How Much Repenting Do I Need to Do? — Tabula Rasa

 

I need theological advice.

Today started calmly enough. I work at home and was quietly surfing Ricochet when Mrs. T informs me that the garbage disposal isn’t working. So I hit the reset button. No dice. I then tried to unfreeze it with the Allen wrench. Won’t move. I remove the old disposal and some pretty despicable water gets on me, to which I respond with some mild cursing.

Off to Home Depot I go, and after shelling out $100 (plus tax) I have a new garbage disposal. That’s when the problems started. 

First error: I believe instructions exist solely to correct installation errors after they have been made. I had some wiring issues that I didn’t anticipate. The issues were more complicated than I thought they’d be, so I uttered a few more unseemly words. To summarize the rest of the story, I hit a few more bumps in the road and said a few more words that I should have kept to myself.

Mrs. T usually leaves the premises when I engage in any kind of plumbing, but she was around to hear me cursing; so I was in trouble with her a while. That trouble  has dissipated somewhat now that I have successfully replaced the disposal and no leaking has been seen (yet).

So here are the questions? Is it really a sin to engage in a bit of mild profanity while engaging in a home plumbing job? I’ve always felt there should be a home repair exemption, especially for plumbing jobs (especially if it requires the complete removal of a toilet). Can you help me out? How much repenting do I need to do?

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  1. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    Profusely, because you offended your wife. You cared more about yourself than her. She is the last person on the planet you want to offend.
    Now you are trying to be a weasel and rationalize your behavior. I find that more offensive than the first offense. People will rationalize anything and blame it on the circumstance. “It wasn’t me, Honey. It was the plumbing.” “I lost my job so I just had to go to the post office……”

    UPDATE: My comments on being a weasel are purely theoretical. How would I know? I would have written a better comment but Rico 2.0 is causing me problems. It is not my fault.

    • #1
  2. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Profanity is only a sin if it’s blasphemous.

    Uttering scatological profanity is not a sin, except when uttered to hurt another person’s feelings.

    So sayeth Swami Misthiocracy.

    Please note that none of the Seven Words You Can’t Say On Television are blasphemous, which tells you a bit about the philosophical priorities of the FCC.

    • #2
  3. Boymoose Inactive
    Boymoose
    @Boymoose

    I always thought home repair was like sin.  It always took longer and cost more than I expected. I say your even.  Of course I don’t matter. Just ask your wife.

    • #3
  4. user_1938 Member
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    Buy a balloon, breathe the helium, and then you can curse as much as you want without bothering anybody. I’m sure Santa’s elves cuss like sailors for this very reason.

    • #4
  5. Mollie Hemingway Contributor
    Mollie Hemingway
    @MollieHemingway

    My parents never permitted taking the Lord’s name in vain. Period. But we could cuss a bit if 1) we were funny 2) we used a foreign language or 3) the situation really called for it. I’d say this is a good guideline.

    • #5
  6. Nanda Panjandrum Member
    Nanda Panjandrum
    @

    TR: Engaging in – and ultimately succeeding in – such tasks is penance enough…Perhaps some praise/thanks giving and an intimate dinner w/Mrs. Tabula are the next steps?

    • #6
  7. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    Mollie Hemingway:
    My parents never permitted taking the Lord’s name in vain. Period. But we could cuss a bit if 1) we were funny 2) we used a foreign language or 3) the situation really called for it. I’d say this is a good guideline.

     How many foreign languages have you studied?

    • #7
  8. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    10 cents:

    Mollie Hemingway: My parents never permitted taking the Lord’s name in vain. Period. But we could cuss a bit if 1) we were funny 2) we used a foreign language or 3) the situation really called for it. I’d say this is a good guideline.

    How many foreign languages have you studied?

     It’s easier when you only study the dirty words.

    • #8
  9. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    You’ve obviously never owned a Volkswagen Beelte…

    • #9
  10. Vald the Misspeller Member
    Vald the Misspeller
    @

    Right, if you’re not swearing , you’re doing it wrong. In fact, if you’re not swearing it probably means things are going smoothly. Which means … you’re doing it wrong! Indeed, if your plumbing DIY comes off just like they show in the Home Depot videos, it’s a sure sign the leaks will appear later, after you’ve put your tools away and are feeling rather good about your handyman skills. 

    • #10
  11. user_352043 Moderator
    user_352043
    @AmySchley

    Reminds me of the BBC America commercial:

    “Sh!te! Arse! Bugger! Hear them on your TV before the American censors figure out what they mean!”

    • #11
  12. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Mollie Hemingway:
    My parents never permitted taking the Lord’s name in vain. Period. But we could cuss a bit if 1) we were funny 2) we used a foreign language or 3) the situation really called for it. I’d say this is a good guideline.

     No Lord’s name in vain.  Just your common plumbing cussing. In any event, I’m relying on category three.

    • #12
  13. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    As a member of the Jewish faith, this is a theological quandry that I simply can’t relate to. It would never occur to me that I could competently fix anything myself.

    • #13
  14. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    Son of Spengler:
    As a member of the Jewish faith, this is a theological quandry that I simply can’t relate to. It would never occur to me that I could competently fix anything myself.

     Are miracles the only option?

    • #14
  15. Son of Spengler Contributor
    Son of Spengler
    @SonofSpengler

    10 cents:

    Son of Spengler: As a member of the Jewish faith, this is a theological quandry that I simply can’t relate to. It would never occur to me that I could competently fix anything myself.

    Are miracles the only option?

     No, but there is a special blessing to recite on the occasion of finding a competent plumber.

