Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Amityville Plumber

Dark forces are at work in my house.

The shadows bend outward from the corners as if stretching, reaching for additional purchase to haul themselves further into the mortal world.

Upstairs in an inexplicably empty room flies seem to multiply unnaturally and mither themselves to the point of insanity against a solitary window that is impossible to open. So many of them, swarming, crawling, buzzing like infernal machines, that they block out the light of the sun.

In fact we sent a priest upstairs to sort that room out with a blessing a couple of weeks ago and he still hasn’t come down. Come to think of it I found his dog collar on the stairs a few days after his arrival and it had teeth marks in it.

And don’t talk to me about our basement.

What basement? Yeah, that’s what I mean. We didn’t have one when we first moved into the house but suddenly we do and it seems to have a strange effect on all who venture into it. Their eyes turn red, their teeth become large and pointy and they start talking in a slightly unhinged but manly baritone... something about the gateway to hell.

Now, either my house is built on the site of an old McDonald’s Drive-thru or something truly nefarious is occurring.

It is the only thing I can think of to explain the sheer impossibility of obtaining any damned contractors to come round and perform the multitude of small jobs that are currently hampering my enjoyment of my family home.

I wrote a while ago about my difficulties in obtaining a plumber. I’ve approached others since then and they have all given me the same excuse: yes, I am interested but can’t come round now to look at the job, I will call you on such and such a day and arrange a visit. Right. So such and such a day arrives and they don’t call so I call them back and get the same excuse repeated to me and the same thing happens yet again.

And then there are the TV aerial installers. I tried to engage one of those too. I left several messages on the company phone. Nobody has rung me back. It’s £159 to have a new aerial installed apparently. Not huge money, I know, but it is the price they have put on it themselves. I’m willing to pay it. But for some reason they don’t want to come round to my house to earn it.

And now I have to engage someone to try and repair our cooker because another sausage-based inferno has put paid to the dials on the fascia and the cooling fan has lost the ability to turn itself off.

My heart balks at the mere thought of having to kick off yet another round of polite enquiries only to be given the finger / the hand / the cold shoulder / the thank you but no thank you / the brush off.

Christ. The only person who comes round regularly and without fail to my house is bloody Wayne the window cleaner. You remember him? Wayne the bloody nutcase, commie hating, Christian platitude spouting, crusade revivalist with a grudge against all western world bankers. Every month he comes round to clean my windows because I’m too much of a coward to tell him to take his chamois and his bucket and his ladder and his hordes of demonic flies and sod off.

Ooh.

Demonic flies.

You don’t think he might be, you know, putting some voodoo on my house or something? Some kind of weird window cleaning juju?

*Gulp*

Anybody know a good priest? Shit. Hold on a minute; I’ve already tried that.

Help!


33 comments:

Heather said...

its frustrating beyond words, isn't it, when you actually want to give them your money to do a job and they don't seem to be interested. It's like trying to pay the bill in a snooty restaurant, you'd think they'd want to take the damned money! sigh. good luck.

Steve said...

Heather: whenever the wife and I eat out and have difficulty getting the waiters to hand us the bill we always have the "shall we make a run for it" discussion. One of these days (provided we haven't eaten too much) we shall go for it!

the fly in the web said...

According to nodamnblog, you'll be out of luck with priests. Italian hunters are shooting them...thinking they are wild boar.
Now there's a likely tale...

Steve said...

The fly in the web: must be all the grunting... do they get them stuffed and mounted or do they just go into a nice hunter's stew?

Trish @ Mum's Gone to... said...

I think you should contact Nick Knowles and get him to do a DIY show in your house. You might need to pull a few walls down first and smear mould in the bathroom but it would be worth it. And I know how you like Nick. I saw the photo.

Steve said...

Trish: Nick Knowles, mould and my bathroom. Three concepts that for the sake of sanity must be kept separate from each other at all times both in reality and my imagination. I now need to take a tablet or 8. Thank you.

Owen said...

You have a sick, twisted, delirious, joyously demented mind. And I love it. Reading it anyway. But seriously, given all the odd and terrible things going on in your abode, perhaps you should start another sausage inferno, and just let the place burn down. Given the juju that's obviously on it, probably even the fire brigade won't come around... so... exorcism by fire... could be a solution ! Afterwards you can take the insurance money (well, it was an accident, right, that the sausages blew up and burned) and go live in a yurt in the woods somewhere. If you'll be needing a straightjacket, let me know.

Your story here also reminded me of a friend in the US who had large, long black snakes coming up through the plumbing in his 200 year old farmhouse and out of the toilets. Imagine raising the cover to go sit down for a moment of relaxation, and finding a big black snake in the bowl... I've never looked at toilets in the same way since...

May the force be with you. And if these people won't come of their own free will to work for you, maybe you'll have to kidnap them at flamethrower-point ?

Clippy Mat said...

yep it seems like your only hope is to call the bbc and get them to do a makeover show.
damn those 'sausage based infernos' too. LOL
look forward to the follow up to this post.
:-)

Steve said...

