Tuesday, May 17, 2011

And the wall, wins.

Whats the worst pain you have ever felt?
Mommies, no fair bringing up the whole birth thing. That's a hands down winner.
Give the rest of us non-mommies a chance and think of the NEXT worst pain you have ever felt?

Whats the silly little law? The one that states something to the effect of  "an object in motion will stay in motion unless it pisses a bigger object off who then stops its motion with a well placed forearm?" Anyone? Bueller?
I forget the law, in fact, the immutable laws of physics have always seem to stretch a little bit for me.
But not always.
I was once running away from this really big scary person with white blonde curly hair. I am pretty sure it was female, either that or a guy with very high estrogen level wearing a sheepskin hat, and I know that whatever it was chasing me for was more than likely well deserved.
Actually. It was going rather well.
I was 10 or so and fleet of foot, especially when terrified. The sheep-thing was screaming at me and looked really scary so I was making  good time towards home. I had just about hit 88 miles an hour and turned around to see if my feet were kicking up flames when a giant brick wall jumped out of nowhere and smacked me in the head.
It was extraordinary. One second I was moving at light-speed through the sir, my feet barely touching the ground and the next.

The sky looks really pretty when it spins.
The sheep was nice enough to let bygones be bygones and carried me home.
Sheep must have known about my parents aversion to livestock because it left me on the front porch in a pile of Tom and doorbell ditched.
That wall kicked my ass.
Fast forward. I am a grown-up man. Married, with children and a dog.
My dad calls and says "Hey! Your Uncle Bill's water heater went out. Go and stick a new one in for him."
He was The Boss at this point, so I hopped to it and bustled over to Uncle Bill's.
I know just enough about a lot of things to get really hurt.
Keep that in mind.
I had cut the old heater out, schlepped it outside, grunted the new one in and was just in the process of soldering all the joints together.
Quick plumbing tutorial. Back in Ye Olde days before PEX we used to have to use flux and solder and propane or mapp gas torches to stick the copper plumbing pipes together. New construction was fairly quick and painless but remove and replace was always an adventure.
Now, the Solder is a mixture of two metals (Antimony and Tin) that both have a fairly low melting point, the heat combined with the flux you spread on the joints creates a vacuum and pulls the molten solder inside the joint.
Did you catch the word MOLTEN, as in HOT!

So, I was working on the last joint, it was above my head but being a safety conscious young fellow I had safety glasses on. Well, safety conscious and still paying for the surgery to remove metal splinters from my eye...... Another story.
The glasses were kinda fogged up so I did not see the large drop of MOLTEN solder that dripped off of the pipe and landed on my lip. My upper lip. Just to the right of the little divot thingy I have.
I screamed.
 Like ten little girls all at once. High and piercing, shattering glass for miles, Dolphins around the world heard me and wondered who had just gone to the big glass bowl in the sky, Millions of bats were blinded forever and I have  unconfirmed report of two submarines colliding with a giant underwater spaceship sent by future us back in time.
It hurt.
Living the life I have led developed two things, a fear of water and a high pain tolerance.
This hurt.
 I can honestly say that it was the most concentrated single spot of pain I have ever experienced. This from a man who as a wee boy zipped his wee-wee into his corduroys.
Solder melts fairly fast, it also cools fairly fast. But not fast enough. I was screaming and laughing and the glasses were fogged and I could not really think. It was more of instinct. Running really fast upstairs to the sink, hoping for an ice cube, hoping for a fairy freaking godmother, anything. I was blazing up the stairs as fast as I could, screaming in gasps now but still at a very high pitch.
I reached for the door handle just as my Uncle Bill opened it from the other side.
I didn't even slow down.
That wall jumped out and hit me right on the head.
Even after the ice cube melted and Uncle Bill kindly picked the now solid solder out of my lip with a needle, I  really had only one thought.
That wall kicked my ass.


Random Girl said...

Wow, this was quite an educational (plumbing 101) and funny post in a that-had-to-hurt-like-a-motha kind of way.

Rachel said...

So which hurt worse? The wall or the molten solder? I mean, if you had to pick one to do over again, which was more bearable? :)

Anonymous said...

Ouch ouch ouch ouch. I hurt for you here! I have had that on my hands but not my lips. My mother would use solder when making her own stained glass patterns and I always admired the talent and tried it a couple times...got molten solder on my hand...and that was the end of that. Yikes.