Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Clean Out

"The old vhs recorder always takes a few minutes to warm up, so I am going to leave it in the van during the deluge," the old plumber tells the young security guard who has no clue what vhs means. He goes down through a heavy door into the basement and places a 50 gallon trash can under the end of the pipe, hoping it is a three inch stack. If so, there will only be about four gallons to catch. It is hard to be optimistic when one is about to pop off a clean out plug from a building drain that is blocked up the to the second story.

"At least it is mostly water," he says to himself as he twists the plug out and quickly lifts the barrel up on an angle. As the standing water pressure forces the barrel out one of his hands and temporarily floods the concrete floor, he thinks, "I guess that was a four inch stack."

As the water on the floor disappears down a floor drain he says, "Now let's have a look at the nuisance."

He sends the camera mounted snake way down the pipe and suddenly hits something, making a loud ping sound that reverberates up the pipe. "That was solid." On the small screen of his viewing contraption, he see the shape of spider amongst a great mess of wet paper reflect light off of its shiny, black surface. After a couple of prods, the paper and the foreign object flush away with the remaining water from the pipe. "Must of been light."

The old plumber brings the building manager to the scene telling him that his snake hit something that looked like a spider. The manager replies, "Snakes and spiders. Sounds creepy...and expensive."

"I provide a videotape of the procedure if you would like to see it for yourself."

"Video tape? There isn't equipment ancient enough to play that in this building...or anywhere in the world for that matter," the manager laughs.

"I know you have a strict policy about recording on the premises so I'll leave the tape at the front desk."

"You are too polite. Just take the tape. That is not the sensitive material we are worried about," says the manager who laughs and continues, "Bring your bill to the front desk and they will pay you. Thanks again."

Back in his van, he opens the blank envelope and looks at the check which says, "Plumbing with Spiders" on the "For" line. (Close up on the title. There ends the intro and begins the story.)

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