After he had been working for a while he hollered, “Honey, will you please come here and help me with something?”
I forthwith appeared obediently in the bathroom, curious as to what sort of Important Plumbing Task I might be entrusted with.
As it turned out, Steve had disconnected the sink trap, which is the elbow-y looking thing that can be found under a sink.
From my (limited) understanding, a sink trap somehow keeps sewer gases from seeping back up into the house and also collects yucky water consisting of tooth brushing spit and other assorted, um, stuff. ( I trust I am not being too technical for you.)
That basically means that the water in a sink trap would not normally be described as pristine by any stretch of any imagination.
Also, as it turns out, when a sink trap is removed it has to be held carefully upright because a good bit of the aforementioned icky water will remain in the trap.
And so. When Steve called so plaintively for my help, it was because he was lying under the sink on his back like
this . . .
and was carefully holding the plastic elbow thingie in the widely prescribed upright manner.
As I bent down to take the sink trap from him, he proceeded to instruct me in the most knowledgeable and sonorous of tones, “Becky, just take this trap over to the toilet, dump out the water and bring it back to me.”
I carefully retrieved it from his outstretched hands while thinking to myself, “Hmmm. It appears as though Steve isn’t thinking very clearly right now. Otherwise, why would he tell me to walk all the way across the bathroom to dump out nasty water when there is a perfectly good sink right here in front me?”
And so, feeling especially pleased with myself for being so efficient and proactive in my Plumber’s Assistant Career, I leaned forward and happily dumped that ol’ slimy water right down the drain. As I did so I blithely inquired, “Steve, why would you want me to walk over and dump this is in the toilet when there is a sink right here in front of . . . .“
Then I trailed off miserably and said, “Oh. Right.”
There was absolute silence in the bathroom for about five seconds. Well, I should say that there was silence except for the squelchy sounds of my hapless husband’s head squishing around in the depths of the water he’d been so recently baptized in.
And then? After the silence? There were five minutes of hysterical laughter.
Those were followed by me asking my patient partner-in-plumbing, “Does that mean that I’m fired as your assistant?”
And I’m sad to report that I really was fired. Sort of.
However, it appears to me that firing no longer means what it used to mean back in the day. Because somehow, even in my Officially Fired State, I was still summoned throughout the day by Mr. Plumber to hand him things or hold things while he worked on various, mysterious projects.
So what’s a girl gotta do around here to get herself fired for real? I mean, look at my working conditions! I have to share space with a man who spends his time pretending that the old faucet paraphernalia is growing out of his nose?
Oh well. I still think I’ll keep him.
He doesn’t eat much and he’s really good help around the house.