Tuesday, November 8, 2011

There must be one place left in the world, where the water's real and clean (a.k.a. Well Done Broke adendum)

Things are still not quite right with the well, but it's taken us a week and some even more disgusting mouse troubles to realize it.

We went out of town for a few days trip to a medical conference in a southern state. (Which, I'll have to blog about later, cause I love me a medical conference.) However, before we left we noticed that our water pressure was not what it should be nor what it had been following the well repair of earlier in the week. Water was coming out of our tub faucets much more trickle-like than usual. Sometimes, once the warm water joined it, things would pick up a bit. Or sometimes it would stay low until a little way into the shower and then kick in proper. Or sometimes it just stayed low. We weren't sure what was wrong, but it would wait til we returned home.

Florida was warm, sunny, breezy and just all around gorgeous. Nearly a week later, we returned to our cold, rainy and overcast state to find that the water pressure situation had not magically healed itself as we'd secretly hoped. Instead, the water still occasionally came out as a trickle, increasing in pressure only after much flowing. My one hope in this was that when Mark the Well Guy had been in the crawlspace and had turned our water main back on at the tap, he'd not turned the tap all the way to the open position.

I crawled back into the crawlspace to check the tap. It was, unfortunately, fully open. While I was down there, I checked the pressure tank's gauge, but it too was at the standard pressure level. Err. As I was turning to depart, my flashlight shone across the plastic-sheeting-covered crawlspace floor and fell upon the distinctive form of a mouse trap. It was lying on its face, but tipped at an angle so that I could not see what its trap might or might not hold as far as mousey corpses went. The trap lay less than a yard away from the place where I had previously placed the mouse trap I had warned Mark the Well Guy about and which I had assumed he had found a mouse in and brought up into the garage, for it had been missing when I last looked for it there. The fact that it had been missing was very important, because the fact that we had found a trap with a mouse in it in the middle of our garage floor when neither of us had set that trap and placed it there had been a real glitch-in-the-Matrix moment for me. I've had a couple of those in the last year, where reality as I understand it turns out to be fundamentally wrong, and such glitches thus piss me off tremendously. Our saving grace, though, had come when I'd looked into the crawlspace and found the trap missing, allowing me to do the math that Mark had probably found a mouse in the trap and thoughtfully brought it up for disposal, only to have our cats find it and kick it into the middle of the garage.

Crouching there, beneath the floorboards of my dining room, staring at the bottom of a mousetrap that was within a trap-spring's leap from where I'd placed the controversial one from last week, I felt the foundations of the Matrix start to wobble again. If this was the actual trap I'd left down here, then we did not have a proper explanation for the one with the mouse in the garage. The trap, lying there face down, was like a Schrodinger's box of quantum potentiality. If the trap held a mouse, it could very well have been the trap I'd set, flipped by the motion of the trap's release a few feet from where I'd left it.

I crawled over to it and picked up the trap. It was empty of a mouse. In fact, it wasn't even the same brand or design of mouse trap as those from the chub-pack of mouse traps we purchased. This one was old and rusted and likely belonged to a previous owner of the house. My world righted itself and I shook off the Matrix dust and went about my day.

Unfortunately, we were shortly beset by a potentially even more horrifying prospect than a Matrix glitch, one which also involved mice.

A day after our return we were back, we began to detect a foul smell in our guest bedroom. It smelled like something dead and rotting. Our fear was that the cats had drug a mouse into the house--or a chipmunk--as they have been known to do, and had hidden its corpse in the room somewhere. Or they chased a still live but wounded mouse in and it had managed to hide and die in there. We recently found such a poor creature beneath our sofa, so this was a likely prospect. However, an exhaustive search of the room turned up no corpses tiny or otherwise. That, and the fact that the smell was soon detected in our bedroom and in my office, meant that the rotting mouse in question was likely somewhere within the ductwork of our heating system.

We've known we've had mice in the ductwork before, because insulation has blown out of the floor vents from where they burrowed through it on their way into the ducts. A year or so ago, I ventured into the crawlspace where I examined all the ductwork I could reach and patched the holes with duct tape. The thought of having to go down there and try to find a dead mouse hidden either in the central duct unit, or within the nine plus flexible duct tube arms stretching from it to our vents, was a harrowing one. At the same time, though, it seemed like the sort of thing the wife and I might be capable of accomplishing on our own without calling in expensive mouse-removal professionals. I knew it wouldn't be simple. What I didn't immediately realize is that such professionals can do the job quicker than we could because they usually pack remote cable-cameras, kind of like the flexible cable-based ass-cameras they use for colonoscopies. They could use such a device to peer down the central junction box as well as the individual ducts.

We, however, had no ass-cameras.



chaniarts said...

can't you just 'borrow' one for a bit from your wife's medical department? think of all the fun extra stuff you could do with it.

you might consider also putting in hard ducts rather than ones that can be chewed into.

Anonymous said...

I totally laughed at "ass-cameras." Juvenile sense of humor.