    • #15
  16. Sandy Member
    Sandy
    @Sandy

    As a little aside, this reminds me of the following (very old) joke:  Old lady phones the police to complain that the phone-line repair guys outside her house were engaging in profanity.  When questioned, Jim replies “Officer, Spike here was up on the pole and he dropped a hot rivet on me.  I merely replied, ‘Spike, you must be more careful.'”

    • #16
  17. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    Son of Spengler:

    10 cents:

    Son of Spengler: As a member of the Jewish faith, this is a theological quandry that I simply can’t relate to. It would never occur to me that I could competently fix anything myself.

    Are miracles the only option?

    No, but there is a special blessing to recite on the occasion of finding a competent plumber.

     You have just let the cat out of the bag. This has been the real key to success. Care to sell me this faith “trade secret”? 

    • #17
  18. user_1938 Member
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    Son of Spengler:

    10 cents:

    Son of Spengler: As a member of the Jewish faith, this is a theological quandry that I simply can’t relate to. It would never occur to me that I could competently fix anything myself.

    Are miracles the only option?

    No, but there is a special blessing to recite on the occasion of finding a competent plumber.

     Do you have a prayer for possessed toasters?

    • #18
  19. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    Aaron Miller:

    Son of Spengler:

    10 cents:

    Son of Spengler: As a member of the Jewish faith, this is a theological quandry that I simply can’t relate to. It would never occur to me that I could competently fix anything myself.

    Are miracles the only option?

    No, but there is a special blessing to recite on the occasion of finding a competent plumber.

    Do you have a prayer for possessed toasters?

     Before or after they speak at the function?

    • #19
  20. tabula rasa Inactive
    tabula rasa
    @tabularasa

    Son of Spengler:
    As a member of the Jewish faith, this is a theological quandry that I simply can’t relate to. It would never occur to me that I could competently fix anything myself.

    For some reason, despite decades of contrary evidence, I continue to believe that I can do plumbing.  I get the basic concept (gravity, water flowing, and pipes are all comprehensible). What I forget is that it requires skill and patience, both of which I lack.

    When it comes to cars, garage door openers, furnaces/air conditioning, and the like, I make no attempt at repairs, and my life is much better for the lack of effort.

    • #20
  21. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill
    @EJHill

    I think if your wife asked you to do plumbing she should repent immediately and profusely. If the house were on fire would she expect you to man the hoses? If she needed an appendectomy would she hand you a knife? Of course not. Plumbing is to be done by professionals that can be sued if it leaks.

    • #21
  22. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    EJHill:
    I think if your wife asked you to do plumbing she should repent immediately and profusely. If the house were on fire would she expect you to man the hoses? If she needed an appendectomy would she hand you a knife? Of course not. Plumbing is to be done by professionals that can be sued if it leaks.

     Is this a trick question? It’s a spoon, right?

    • #22
  23. EThompson Inactive
    EThompson
    @EThompson

    Profanity directed at garbage disposals is the least of our problems on this planet Earth. Surely wish you wouldn’t direct any of your Ricochet energy from your infamous book posts. :)

    • #23
  24. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    On the advice of a parish priest, whenever we’re tempted to “damn” something (or, heaven forfend(!), someone who just cut me off in traffic, for example), instead we should “bless” it or them. I imagine with a plumbing job, there’d be a lot of “blessed” this and “blessed” that going on. Holy water optional.

    • #24
  25. user_1938 Member
    user_1938
    @AaronMiller

    Remember your Nintendo training! What would Mario do?

    • #25
  26. CuriousJohn Inactive
    CuriousJohn
    @CuriousJohn

    “Son of a Nutcracker” works just as well.  I wish I could remember to use it as much as the Wife and kids do.  I’ll be making a pit stop in when all is done, for the many many time Nutcracker wasn’t used.  However you pay to play.

    • #26
  27. user_517406 Inactive
    user_517406
    @MerinaSmith

    You installed a garbage disposal?  Damn!  I’m impressed.

    • #27
  28. user_340536 Member
    user_340536
    @ShaneMcGuire

    Heres the breakdown:

    rahab can lie to the canaanites;

    abraham can conceal from his wife;

    elijah can mock;

    and husbands can say the d-word and the h word while doing home repairs, and can say jack ass while watching sports

    • #28
  29. rico Inactive
    rico
    @rico

    Cursing is absolutely required when confronting water flowing in pipes and out of pipes against your will. Unless you failed to prevent your house from floating down the street Mrs. T owes you an apology.

    I’m pretty sure that the photo you [originally] posted is a fake, because cabinets under kitchen sinks are never that clean or well organized. But I am thankful for your not posting the photo of your initial troubleshooting efforts (you know, the classic plumber with his head in the cabinet and his hindquarters in the air with his jeans—well you know the rest).

    • #29
  30. Pseudodionysius Inactive
    Pseudodionysius
    @Pseudodionysius

    The common imprecations against animate or inanimate objects which cause vexation or pain, those against enterprises which fail of success, so, too, the imprecations that spring from impatience, little outbreaks of anger over petty annoyances, and those spoken lightly, inconsiderately, under sudden impulse or in joke, are, as a rule, only venial sins — the evil being slight and not seriously desired. To call down moral evil upon a rational creature is always illicit, and the same holds good of physical evil, unless it be desired not as evil, but only in so far as it is good, for example, as a punishment for misdeeds, or a means to amendment, or an obstacle to commission of sin; for in such cases the principal intention, as St. Thomas says, is directed per se towards what is good. When, however, evil is wished another precisely because it is evil and with malice prepense, there is always sin, the gravity of which varies with the seriousness of the evil; if it be of considerable magnitude, the sin will be grievous, if of trifling character, the sin will be venial.

    • #30
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