20.1.10

A Humbling Experience

There are certain things that a man should be able to do. I can't do them. Having a sense of direction, for example. I don't have one. When I first arrived in Korea I had to flag down a stranger to speak to my new boss on the phone and then follow said stranger back to my apartment because I was lost. I followed the stranger about 10 metres. I was right outside my place.

I am also incapable of growing a beard. I get a sort of porny looking moustache after 4 or 5 days but the effect is not what you might call rugged. Remember what the Indian lad in your class looked like when you were 12? Well I look like that. I'm 24.

As well as these severely emasculating qualities, I am utterly pathetic when it comes to DIY. I can't complete the most rudimentary of tasks. I once shattered my parents' bathroom light-fitting when trying to change a bulb. True story. So, quite silly was it of me to attempt some plumbing last night when already stressed out by some computer troubles. Let me explain.

My laptop failed on me the other night. It just wouldn't turn on. Bad news, obviously,  but I was mostly backed up and it wasn't that big of a deal. In fact, it would give me the opportunity to do something I had been planning on doing for a while and upgrade to Windows 7. I downloaded a pirated copy and read the instructions thoroughly before embarking on my quest while Kendra went to the supermarket. It worked. Kind of. My computer is a temperamental being at the best of times. In a startlingly obvious comparison to it's owner, it baulks at heavy work and has been known to scream - literally, scream - when asked to do two things at once. So, when I asked it to install a new operating system whilst simultaneously running Windows Vista it just went, "Are you bloody serious?" and proceeded to scream WHIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR to the point where I felt it best to step away from it so that the inevitable explosion didn't do anymore damage to my, already flamboyantly shaped, face.

Anyway, with the computer bitching away and the screen looking like it was permanently in safe mode, I decided to have a break from it and take a nice, relaxing shower. I removed my clothes (easy, now) and swaggered into the bathroom with the manner of a fellow who can take any washing ritual in his stride. I turned on the taps and let the heartbreakingly lukewarm water flow through my fingers. Our shower has not been hot for a month or so now. I remember this being a problem in winter last year, but my apartment had a tap located under the shower head which, if adjusted, would allow more hot water through and sacrifice a little water pressure in order to get the heat back. Our new apartment doesn't have this nifty little feature however, as some smart-arse decided to install a bath tub where one doesn't belong thus covering up our Hot Water Displacement Faucet (I believe that is the correct technical term). On every day prior to this one I had just sucked up this frustration and satisfied myself with a little bitch about the water not being hot enough but, after the computer fiasco, I wasn't going to let any other inanimate objects get the better of me. I returned to the living room, stole a 100 won coin from our penny jar (nearly peeling my fingernails off in the process) and stormed back to the bath tub. With the water still running I inserted the coin into a screw located on the hot water tap which I was certain would allow more water through in the same way as the Hot Water Displacement Faucet. I turned and turned and turned and I remember very clearly thinking, just before the final turn as I felt the pressure build beneath my fingers, that there was no way the screw would be forced out by the water and fly into the air...

The screw was forced out by the water and flew into the air followed by a gushing stream of the lukewarm water I was neglecting to shower in. The stream shot directly into my face (that's what she said) and sent the screw into a graceful arc towards the bathtub with me scrambling after it to stop it falling down the drain. The water continued to stream into the air encouraging me to do my naked dance of panic which I hadn't busted out in a while. With water being forced into my every facial orifice, I tried gallantly to force the screw back into place which resulted in two more desperate leaps to save the screw from going down the drain. Finally, after - I swear to God - 10-15 minutes and a Google search on the one computer in the flat which didn't sound like a hair dryer, the screw was back in its little hole, albeit with a bit of black rubber sticking out and a not insignificant fountain of water creeping out of the side. I showered, in water that was now not only lukewarm of temperature but also low of pressure, and retired to my comfortable trousers to await the bollocking from my Canadian girlfriend.

"We've spoken about this before," she sighed, tossing a bag of peanut M&M's in my direction to keep me occupied. "What are you not to do?"
"DIY," I muttered, admiring my fluffy slippers and wondering, not for the first time, what a pair of underpants made with the same lining would feel like.
"And with me out of the house! What were you thinking?!"
"Sorry, Kendra. Want an M&M?"
 "No."

She rolled her trousers up, oblivious to my warnings of geysers of terror, and faced the task with purpose. As I watched, she put the plug into the drain (pure genius) removed the offending screw, reorganised the little black rubber thing (a seal, apparently) and replaced it with a flourish and a condescending glance over her shoulder.

My computer still isn't working properly. I think I got water on it.

Love, Smithy x

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness that was so funny !! tears streming down my face at the thought of your panic and the reaction of Kendra! DIY Andrew maybe someday you will master it and it was the landing light that has never been the same in this house since you touched it ! Bless !!! Love you though ! Thanks for cheering me up !!

Mum x

Lindsay said...

Oh my god andy that was hilarious!!! You are so funny and such a good writer! I can just picture your face when all the said events happened, your computer, the problem with the shower! And then kendra coming in and fixing it - priceless! Keep the stories coming! Love you. xxxxxx
P.S. You are right you have never had a sense of direction even in england, bless ya.

The Pollinatrix said...

Ah yes, this is the good stuff.

How many Smithies does it take to change a light bulb...

Anonymous said...

Absolutely hilarious- well done Andy; or perhaps I should say Kendra. I just about spat out my coffee in laughter!

-Stephanie

Anonymous said...

I should also let you know that I(Kendra) turned on all the water in the house elsewhere so that there wouldn't be any pressure in the shower....eliminating the flying screw problem as well. The look on Andrew's face when I fixed the problem he created in 10 seconds was priceless!

Postman said...

I had to wait half a day to comment on this post, I was chuckling so hard. Brilliant, mate. You're a hilarious writer, as has been stated, an excellent storyteller, and an honest one at that. Kudos, good sir. The "naked dance of panic which I hadn't busted out in a while" had me in stitches.

Don't worry buddy. As one hopeless DIY-er to another, I can say that there's plenty of hope for us left. We're still young. Nothing says we couldn't get good at it sometime before we die...think of this episode as practice.

I'm ever so glad you decided to blog...my life would be short of an enriching read (and a few good laughs) without you...

Anonymous said...

OMG i have read nothing but your post. no comments or anything but before i get to those i just have to say thankyou because you made my effing day. i can picture all of that happening so clearly. especially the last part.kendra is god. you must just accept that. my roommates think i'm crazy because i have actually been laughing out loud for the past ten minutes. no word of a lie. i miss you. and yes..... underwear in that material would be amazing..... shall we start our own business?
-tash

Anonymous said...

'these hunters always refer to their prey as their 'Korean' girlfriends. Why? I don't refer to Kendra as my Canadian girlfriend!'

Very moving Smithy until i read your latest blog....

'retired to my comfortable trousers to await the bollocking from my Canadian girlfriend.'

You and Burton are both Canadian Hunters! Makes me sick how u take advantage of these small town canadian girls...promising them the hope of a better life.

davecunning said...

haha, hilarious bud. Sounds like a rough day. Great for comedy's sake though. Good blog!

Jerry said...

Alas, there is someone else out there with my knack of incredibly butchering of anything that smacks of handyman. But it is more than made up for with your talent for describing your lack of talent.

I did enjoy this.

Jerry said...

How interesting...

After posting my previous note, the required word verification was "bathr".