Monday, March 08, 2010

python, swearing, plumbing

Beside some extensive excavations in the road, these orange coils promise revelations or dramatic consumption, but disappoint, remaining stubbornly passive.

An old man in a black, fake fur hat puffs up Mount Pleasant through a tide of pedestrians. As I pass him , going in the opposite direction, I notice that he swearing to himself like a car engine straining for more torque.

In Home Base, I enquire of a young woman about bath plugs. "In the plumbing aisle", she says. Aisle or isle, plumbing seems an unsuitable epithet for something that should be stately, as in a cathedral, or romantic as in the middle of the ocean.
Posted by Picasa


Roderick Robinson said...

I hope you got the plug you wanted. Imagining plugs to come in a few standard sizes I found they are multi-dimensioned and multi-shaped. And since they depend for their usefulness on providing "an interference fit" (Rather neat, that one.) a difference as small as half a millimetre can define retention or total loss.

Unknown said...

In fact a story evolved from the plug encounter. The plug replacement I thought I wanted was for one of those plugs, which are pushed up by a lever action from below. When the plug is closed, the lever is in the down position and the plug retained in the hole by gravity. To release the water from the bath you rotate a handle in the upper part of the wall of the bath above the plug hole. This activates the lever, below the bath, next to the plug hole, which pushes up the plug, allowing the water to escape into the waste pipe. I thought that the rim of the plug serving the function of a washer, had worn thin, and was letting water escape when it should have been sealing it in. As it happened, the plug repacement turned out to be too small because I had forgotten to take the old one with me, but it served an unexpected purpose. The instructions, which came with it, told me that to fit the plug you should adjust the height of the projecting pin beneath it to engage precisely with the lever, and so ensure that the plug fits tightly into the hole. You do this with the help of a screwdriver. I quickly realized that I did not need a new plug and had only to adjust the old one to restore a tight seal. As I had not unpacked the replacment, I was able to return it to Homebase and have a refund. Worth a sonnet, I guess.

Roderick Robinson said...

In my sere and withered years I shall gather such sonnets together and publish them under Songs of Utility. Incidentally, recounting what you have just done in English is quite a formidable exercise. Doing it in French would add another order of magnitude of difficulty. Racine and Baudelaire are no preparation.