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  • Kevin Bilchik

The Disposal of Limitations

Yesterday, I found myself in unchartered waters. A leaky kitchen faucet, that had been hounding me for months, led to the discovery of a steady drip coming from the disposal under my sink. My domestic problems were multiplying by the minute, and I've never considered myself to be exactly "handy." Yes, I've been playing the guitar for 30 years with these digits, but while I was fretting my Guild six-string, I've also found myself fretting about a long list of unfinished home improvement projects. Let's just say that I'm good at making excuses about why I can't do something, or how I just don't know how. But I set out to tackle this problem head on. Armed with a new faucet and disposal, courtesy of Lowe's, and a few You Tube fix-it videos, I was determined to step up my game, and also avoid the installation fees.


Needless to say, I now understand why plumbing is such a noble profession. You need a long list of skills, including contortionism, a tolerance for grease and grime, and a heavy supply of patience. I decided to take my leap into the unknown one step at a time. If I could manage to replace the faucet, and figure out how to use a basin wrench, then maybe I would climb the next highest peak and attempt the disposal. All in all, stage one went fairly well. I give my faucet repair job a B+. I did not require any band aids, or x-rays, but I may be in need of a chiropractor in the near future. So here was my moment. Could I live with myself if I stopped halfway up the mountain? Could I stand to wake up the next morning and empty out that Tupperware under the sink, slowly catching the leaky drips from the disposal, along with the remnants of my self-esteem, and my unexplored handyman potential?


Oh, hell no. Without a second thought, I sat down criss-cross applesauce on the floor in front of that sink, and challenged my arthritis to try and stop me! It was a grudge match of epic proportions. I carefully shut down the electric to the disposal. I spliced and diced wires. I unscrewed rusty threads and drained putrid water from pipes that hadn't seen the light of day since people still listened to CD's. There were moments I thought I would fail, tumbling down the hill of hope with a final gasp of desperation. I watched and re-watched that instructional video until my eyeballs bled. The lactic acid began to build up in my muscles as I tried to hoist that disposal into position, twisting it and turning it, ever unsure that I was doing it right. And then it happened. It clicked. It spun into place like the last square of a Rubik's Cube.


And as I crossed that epic milestone of my manhood, and proved to myself that I could be more than I thought I could be, I felt something arise in my soul. It was pride. I had conquered that awful metallic teethy beast. And then the most amazing thing happened. I started wondering what else I might be able to accomplish if I put my mind to it. A world of possibilities arose right in front of me. First the sink...tomorrow the world!

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