I’m much better at bitching about things that don’t work than fixing them. I can paint walls, build wooden shelves, screw in metal-bridge stabilizers or hang framed photos, but I’m not a typical handy type. Certainly not if the repair involves reading instructions. I’d much rather scoff and complain.

Today’s pain in the ass is my bathroom shower-stall knob, which sometimes operates on a 20- or 30-second delay principle and sometimes not at all. When I start the shower I always turn it to 9 o’clock, knowing it’ll take a while for the hot water to be gush through. When it finally manifests it eventually turns scalding, of course, at which point I have turn the knob back to the 11 or 12 o’clock position, which is supposed to deliver temps that are moderately warm but tolerable. Except the water stays hot. So I turn the knob to 1 pm…still scalding. 2 pm…same. So I turn it to 3 pm and the water loses all semblance of warmth. The term is actually “half-cold.” So I turn it back to 11 pm — still chilly. 10 pm, no difference. I turn it back to 9 pm and it’s steaming hot again and I’m dealing with third-degree skin burns.

I’ve done some research and there’s a syndrome that plumbers called TAD, or Temperature Adjustment Deficiency. That’s what I have, and this is one more reason why I sometimes hate my life.