Monday, September 04, 2006


Tonight, I will have a hot shower.

(I know that any pigs reading this into manstank are uttering a disappointed, "Awwww!")

But I'm happy!

Here's the whole tale of woe.

When I went to take a shower Saturday morning, there was no hot water. I went to investigate, and didn't need to go further than the top of the cellar steps. The bottom two steps were underwater. Uh oh.

I put on my Wellies, which weren't quite tall enough to do thhe trick, and waded over to the sump pump. Which was dead. So we called the plumber. The plumber diagnosed the problem: one of our three freezers in the basement had gone on the fritz, and blown out the circuit breaker. And the sump pump was on the same line. With all the rain we had from Ernesto going by, the water came seeping in and the basement flooded, putting the guts of the furnace under water.

So the plumber pumped out our basement, and today the furnace guy came and got our furnace operable.

My big thing to do was to clean out the freezers.

In the coverage of post-Katrina New Orleans on NPR, they reported that when people started to come back, unopened refrigerators were out on curbs all over the city. Don't know if you've ever had the pleasure, but a refrigerator full of rotten food is just indescribably gross. I ran to the store and bought some heavy duty trash bags, headed down to the basement, and set to work.

It was pretty awful.

Okay, astute readers might ask, what the hell were you doing with three freezers full of food in your cellar?

That's all about my stepmother. During the last few years of her life, her mind wasn't too sharp, and she got a little bit obsessive. So the last couple of spoonfuls of mashed potatoes that no one wanted? It went down to the freezer. The leftover dipping sauce from takeout chinese? Down to the freezer. And when she found something on sale at the supermarket, then just look out. The woman believed strongly in buying in bulk. About eleven different kinds of non-butter spread (which I have totally no use for), doughnuts, fishsticks, blowpops, pie crust... And then, of course, fruit and vegetables in season were bought in bulk, sealed in plastic bags, and taken down to the freezer until hell froze over. Which haven't happened yet. The earliest I found was dated 1978, when Jimmy Carter was president and gay men were still having sex in public places because the internet hadn't happened yet. Early on here, I suggested that we empty them out. Of course not. So there they've sat all these years, humming away, keeping little plastic baggies of ducksauce and twenty year old zucchini frozen for all eternity.

Until it thawed.

And then it became countless bags of stinking goo blanketed in some really evil looking black mold.

One by one, I filled up the heavy duty trashbags till all the... uh... solid stuff was out of there. Then I wiped them down over and over and over again with disinfectant.

And I didn't toss my cookies once.

So it's the end of an era here at the Old Homestead.

1 comment:

alterboy said...

Trays of coffee grounds (unbrewed!)--cheap is fine--will help to take the rotten refridgerator scent away, too, from the inside.