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.


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

  1. kate o. says:

    just today i was bemoaning the fact that we moved yet again into a rented, not owned, house. your post just made me want to run out and hug my landlord and his checkbook.


  2. Keri says:

    Would it make you feel one bit better if I told you I once had the same exact problem with a shop vac, only I was sucking out a freezer that died while we were on vacation… full of meat… in summer.. and I was pregnant? True story. I had a few choice words too. Still not sure I can laugh about it, but if it helps you…


  3. Candace Prosser says:

    I had a gentleman in his fifties tell me that with all of the problems he experienced with the three houses that he has owned and expected to experience in any house he would and could buy in the future on his wages, he would rent until the day he died.
    We are definately not t o the point where we could afford to buy, but we also due to the maintenance have decided to put off buying for a long while.


  4. Chelsea says:

    I have used the ShopVac many a time to suck up cockroaches. And then I cover the nozzle with Press-n-Seal so they can’t come crawling out again. (I make Kevin empty the thing out later.)
    Ten gallons of water weighs about 80 pounds, BTW.


  5. gretchen from lifenut says:

    Oh no! I hope everything is repaired quickly and as painlessly as possible. Yuck.
    We’ve owned our home for three years, and for the first year we would automatically think of our dear old landlord every time something went wrong.
    Our refrigerator (2 years old, came with the house) died when we had been here for only a couple of weeks. Paying for our own home repairs/new appliances was a little revolutionary and a shock to the already-stretched pocketbook. One thing owning a home has forced us to do is become very handy very quickly.


  6. Jeff T says:

    wow, when you were describing the contents of the vac, and then bemoaned said contents using the derogatory “rats” I really thought you meant there were rats in the vac. That would have really put this story over the top! So something to be thankful for, there were no rats in your shop vac.


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