Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Since he did such a good job with the dishwasher, I invited my friend JC back to install a new tap on my kitchen sink last night. The old one had cracked along its underside, meaning that every time I turned it on it sprayed water everywhere except in the sink. So after looking under the sink and determining that it would be relatively straightforward for two guys to install, I bought a shiny new one from Bunnings and made the call to JC.

We bring separate skills to these kinds of jobs. As JC pointed out, he spent many years working on the engine in his 1967 Mini, which means that he is used to dealing with obscure fasteners in inaccessible places locked into place by rust. I’m good at providing gin, and remembering little things like turning the water off at the mains before commencing work.

JC also has something of the berserker in his genetic makeup, which came in handy when we discovered that the central bolt holding the existing tap onto the sink was rusted into place. He attacked it with spanners, and pliers, and wrenches. With both of us straining on separate shifters, we almost tore the sheet metal of the sink apart. The nut, however, didn’t move.

Whereas a normal person would encounter a recalcitrant nut and conclude that the job is impossible, JC tends to see the problem as an embodiment of all of life’s frustrations. He takes the nut’s failure to oblige him as a personal slight, a slur against his character and his abilities. And if human wrath could be focused into a hostile glare, I’m pretty sure that the brass nut would have melted.

That’s the kind of tenacity you need in this sort of the situation. So it was that with extreme violence, WD40, the mangling of the other parts of the tap and the application of the largest forged steel wrench in the Western World, the nut eventually turned. Half an hour later the new tap was installed and working perfectly.

We celebrated with scotch, coffee, chocolate and South Park, not necessarily in that order.


Anonymous vague said...

Ugh, that happened to me and a former roommate in college. We were trying to replace the inner workings of our toilet tank (after discovering that a faulty connection was costing us an extra $100 per month on the water bill!). We eventually gave up on the rusted nut and bolt and instead bought an entirely new tank. What a fun night it was!

I very much admire your perseverance. And your gin!

2:12 PM  
Anonymous TroyG said...

I feel the same way about inanimate objects not doing what I wish them to do. It takes about 1000 creases to create a wrinkle, and I'm sure that if I did all the DIY projects I wanted to, my face would make Charles Bronson's look as smooth as the proverbial baby's bottom, rather than a "mummified apple core".

1:18 PM  

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