Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I hope the alcoholic flashdancer that lived in my house before me got help.

I am cleaning the vents in my new (not quite 2 years to me, 30+ to it) house. It is not a normal situation, the vents are in the floor, but the house doesn't have a basement (it would be filled with the creek) so a slab was poured over concrete tubes which became the vents. Holes lined with metal in the vents and the slab became the holes for the registers. This is apparently a common practice for houses on a slab, but the builder must make sure that the ground is compacted well so it doesn't settle away from the slab and take the vents with it. That's what happened. So, in order to have the air blow into the room and not under the slab I am finally putting in mini vents to breach the gap, but I must clean out the stones from under the slab that fell into the vents first.

You are thinking that I might die from all of the dust and dirt in the vents, but I contend that the dirt wasn't moving until I tried to clean it, and now I got most of it out. It is the same story for the dust that collects in regular vents as well. However, the rocks in the vents weren't the most surprising thing down there.

This picture shows a bottle of something lying in the vent. It is a half pint of Windsor Canadian whiskey!

The bottle was suspiciously just far enough into the vent that you wouldn't see it by looking down into the vent but could easily reach it by sticking your hand in there. This is classically some poor alcoholic's stash that they wanted to keep secret from the other people living in the house.

All that stuff is out of the vent now. Another thing to always remember is that builders (not the conscientious ones) throw stuff away in whatever hole there is on a construction site. I think that is where those styrofoam coffee cups came from.

That pink thing in the next vent is apparently a leg warmer and the yardstick I eventually broke trying to clean all of this stuff out of the vents.

It was closer to the vents going upstairs than the downstairs ones so I can vaguely imagine a scenario that has it falling down the vent from upstairs when the vent covers were off. Finding the leg warmer allows tentative dating of these objects to the early 80's, though we can't be sure the leg warmers and the whiskey were deposited at the same time. Thus at some point in the 80's an alcoholic flashdancer hid their stuff in the vents in this house.

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