certainly remember times when we were warned that if the Earth’s population reached five billion or so, that we would all be crushed shoulder to shoulder and would all starve.
We have all become used to “epidemics” and “pandemics” but now we have a new word that will doubtless be used to beat us into submission – “syndemic”. This apparently is when two or more “epidemics” combine forces to wipe us all off the planet. So the current “syndemic” somehow combines obesity and warble gloaming into one neat package.
I watched the shenanigans in the UK Parliament last night.
Talk about popcorn time!
I try to avoid Americanisms, but there is one that neatly encapsulates the whole affair – a clusterfuck. This is defined as “A chaotic situation where everything seems to go wrong. It is often caused by incompetence, communication failure, or a complex environment.” Indeed that is a neat description?
There is one thing that everyone seems to overlook. There is no solution to the problem. It is as simple as that.
It can be demonstrated with some simple algebra –
A = Ireland. B = Northern Ireland. C = Great Britain. D = the EU.
A = B, where A is tied to a borderless Northern Ireland under the Good Friday Agreement.
B = C, where Northern Ireland is tied to Great Britain as part of the UK.
A = D, where Ireland is tied to the EU by the Lisbon treaty.
Now solve the following equation –
A = B and B = C and A = D where C ≠ D
Can’t be done, unless A <> B [scrap the Good Friday Agreement and start a war in Northern Ireland], B<> C [make Northern Ireland part of the Republic and start another war in Northern Ireland] or A <> D [where Ireland leaves the EU].
I know which solution I would prefer.
In the meantime I shall just sit back and open another bag of popcorn.
The motor is supposed to be going for its annual overhaul this evening.
Spanner usually collects it late in the day and returns it the following evening. That’s all fine and dandy but it leads to an annual problem.
Where did I leave my chequebook?
Spanner is now the only person I know who relies on cheques for payment. Every other transaction through the year is done either with a debit card or cash. As a result, my chequebook which used to be an essential accessory when going out is now relegated to the back of somewhere in the junk room to gather cobwebs.
Back in the Good Old Days a chequebook was essential and when out on the lash in Dublin a pub would be chosen almost solely on whether they would cash a cheque or not. A refusal to cash a cheque would mean that pub was added to the list of no-go establishments. Any major shopping such as groceries were also paid by cheque and as a result I frequently had to call the bank to send me a new book.
All that is gone now. I suppose it will be only a matter of time before cheques will become extinct. I don’t know what the likes of Spanner will do then. Will he have to carry some kind of card reader around with him? If he demands cash, that will be tricky as the amount varies enormously from year to year and I don’t like having wads of notes lying around just in case it’s an expensive year.
I got up this morning to discover that I am in the pit, weighed down by the Black Dog.
He’s not an infrequent visitor here so there is nothing new. I’m used to him and I just wait around until he fucks off to annoy someone else.
I decided to cut my beard off. I have no idea what the connection is but there must be one as I hadn’t considered the idea before. The mind works in mysterious ways?
Having set up a mirror so that I could at least see what I was doing, I started hacking with the kitchen scissors. But of course I bottled it. If I cut it all off there would be massive consequences.
Going beardless in mid winter is not the best of ideas. My face would freeze for a start not to mention my neck. I know from past experiences that the chill factor is phenomenal, so any kind of drastic shaving should at least be postponed until the summer months.
I also have my reputation to consider. Being a Scruff is hard work as it means always having my hair uncombed and wearing unironed shirts. The creases in my trousers must always be horizontal and not those weird vertical ones on the front and back of each leg. And of course the master stroke is the beard. There is nothing like an unkempt beard wafting in the breeze to finesse that Scruffy look which endears me to so many.
What about the dog? In fact, what about all my pals? Would they recognise me? It’s somewhat doubtful as none of them has ever seen me clean-shaven. I could be attacked by Penny who might think I was some stranger invading her territory..
So that’s when my nerve failed. But having started, I had adopted a somewhat lopsided look and that meant more hacking. So I hacked away and the mound on the floor grew accordingly.
The beard is now considerably shorter and I have chucked the trimmings out the door in case any birds are considering nesting. There must be enough there to serve any flock, to line the nests with a nice white hairy padding.
The Black Dog is still there and now my neck is cold as well.