Remember the Old “This is Your Brain on Drugs” Campaign?

I’ve got a new version. This is my brain. This is my brain in a Shop Vac. Any questions?

There are pros and cons to every decision we make, right? In our old house we had a summertime issue with cockroaches in the basement. Say it with me, “Ewwwwwwwwww.” They never breeched the threshold to the upper domain, but they totally creeped me out. So much so that Craig and I switched work spaces because he’s, like, a farm boy, you know, and I’m totally a town girl. So leaving the nasty critters behind? A very definite pro. Leaving the landlord behind?
A major con.

Now we’re in a new house. A pro, right? Yet there is this major con: we’re now totally responsible for all household issues. This house has not been shy with its problems, oh no. Currently on the docket is a drain issue in the kitchen. Namely, we have a sink that thinks it’s a washtub with no drain. It also likes to play with the dishwasher which drains out the front door instead of a back hose. What this means is that when the dishwasher is going, it fills up the sink so that we’re playing relay tag games with drink pitchers dumping out loads of water before it can fill back up again. When the sink gets full (which it does over time – there’s something about having a sink in the kitchen, you think you can use it), instead of draining, it fills up the bottom of the dishwasher which in turn sticks its tongue out at us by letting all that water come out on the kitchen floor. All over the kitchen floor.

After about the 60th trip out the back door with a pitcher tonight and after using about 6 bath towels to “sandbag” the dishwasher, I remembered that I bought a wet/dry Shop Vac the day we moved out of the old house. You know, to vacuum up the cockroaches and stuff.

Here’s where this story really gets interesting: I’ve never used the “wet” portion of a Shop Vac before. I only ever used the “dry” portion a couple of weeks ago when I was cleaning out the basement of the new house, after Craig cleaned out the basement of the old house. So just think of all the nastiness that was inside the heart module of this Shop Vac. Yes, it was nasty.

I had no idea what you were supposed to do to make a switch to vacuum the wet. I reasoned that, well, I should probably dump out all the yucky dry before filling this thing up with the yucky wet. Good thinking, right? I opened it up and guess what I found? Amid everything you know was already in there, I found the instruction manual, extra rubber things, uninstalled filters, and a package of wheels. Score. And rats.

So I’m racing time, trying to pick out the stuff I needed to save, get rid of the stuff I needed to pitch, hose the thing out, figure out how to put the stupid wheels on, wonder what I’m supposed to do with the filter, and get back in the house to vacuum out the “sink” before we experience some waterfall action in the kitchen again.

Aside: do you know how heavy ten gallons of water is? Hint: heavy. I think nasty water from a confused sink weighs even more, particularly when you are wearing a lavender t-shirt and when your neighbors drive home just in time to see you attempt to lug said 10 gallons of nasty water across the back deck (after two wheels have come off), down the steps, and into the yard where you collapse with a big frowny face and a choice word.

We have a plumber coming tomorrow to fix all the violations the city mandated we fix within 30 days of moving in. Guess what else is on the list? And you know what I’m wishing for tonight (besides the obvious shower and change of clothes)? I’m wishing we had a landlord to call.

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