Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Jack Bauer is a pussy.

Before some crazed "24" fan gets all up in my grill about the title of this post, let's get one thing established.

I don't watch that bullshit show. I'm making the following comparison from my vague familiarity with the concept of the show, so this is not any direct plot-following factoid infused comparison.

But here is why I think Jack Bauer is a pussy.

First off, Jack makes people give him the information he needs by being all threatening. GREAT.

Jack, it's easy to scare someone into doing what you want when you have a gun pointed at their head. It's also easy when you have lots of technology and a fully-staffed government agency feeding you the crap you need. Try going solo, unarmed, and unable to issue body-blows to the offending party... Yeah, Jack ain't gonna get too far.

"But, Lizzle, Jack occasionally gets caught and tortured, BLAH BLAH BLAH..."

Jack doesn't know torture.

Torture is living in an inescapable situation with an irrational person who frays the last threads of your sanity as a matter of daily habit.

I could totally handle taking a few punches, or Chinese water torture, or having bamboo chutes inserted under my fingernails, or whatever else with ease... You recover from physical torture a hell of a lot faster than you recover from being stripped of your sanity.

"But, Lizzle, Jack operates on a time constraint!"

Bullshit. That asshat has 24 hours to stop the threat of terror, and even if he didn't, whatever the resulting tragedy might be, he would not be the sole person held accountable.

You want to know what makes me say all of this? OK.

Picture it. The Lizzle is quietly sleeping. Not bothering a soul. Just snoozin away, having happy dreams of a life that doesn't so closely resemble hell. And then suddenly it hits me like a ton of bricks.

Mom --in that scarily panicked tone that only mothers can produce-- says, "LIZ!! Get up!! I broke the toilet!!"

There are few things that will wake you up faster than the threat of water damage that you didn't cause but will undoubtedly be held accountable for. Yeah, sure I'm betting you've got a running list in your head of worse things, but this is my story dammit. And in this house and in this living situation, water damage and a broken toilet ranks right up there at the top.

(A bit of background: The toilet in the main floor bathroom has a tendency to run continuously after flushing. Mom was trying to fiddle with the mechanisms in the tank and broke a piece off that caused the toilet to run, but not drain anywhere. As of that second, even though I was only sleeping when the event occurred, I was the one on a clock in panic mode.)

You're thinking, "But, Lizzle, couldn't mom just explain what happened, and that she was responsible?"

NO.

Mom had to get to work, and grandpa had just left for morning mass, which gives me only 45 minutes to fix this mess, or incur the wrath. It doesn't matter to grandpa who ACTUALLY broke the toilet I would be the only one home at the time when he discovered the situation, and thus the suffering would be all mine.

So in a panic, my grogginess was rapidly overrun by adrenaline... It's go time!

45 minutes, and counting.

I run up the stairs, assess the situation, and try to shut off the water intake to the toilet tank. (Mind you this valve has not been touched, let alone fully shut off, for MANY MANY YEARS.)

With my super-human adrenaline-fueled strength, I wrenched the knob as hard as I could, and got the water stopped.

I then proceeded to drain the tank most of the way, and figure out a plan.

"Mom, I'll fix it. Get in the car."

"Well, but... Can you..."

"Yes. Get in the car."

I drove at a somewhat rational speed, dropped mom off at her office, and proceeded to the nearest hardware store. I got the part that I needed. (And for the record, in a totally NOT dirty way, I knew the proper name for the part before ever going in, and it was a "ballcock assembly." And to you juveniles over there, quit laughing. This situation is in no way funny... though I will say that it was the first time in a long time that I've had my hands on a ballcock... Ok. Fine. Laugh it up.)

Ok, so factoring in drive time, time at the hardware store finding the part I needed, and then waiting in line, I've used a good portion of my 45 minutes before ever really getting started.

T-minus 20 minutes and counting...

I get back in the house. I grab the household items, and tools I know I'll need before going back to the task. I maneuver the things I need into the tiny space where I need them to be, and proceed to remove the broken ballcock assembly... (I'll pause now, while you continue to snicker... Ready yet? No? ...How about now? Ok. On with the story.)

I figure at this point I've got about 7 minutes left, and every second is loudly ticking away.

I install the new ballcock assembly. I make all the proper adjustments so that everything appears to sound and function as it always has. I restore the water flow. I begin to posture in my victorious glow... I realize that I have about a minute and a half to wrap things up.

I put the lid back on the tank. I packed up all the evidence of the problem, including the packaging from the new piece, the broken old piece, the tools, and the household items I needed. I put everything back in its proper place. I hide the evidence... All is as it should be, and about 6 seconds later grandpa pulls into the driveway.

Victory is mine.

And I didn't even have to shoot or threaten anybody.

Damn I'm good. (And I felt like a seriously butched out lesbian for knowing how to single-handedly fix a toilet without instruction or consulting a plumber, but you know... A totally butched out lesbian who isn't really a lesbian, because she isn't into chicks.)

Take that Jack Bauer! Crisis averted.

You may all issue your praises of my glory in the comments at this time.

1 comment:

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