‘Honey do’ list never ending

One morning earlier this spring, my wife, The Pearl of the Orient, let out a disgusted “Ugh!” from the bathroom.
“Look at the sediment staining the toilet and this water tastes like something out of a Javex bottle,” she railed, detailing her disgust with the current state of the water supply.
When we had lived in the country, we were used to a little “flavoured” water during the spring break-up or a monsoon. After all, the water from the neighbouring barnyards had to go somewhere—our well.
Besides, having our immune systems challenged regularly kept us healthy.
But now that we are “townies,” we have become used to “clean” water and only make “tea” by adding orange pekoe.
“Must have had an extra load of silt come by or had to pull a dead beaver out of the intake at the water plant,” I opined, taking a sip of the highly-chlorinated brew.
“Still, I suppose it will keep our teeth white,” I added, repressing my gag reflex.
“Why don’t you change the filter on the drinking water tap?” asked the Pearl, still unable to brush her teeth.
“Can’t get filters for it anymore. Engineered obsolescence,” I offered, pulling on my shoes and edging towards the door as meeting time at the debating table at the Bakery was fast approaching.
The coffee there, along with the toast and peanut butter, would neutralize any amount of chlorine.
“Not so fast! You bought a new filtration system and a whole raft of filters three years ago. They’re sitting on a shelf in the basement,” countered the Pearl.
“That would be a good project for this morning. Hurry back from coffee,” was the last advice I heard as the door hit me in the butt.
I lingered over coffee, but managed to make it back home by 11:30 a.m.
“Right after lunch, I’ll get on that,” I stated before the Pearl could object.
“Right now! I’ll help. The instructions say it’s a 15-minute job,” replied the Pearl, pointing towards the new system and a pile of “recommended” tools.
I capitulated and set to work. Getting the old system out was no problem as I simply unscrewed the old faucet from the top and snipped off the supply line with a pair of side cutters.
I guess I should have shut off the water supply first, but in another 15 minutes we had the water pretty much mopped up, except where it sprayed the ceiling tiles. But with its load of free chlorine, it shouldn’t stain them (maybe bleach them out a bit).
Installing the system required approach from the bottom. Fortunately, my arms were long enough, however, I had to get down on the floor and scrunch myself around a corner and up under the sink.
This task I could have accomplished with ease some 50 years ago. But in 2010, it was a different matter.
Also, if I could have done it one time instead of a dozen because of no light, wrong wrenches, dropped pieces, dirt in my eyes, charley-horses, and back spasms, it would have shortened the process mightily.
The Pearl, true to her word, helped. Her shrieks of laughter at my contorted corpse and questioning, “Are you done yet?” certainly broke the monotony.
When she stepped off the stool directly onto my paunch with a “Sorry,” it brought her close to death. Except I couldn’t get out to swing the wrench.
A couple of hours later, with a last desperate sigh, I completed the last connection and totally relaxed my battered corpse. I was too cramped and exhausted to even try and extricate myself.
“Elliott, are you OK? Did you have a heart attack? Should I call 9-1-1 or the undertaker?” queried the Pearl.
“Neither, just help me up,” I replied as, with one last heave, my remains, abraded knuckles and all, slithered out from under the sink to lay prone on the wet floor.
“Forget lunch. It’s time for afternoon coffee at the Bakery,” I whined in my most put upon voice.
As I left, the back door hit me in the butt—again.

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