Holmgren's Last Game... Down the Drain

The New York Bretts come to town this weekend for what should have been a very significant game between two division leaders. It's not. Instead, it pits the woefully injury-plagued Seahawks at home against a team unable to beat really lousy opposition on the west coast.

But that doesn't mean there won't be plenty of drama. There is a strong chance of snow Saturday night and the temperature will not be much above freezing, two things which always make for unique football. And then there's the fact that this will be the last game (barring unforeseen miracles) that Mike Holmgren coaches in Seattle. Against the QB whom he'll forever be linked to.

Too bad I gave away our tickets to the game.

Well, gave might not be the best word. Bartered is probably a better description.

Flash back a week or so to when we were having the house painted. Kristin was at a study group late one night and I was giving the downstairs bathroom a makeover. I was replacing the cheapie chrome fixtures and hardware with some nice bronze stuff. I did the towel rack, the TP holder, even replaced the vanity light fixture. Now it was time for the faucet. I've swapped out faucets before, it's really not hard, but the builder who did up the pedestal sink muscled the funky wingnuts that hold the faucet in place on so tight that I couldn't possibly get them off. At least not without taking the sink off the wall. Which, of course, would have ruined the new paint job.

So, before I got too pissed and gave up, I called a plumbing company. They send a guy out about 45 minutes later and he tells me to take the sink off the wall and replace the faucet and the pop-up drain would be about $600. He also tells me he won't put back on the cheapie piping and valves that the builder used, but would have to replace it for liability reasons.

I tell him I really don't care if the pop-up drain doesn't match perfectly, it's not worth the money it would cost to take the sink off the wall (pedestals are mounted). All I want to do is to get the faucet off and I was hoping he had some special tool that could get the damn wingnuts off without taking off the sink.

He does in fact have precisely such a tool. And he tells me that he's glad to see someone trying to do it themself and that half of his calls are from people who have a clogged toilet and need him to plunger it. You read that right.

So he tells me that he'll go ahead and get the wingnuts off and give me the new valves and tubing I need to hook the faucet up without using the crap the builder used (which apparently is good for one connection only). He says he'll even show me how to hook it up. I then watch as this big Kevin James looking guy wrestles under the sink for about 15 minutes before he can finally get the wingnuts off.

I'm suddenly feeling a whole lot better after seeing with the right tool and far more strength, the nuts still gave this guy fits. The guy was from New Jersey and we get to talking and as we talk, he generously tells me he's going to help me out a bit more and a bit more.

So then, totally forgetting that it would be Holmgren's last home game as coach of the Seahawks, I offer the tickets to him in exchange for getting the faucet installed and working. He was there. He was already doing half of the work anyway, and at this point, I just wanted it done before Kristin came home.

It was a deal and fifteen minutes later, I gave him a small check for the amount required for the house-call, he told his dispatcher that I refused his services, and he went his way with the tickets. I stayed put with the new faucet and a promise to him that if I ever really need a plumber, he'd be the first I'd call.

Kristin came home an hour later and loved the new makeover I gave the bathroom. I confessed to having to call for a plumber, and she was sad that I traded away the Seahawks tickets to Holmgren's last game, but I'm pretty sure she'd rather have the new faucet.

And, as it turns out, we'll be a lot more comfortable watching from home this week than we'd be out in the cold.

I haven't convinced her yet to turn the heat off this weekend so we can suffer along with the rest of our seatmates. Still working on it.

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