Friday, April 10, 2009

The Thing in the Basement

Basements are gross. They are dark, cluttered with crap you don't even want to keep upstairs in your closets, let alone out in the open. They usually have big clattering appliances like washers, dryers and hot water heaters. And more often than not there's a funk. A basement funk of stale air, the vaguely septic quality of water moving through the plumbing and on the other sides of the walls and floor, and of forgotten things. And if your landlord is our landlord, you get to look at that hideous painting which was banished down there years ago. blech.

Speaking of our landlord, she's awesome. She's the sweetest lady, living right upstairs, often out of town, leaving us silly little notes and things. She sends us emails warning about attempted robberies in the neighborhood (it is Chicago after all) as well as letting us know the dates of various art fairs in the area. But she is also sort of absent-minded. Case in point: repairs.

The inner doorknob of our building has been hanging by a thread of a screw for several months. Our furnace has kicked itself off several times for no reason--the temperature gauge has gone a little soft in the head and sometimes thinks it's hotter inside the furnace there than it really is. Our bathroom was plagued with clogs of the non-human variety (a bunch of sand and silt had built up over decades deep in the pipes) and now the opposite has happened just under the kitchen sink in the basement. A pipe elbow that looks to be at least 50 years old (probably much older, the apartment dates back to the late 1800s) finally blew out.

At first the hole was the size of a pin-head. Then a dime, followed by quarter and half dollar. Now the water just flies right down our sink and out into the air between our dryer and furnace. Spraying bits of chicken and asparagus and all sorts of food particles that had built up inside over the years. All that filth is laying in a pool that drains slowly into the floor. Needless to say the funk has grown more powerful than can be imagined. Doing laundry has turned into a whelk hunting adventure in Ireland, replete with tall boots and rain gear.

But its getting fixed next week. It only took a month or so. *rolls eyes*

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At 8:36 AM , Blogger LNE said...

When I had to wear my wellies over my pjs just to do laundry, I thought I had hit the lowest low. Then I opened the drier and a handful of soggy rice fell out.

At 10:24 AM , Blogger Les Savy Ferd said...

ew! also, did you like my "fancy feast for the buggies" tag?


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