Yes, I’m a longtime fan of Firesign Theater. How could I not love a group that poses the musical question How Can You Be In Two Places at Once When You’re Not Anywhere At All?
This has been a somewhat flappy week at Casa Twistie what with discovering we lived in a more than average potential firetrap. Yes, you read that correctly.
You see, we live in the house that Mr. Twistie grew up in. His family moved here in nineteensiftymumble. The house is actually one of the three oldest on the street. They were built to identical plans as rental properties in 1889. Over the years, there have been a lot of upgrades, improvements (you know, like indoor plumbing and stuff like that). Only one house retains its original footprint intact, and all three are now painted entirely differently.
The problem arises because the last person to own this house before Mr. Twistie’s family was a dry wall contractor who thought that made him competent to do any sort of contracting out there, including electrical.
As it happens, my kitchen is actually in his additions to the house. A few days ago, I hit one of the switches in the room and lo and behold, I got a HUGE scary spark out of said switch.
This not being how switches are supposed to work, I turned the switch off again and called Mr. Twistie to inform him that that I was calling the electrician. Oh, and to bring dinner home with him because I was NOT cooking in that room until this was sorted out.
Friends, it turns out that my kitchen has been an electrical deathtrap for at least the past forty years and change! Much of the wiring is substandard for more like eighty years ago, and some really, really basic safety precautions were cavalierly ignored back when Mr. Drywall-Contractor decided to wire his own kitchen up.
Who needs a box behind a switch? It’s so much easier and cheaper to simply leave the wires hanging against bare wood! Oh, and let’s thread the wires through the cabinets hanging limply down so that future families will store their pots and pans with the long handles right up against them! After all, Mr. Twistie’s family had lived here for decades. Why would I get down on my knees to see whether there were inadequately insulated wires liberally festooning the back wall of that cupboard I would have to virtually kowtow to see all the way in?
We spent three days getting to know our electrician and his crew much better than we ever expected to do. We will probably spend the next couple of days pulling of switchplates in the parts of the house created by the old owner to see if there is more fiery death lurking in our very sockets.
The good news? I can now use my kitchen again. In fact, being able to cook without sending the house up in flames may be an early birthday present to me… but probably not.
After all, I just got a flyer from the Le Creuset outlet….