Owen: burn the place down?!? With my beloved Lego collection inside?! Are you crazy?! I'd rather put up with the imps and demons and lack of plumbing to be honest! As for big black snakes in the toilet bowl... well, I'm often confronted by them but then I do have a very efficient digestive system... most of them tend to flush away by the third attempt. ;-)

Clippy Mat: sadly the follow up to this post might be me enroling on a plumbing course at the local college and fixing everything myself in 3 year's time. It might be a darn sight quicker than calling a plumber out!

Fran said...

You will soon find out if your house is built on an old McDonald's drive-thru site when ghosts turn up wailing, 'Double cheeseburger and chips, woo hoo hoo'!

Sorry. That wasn't really a compassionate response at all, was it?

Steve said...

Fran: I suspect they'd be more likely to wake me in the night with their moans about throwing up their stomach lining into the toilets and biting into an undercooked absess in the chicken burger...

French Fancy said...

Plumbers amd good artisans are so in demand in France - and just as unreliable at turning up. I did hope that this 'not turning up' lark would end now that I was back in Blighty - hope you get someone round soon.

Steve said...

FF: I honestly think it would be quicker for me to engage a French plumber and for him to get here than for me to employ an English plumber from my own home town.

Being Me said...

I can't stop giggling at the McDonald's drive-thru line. That was pure gold.

Look, you have my sympathies and all but.... I have to say, I'm a little disappointed. I saw the title of the post in my blog roll and thought, for sure, I was going to come here and read about blood spurting out of your plumbing or at least down your walls or something. Very disappointed.

Kelloggsville said...

The last time my house was full of flies, turned out there was a dead pigeon in the chimney!! My Shower set on fire tonight, I now embarque on the quest to engage an electrician. We only need one more to become the 3 bloggertairs in a quest to engage reliable workmen in the hope of protecting Nick Knowles delicate reputation...could be a never ending bloody saga - I know a good plumber I will trade you for a Sparky!

Wanderlust said...

I almost hate to mention it, but have you asked Wayne if he's handy with plumbing? And installing antennaes?

Steve said...

Being Me: on a good day I can manage a 360 degree headspin if that's any good to you?

Kelloggsville: funnily enough I did use to know a good sparky through my work connections but he disappeared off the scene some time ago! How about you come here to use our electrics and we come to you to use your loo and shower?

Steve said...

Wanderlust: get the devil to fix the devil's work...? I like your style... but it's bad enough to have that man gurning in at me from the other side of a pane of glass without having him scuffing his hobnailed boots all over my axminster up close and personal...

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

I'm with wanderlust, ask bloody Wayne.

Great post, that is if it's acceptable to laugh at other people's misfortune in not finding tradesmen who actually want to work.

Steve said...

Very Bored in Catalunya: it's perfectly acceptable as there is one bright side to all this - my money is still in my wallet and not somebody else's.

LöstJimmy said...

Is Wayne perhaps the devil incarnate?
Have you seen him resort to using anti-clockwise movements while wiping the windows?
If so you may have a problem, well not really but I'm sure there's a cult somewhere sometime someplace that will tell it is...er demonic.

Steve said...

LöstJimmy: Wayne does sport a rather untidy mullet which, as we all know, is certainly evidence of the devil's work...

Selina Kingston said...

Flies! I hate them! They are the work of the devil

Steve said...

Selina: even butterflies?

The Crow said...

I might be able to walk you through your plumbing repairs, if they aren't too complicated. Want to give it a try?

(I don't do aerials, though - afraid of heights. Had to open the downspout on the carport a few weeks ago, to drain the lake that had formed on the roof. Roof is about 20 feet above ground and my knees were knocking something awful the whole time I was on the ladder.)

Steve said...

The Crow: that's a lovely offer but my DIY skills will have you pulling your hair out; trust me! ;-)

Michelle said...

Not having a lot of luck Steve. We have just had our garage converted and I had a few issues with the guys who did it and everyone I moaned to basically told me I was lucky they arrived and took my money off me! lol

Hope things get sorted soon. Mich x

Steve said...

Michelle: I guess that sums up the whole sad state of affairs. Given there's a recession on you'd think people would be glad to earn a bit of honest money and would bite your hand off!

The Poet Laura-eate said...

Have you checked your credit record recently? It might be showing as a naughty house owing to the previous incumbents. Not that most plumbers etc should have access to these records, but they may have led to a bad reputation also going around.

Steve said...

Laura: to be honest, my own credit rating could be pretty ropey but I think you're right; it's highly unlikely that Mr P. Lumber would take the time checking my personal info... he's more likely to be down the road fleecing an old woman over a walk-in bath and a Belfast sink that she doesn't really need.

The Sagittarian said...

Sausages are evil.

Steve said...

Amanda: there's ain't a Pope or a Catholic priest on this planet who would disagree with you.

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