[By Nic Lindh on Saturday, 11 February 2006]
Water not only does not fall from the sky here in Phoenix, where we’ve now gone something like 115 days without measurable precipitation, what we have of it also tastes utterly atrocious and will clog your pipes.
But that’s not all. Oh, no.
Woke up on Thursday morning with a massive head cold coming on after having spent most of the night waking up with a start after choking on phlegm. Got in the shower and thought to myself, quiet-like, “Hmm, the water pressure seems really low today. That can’t be good.”
Shaved, got dressed and went outside to pick up the paper, when what should I hear but the rumbling of my active drip system.
Went inside and got a flashlight. 6:15 a.m. is a dark and inhumane time.
Walked up to one of the drippers, and yep, it was dripping away. Went to the controller and checked the settings; yep, supposed to drip every third day from 5:00 a.m. to 5:30 a.m.
So why was it dripping at 6:15 a.m?
Turned the water off at the controller. Drip, drip, drip. Thought unprintable curses.
Went to the valve to see if anything obvious was going on. The valve was submerged in water. OK, so that could quite likely have something to do with the malfunction.
The only option at that point was to turn the system off with the overflow valve, which is conveniently located behind a hedge equipped with ninja-thorns. Got in there and tried to turn the valve. Wouldn’t budge.
Many more unprintable words.
Went to the garage and got a hammer. It was 6:15 a.m. At 6:15 a.m. problems are solved with fire power. Bang, bang, bang on the valve. Wouldn’t budge.
Went inside and informed wife of current events. Grabbed crescent wrench. Valve must be turned.
Went back behind the Hedge of Pain and did some more banging. No luck.
Then a thought—nay, a revelation—hit me: Counter-clockwise is off, ya moron!
I’m actually not an idiot, but I most certainly do act like one at 6:15 a.m.
With the water safely shut off, it was time to call the landscaping company and set up an appointment.
They showed up punctual as always this morning and replaced the valve that had caused all the trouble.
So, checking account $165 lighter, I now have a functioning valve again and the drip system sleeps when it should.
It’s so very past time to get a quote to have the front yard xeroscaped. Death by attrition is what it is.