Wednesday, July 20, 2016

oh, the humanity

Each disaster has its own clues.

And it need not be anything as dramatic as the smoking skeleton of the Hindenburg or the breach in the South Fork Dam above Johnstown. Sometimes, it can merely be a knife.

I saw it sitting on top of the hose box when I returned from my dental appointment in Manzanillo (more on that later). One of my good kitchen knives. The woman who cleans my house (Dora) has a great respect for tools. That meant if one of my good knives was outside of the kitchen, we were in the midst of an emergency. 

And we were. Dora called to me from the upstairs terrace asking if there was a way to shut off the electricity to the pump. A quick look at the stairs showed me why. I had not seen that much water cascading down the stairs since hurricane Patricia visited us last October.

I ran upstairs to see what had happened. Apparently, while Dora's young assistant was cleaning upstairs, the terra cotta cover over a light fell and snapped off one of the water pipe stems the contractor had left for future expansion. We had our own private water feature.

Dora had attempted to use electrical tape to re-attach the pipe (thus the presence of the knife), but the water pressure was too great. The only happy being was Barco, who thought he had a full-day pass to the water park.

I unplugged the well pump to stop the water flow. Dora and I then walked around the corner to purchase a new piece of plastic pipe, a connector, and a cap -- plus the inevitable tube of plumber's cement. Dora's husband will stop by early this afternoon to assist me in undoing the pipe damage. I can then restore water to the house.

At some point, I will need to find a replacement sconce. But, this is Mexico. And terra cotta is as cheap as dirt.

Like most household disasters, this one will be easily resolved. And that may prove to be my undoing. If the Hindenburg crashed in my courtyard, I would have it cleaned out in hours. If a sconce breaks, it may stay broken for years.

I think it was it was Tolstoy who said: "All big disasters are alike; each small disaster is a disaster in its own way." Or something like that.

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