Poor Biff’s Almanac — Thursday Night Edition

Poor Biff's Almanac Graphic (Colored) #1


In spite of oozing by slower than molasses on a brass biscuit at a South Pole hootenanny, the week finally went by enough for us to find ourselves at the precipice of Thursday evening.  From this great summit, we can see the verdant valley of Friday laying below us, beckoning to us seductively like a politician at election time, promising us anything and everything, and able to take any form that pleases us.  We’ll be disappointed, of course, because reality never matches fantasy.  But from here, we are willing and eager to be taken in by the promise.

This weekend does not promise to be a thrilling or fulfilling one for me.  The winter leaves must be raked up.  These are not even leaves from my own trees.  They have been blowing into my yard from other houses along my street.  I may not be inheriting the wind, but I am definitely inheriting the chaff that went along with it.

The lawn, even though still dead, must be mowed to make it a uniform height (per local ordinances regarding grass blade height).  Hopefully, running the mower over it will also pull up some of the thatch that is thicker than a Persian rug.  Then, whatever remains of the lawn after all that, even though it is still dead, must then be fertilized.  Fertilizing dead grass seems to me to be the ultimate in naive optimism.  But somehow, miraculously, the grass always seems to rise from the dead like a phoenix, standing on the thatch, grubs, and root-rot of its former self.  Plus, if I don’t get the weed-n-feed down now, my yard will be a yellow blaze of dandelions before you could even say, “Is that a single dandelion?  Where’s my flame-thrower?

I also have two (count ’em … two!) toilets that have decided to run continuously, punctuated by random phantom flushes.  That is easy enough to fix in normal houses.  But mine is not a normal house.  The builder thought it would be a hoot if they put in a banjo counter-top each bathroom, with the neck of the banjo extending over the toilet tank.  This means that I have two choices when doing toilet tank repairs.

  1.  Try to squeeze my arms into the 3 inch gap between the top of the toilet tank and the bottom of the counter and then blindly try to fix the toilet tank mechanisms before I lose feeling in my arms and hands because of my circulation being cut off, or
  2. Completely remove the tank from the toilet, effect the repairs, and then replace the tank.  But then I have to remove and reinstall the tank several more times because the water level adjustment is wrong or the flapper valve doesn’t work properly or … just anything.  I may just take a sledgehammer to the counter-tops and be done with it once and for all.

But wait!  There’s more!

Billy Mays #3

As if that were not enough fun and excitement for one weekend, the dryer vent has decided to clog itself, making the dryer less of a dryer and more of a wet clothes tosser-around-er.  The clothes never get dry, they just become knotted together.  Again, the company who built my house thought it would be great fun if they ran the dryer vent duct down into the concrete foundation of the house and then up and out the side of the house.  That means that the duct is routed in the shape of a U.  And, you guessed it, water condenses in the duct and eventually fills it up.

So I have to get out the Shop-Vac every few months, snake the hose as far as I can into the foundation of the house, and suck out about 4 gallons of water.   And this water is not mountain spring water from glaciers that sparkles in the sunlight and ends up in blue-tinted bottles of snooty water on the shelves of your local Whole Foods Market.  No, it is a slurry of fetid swamp water and dryer lint that even the Creature From the Black Lagoon would hesitate to stick his toe into.  I should probably be wearing a full Haz-Mat suit while performing this delightful task, but they are outrageously expensive and they needlessly alarm the neighbors.

Now how much would you spend?  But wait!  There’s more!


The freezer section of the refrigerator decided that it was going to start leaking water all over the floor.  I’m sure it’s just a clogged something or other in the plumbing that brings us the miracle of frost-free refrigerators.  But it will involve pulling the refrigerator out from its nook, vacuuming off the coils (since I have it out anyway), and then seeing just what the heck is leaking.  Again, whatever is seeping out of the freezer will not be crystal glacier frou-frou water.  It will be, “Oh my gosh!  What is that?!  Don’t get any of it on you!” water.

By the time I have done all that, it will be Sunday night and I will be here on this blog grousing about how quickly the weekend went by.

But I have a home (even with all its warts) and for that I am grateful.


  1. After reading this, I’m a tad depressed and more than a little exhausted for you! Hope it’s going as smooth as dryer sludge and toilet tantrums can be. If not, there’s always another weekend to scratch off some of the to-dos (Lord knows, they’ll be back on it before too long). Happy adulting!😝

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Meg! Yes, adulting is quite fun. That’s why no one ever tells kids what it’s really like to be an adult. They would be horrified and would not be able to stop crying. No, it’s best we are totally surprised by it. 🙂

      And I actually made a big dent in my to-do list yesterday. I may actually try to relax a little today and find out what that is like.

      I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a small solution to the toilet issue…first you find a sledgehammer..then apply the head of the sledgehammer to the counter-top with great force. You should be able to then fix the toilet….oh, you might want to wear safety glasses for this very specialized and technical solution!

    Liked by 1 person

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