Broken, Lost, And Damaged

Here’s our record for the week so far.

One lost jacket, thankfully recovered days later from the skating rink; one lost water bottle, thankfully recovered from the hallway at school; one lost pair of gloves, found sopping wet in the skating bag.

One entire book of Pokemon cards gone, gone, gone. These were Gal Smiley’s, and my heart breaks for her, but I did warn her about taking them to school and so I’m afraid this must turn into a Lesson Learned. Still sad though.

One broken TV (rough week for Gal Smiley), one dead vacuum cleaner, three flat tires on the Chariot, and one toilet that maddeningly does not flush, then flushes, then does not flush, then flushes, then runs, then sticks its tongue out at us and give us a raspberry.

Also: one non-functional furnace.

The furnace in particular made us bitter because the house is only seven years old, and much muttering was done about CERTAIN BUILDERS and their need to CUT CORNERS and SHODDY PRODUCTS THESE DAYS and so on. And of course, we found out it was not working on Saturday afternoon just as the weather turned chilly, and no one wants to call a repair guy on the weekend.

So we bundled up in sweaters and slippers and heavy quilts, while Sir Monkeypants went downstairs and tinkered with it. We knew based on the error code that there was something wrong with the airflow in and out but everything seemed fine to us. So although Sir Monkeypants bravely battled all weekend, by Monday we admitted defeat and called in some backup.

The guy arrives on Monday and has a poke around and says the problem is with our outtake pipe.

Here is the outtake pipe:

Outtake Pipe

It’s the one that curves upright in a big S-shape.

You might notice, looking at these pipes, that they overlook a lovely bed of river rock.

Guess what the outtake pipe is full of.


Here is the diagram illustrating the problem that I emailed to Sir Monkeypants yesterday afternoon:

Outtake Pipe With Rock

So the guy from the furnace place can’t do anything about the rocks, because he can’t get them out without cutting the pipe, and this type of piping is no longer to code, so he isn’t allowed to cut it and reattach it, he’d have to replace the whole thing, a job requiring a few hours and hundreds of dollars.


Sir Monkeypants came home and got out his Mondo Shop Vac and sucked on the end of the tube while I bashed at it from below to loosen the rocks. We managed to suck out a whole bunch, but we can tell from ominous rattling sounds inside the tube that there’s at least one more still in there.

On the plus side, the obstruction has been cleared enough to allow the furnace to function. So we’ve decided to live in harmony with Mr. Last Rock and call it a wash.

Needless to say, the children have been LECTURED.

13 thoughts on “Broken, Lost, And Damaged

  1. CapnPlanet

    Ah, I identify here, particularly with the endless list of broken stuff. Sometimes I feel like my free time is completely consumed with fixing and maintaining and I never actually get to enjoy the fruits of my labor.

    And the Pokemon cards – those are hard lessons indeed, but they must be learned. I constantly want to prevent my kids from making those mistakes but if they don’t make those mistakes and learn those lessons they will never become good decision makers.

  2. That reminds me of the time my friend’s treadmill was broken. They couldn’t figure it out. It was new. So the repair guy came by and discovered that SOMEONE had shoved a pen into the motor.

  3. Oh my. Sounds very familiar indeed:

    Monkey: Want put things in hole.

    Me: What hole?

    Monkey: That one. Big one.

    Me (looking at furnace outtake): No. If you ever put anything in there, the house will break.

    Monkey (looking up and around at house): Break? House?

    Me: Yup. So don’t ever do it. Ever. Never put things in that hole. Or our house will break.

    Monkey: Okay.

    Problem is, he’ll be curious about it one day. I tried my best not to make it into a “big red shiny button” and he hasn’t become obsessed with “big hole” or “Putting things” in it. But some day it will occur to him again, and that time he might not ask permission.

  4. That was my biggest fear when we got the new furnace and those type of exhaust pipes last year.

    The furnace guys told me it happen, all.the.time.

    Obviously whoever designed this does not have kids.

  5. Reminds me the lego in the tape deck… and my cousins putting PBJs into the VCR because she thought it was hungry. Can you put mesh over the hole?

    (As an aside… I hate to break it to Greg but he’s going to have worry about Monkey and other “holes” soon enough. And yeah, he’ll be suitably obsessed.)

  6. CapnPlanet

    What goes around, comes around. Yesterday we recovered both a cap and a trombone stand, both lost for several weeks. We had honestly given up hope of recovering either, and then, boom, there they both were, in the space of a couple of hours. Now I’m just waiting to get our soccer ball back, lost on the soccer field amid the sea of soccer balls of all the other 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds.

    Even the loss of the soccer ball is offset because a while back we found another soccer ball abandoned in a field near our house. It’s pretty scuffed up and it’s full-size (the lost one is a kiddie-size #3) but it holds air. Even steven!

    Getting the Pokemon cards back still seems like too much to hope for though. Life goes on…

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