Nonsense, horsefeathers, and idle musings from a decade in South Korea (2002-2012).


02 February, 2012

Wherein Aaron Gets His Comeuppance

By Aaron
02 February, 2012

Back when I was a kid, my Grandparents lived in an old Idaho farmhouse which, for one reason or another, lacked a flush toilet. Oh, the home had a commode, but I recall that flushing it involved dumping a bucket of water into the tank. Why we were still doing this in the early 1980s I don't recall, but it certainly beat the other option: a proper outhouse out behind the brooder house.

I bring this up this because, several weeks ago, I mentioned to the missus that we'd probably do well to leave the water taps dribbling on the coldest days if we had any interest in preventing our pipes from freezing. Before last winter, I'd never had this experience but after the hassle of getting them flowing again on that occasion, I didn't care to do it all again.

Well, fast forward to yesterday morning, which found Seoul flash-frozen by -17° centigrade temperatures. I was in a hurry to get out of the house, as was my wife, who was starting a new job and who thus had matters aplenty on her own mind. Fast forward to 8 PM last night when I came strolling into the house, ready for a hot shower and a shave after a day at work only to find that the water taps were dead and dry.

In one of his more well-known remarks, Woody Allen once quipped that "not only is there no god, but try finding a plumber on Sunday." I'll go you one further, Woody: try getting a plumber to your house on a day when all your fellow nitwits also didn't remember to guard against frozen pipes. And so, after trying to thaw the pipes ourselves, to no avail, it appears that we're to live without running water until at least tomorrow.

I have no doubt that my grandparents would be dealing with this lack of indoor plumbing with considerably more grace and stoicism than I can muster. Growing up in this modern world, where the toilet stands ever-ready to whisk away your deposits, I daresay I've become an impatient, mollycoddled pantywaist who can't stand a few hours of diluted hardship.

Bottom line: remember to leave those taps flowing ever so slightly, lest you end up letting the yellow mellow and trucking buckets of water to flush the brown down.