Monday, January 22, 2007

Homeonerous Chores

As I’ve often mentioned, B and I are not cut out to be homeowners. We don’t have the tools or the know-how to fix anything that breaks or needs replacement. Yesterday afternoon got sucked out from underneath us when I discovered that the dryer duct had come detached from the back of the dryer.

I pushed the dryer away from the wall, only to discover a revolting build-up of dryer lint and cat litter (who knew it was so well traveled?) that would first have to be vacuumed up before I could prod at the duct with one of the three screwdrivers we possess.

What’s even more embarrassing than the lint-litter amalgam is that the duct should have been replaced long ago, that is, it should have been replaced as soon as B and I discovered that the Boss (our cat who has been dead for three years) had walked all across the duct, trampling it flat. Rusty (our current cat), of course, has carried on the tradition, so I’m sure the duct hasn’t been truly effective for years. But did we do anything about it? No way. Why? Because it’s behind the dryer and easy to ignore and because, as previously noted and blogged about, our motto, which we follow until forced to face reality, is: If it’s broke, don’t fix it.

It Looks Fine to Me!

It looks fine to me!

So yesterday, we faced reality, which meant that we had to prepare ourselves for a trip to Home Depot. We don’t even know exactly where it is. Out by the airport somewhere. See? We’re in total denial about being homeowners.

To his credit, B made only one wrong turn and we soon found ourselves in the caverns of Home Depot, wandering without map, compass, or divining rod.

We somehow managed to find what looked like the right stuff—lengths of duct tubing, connecting widgets, and clamps. An Orange Apron came up belatedly and confirmed that we had everything we needed. I have to admit that when I showed him what we were going to buy, I spoke with great confidence and I think convinced him that I knew what I was doing. He just went along with me. He looked like William H. Macy and seemed like one of those people who is easily led/cowed.

We got home and got down to business. This is the kind of thing that would take most people 10 minutes, tops. It took us more than an hour. And when I say “us,” I mean that B lost patience after the first five minutes, subsided into profanity, and went to take a nap, leaving me to complete the job. And a good thing, too. As crap-ass of a handyperson as I am, B is a million times more crap-assy.*

I resorted to duct tape when I couldn’t get one of the clamps to clamp properly around the pipe thing that vents outside. How often do you actually get to use duct tape on ducts? That’s what it’s for, right? I presume that one of my DIY readers will set me straight if you’re not actually supposed to use duct tape on ducts. Wouldn’t that be the irony of all ironies?

To be honest, I think I did an OK job. I turned on the dryer and tested for escaping air at the back of the dryer and at all the joins (including the half-assed taped-up segment). Nothing. Well, very little. Then I went outside and checked the vent. Hot air was blasting out of it in true Rush Limbaugh fashion. Yay! Success! Hoo-raw and yee-haw!

*Boy, can he fix anything that goes haywire with a computer, though—he’s that kind of a guy. I don’t mean to suggest that he’s completely useless.


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