Jon and I had a "What The Heck!" moment recently and decided to put a new toilet and sink in our bathroom. Our house is old (about 100). The bathroom? Well, it hasn't been touched since the owners previous to the previous owners put in 50 years ago. It's vintage. We've had a door hinge hanging under the sink for about 20 years which acts as a counterweight to keep the plug working. The toilet doubled as a rocking chair when my kids were babes. Yeah, u-huh.
So we went on up to Lowe's and splurged!
Do we know how to live or what? A cousin of a neighbor's friend was going to install our new "furniture" but that seems to have fallen through. Today a plumber came to visit.
"Mrs. Trout, do you know if the pipes to that toilet are lead?"
"Hmmm... copper? Aren't they copper?"
"Well, that could be, Mrs. Trout but if they are lead, we'll have to rip out the whole floor."
"Uh, hmmm... . The floor?"
"Yes, ma'am. That'll really cost you."
"Uh... . "
"It'll take me about 15 minutes to write up the estimate, Mrs. Trout."
"Uh, yeah, no problem."
15 minutes squeaks by.
"Ok, Mrs. Trout, do you want to sit down?"
"No, I can take it."
"Ok, Well, let's see here. The way I wrote this estimate is a little confusing... there are a few different options. With this first scenario, it'll be $,,,, . In this scenario, it'll be $,,,, and if those pipes are lead, well, Mrs. Trout, we can't take responsibility."
"Arck" (sitting down) and wondering if we can return the danged toilet and sink. The door hinge is really kind of charming. Sink jewelry.
"But Mrs. Trout, if you noticed on that estimate, there are two prices: one for members and one for non-members."
"Members?" Of what: church? country club? The Democratic National Committee? WHAT?
"You pay $95 a year and all that year - everything is 10% off! AND we come over and give your plumbing a real good going-over and tell you exactly what you need!"
Like a lead pipe to the head? Or maybe a new plug to keep the money from leaking from my wallet? Why not just come after me with a plunger to dislodge all that disposable cash?
Me: "So, ya'll come over and look over our pipes and tell us a bunch of stuff that we need?" (to pay you, all for the low price of $95 + 10% off.)
Wow, whadda deal! Where did they get that business model?
Despite the tragic manner in which our innocence was crushed, I find myself laughing so hard that my eyelids turned inside out.
And just in case you think I have something against plumbers, let me snake your drain: my father, uncle and grandpop were all plumbers. The businessman who visited today was from a company that was in business back in the day, a competitor of my dad and I can still hear Pop muttering: "g-d O'D..." (I won't name names here; I think he's a brother-in-law of a cousin).
Does anyone know a good plumber?