"Jesus is the only card I have left to play, but with that Card, I'll win the game." - Travis Allen 1981-99, Class of 2000, Auburn Adventist Academy

Africa

A true story about my dad

Lloyd was working in Mozambique, Africa, and staying in the home of Edleno Paris, a business associate of his father's. The house was a fourplex with two homes downstairs and two up. Most city houses in this region of Africa are constructed from poured concrete or concrete block. This is the custom because only poor people would ever live in a wood home. The Paris home was of poured concrete design. Lloyd had the house pretty much to himself, except for the three servants, as Paris was visiting Lloyd's father in the States and Paris's son, Roberto, was at a boarding school in Rhodesia. Lloyd had already been there some time and had become very annoyed with the shower, which had a goosenecked sunflower head. This was a pipe coming straight out of the wall with a 90N bend down. The head was a big bulb with hundreds of holes poked in it. The problem with this particular one is that all but three of the holes were plugged shut. This problem was made worse by the fact that each hole that was open sprayed its tiny stream of water in a different direction making it impossible to stand under more than one stream of water at a time. Lloyd found this very difficult to cope with but as he was a guest at the house he felt he shouldn't fix the problem. Then the son came home from his boarding school for a school break. One afternoon after he had taken a shower he was talking with Lloyd and he mentioned the shower.

"I really hate that shower."

"It is a bit challenging"

"Well, let's fix it."

"All right" They went in to the shower to look at it.

"How do you propose to fix it?" asked Lloyd.

"I don't know. Have any ideas?"

"Do you have a screwdriver?"

"A what?"

"You know, a tool with a flat edge to put in this crack."

"Oh yea, I know what that is. I'll get one." He yelled into the kitchen to the white maid and then she yelled, in Portuguese, out to one of the two black houseboys. One of the natives then gave the screwdriver to the maid, who gave it to Roberto, who gave it to Lloyd.

"Is this the biggest screwdriver you have?" Inquired Lloyd.

"It's the only screwdriver we have."

"But it's a Phillips screwdriver, the head is slotted."

"Just pull the tip out and turn it over." It was about five sizes too small but Lloyd tried using it anyway. It didn't work as he had suspected. After a couple tries he turned to Roberto.

"No, this isn't going to work. Do you have a pair of pliers?"

"What?"

"Like this." Lloyd showed him with his fingers.

"Oh yea, I know what that is. What do you want them for?"

"To use with a coin to try and turn the screw." The son yelled to the maid, who yelled to the black houseboys, who yelled back to the maid, who yelled back to the son, that they didn't have one.

Lloyd sighed "Oh well, so much for that. How do you work on your car?"

"What?"

"Never mind. Have you got a bobby pin?"

"A what?"

"A piece of wire."

"No. Wait I've got an idea. Come with me." As soon as he stepped into his father's bedroom Lloyd got nervous. Being the master bedroom, he had never been in there before. He got really nervous when the son pulled out a loaded revolver.

"This should work."

"No, ah, I don't think you had better use that."

"Why not?"

"Welllll, you might, ah, shoot a hole in the roof."

"Well I suppose you're right. Better not do that." Lloyd sighed with relief as they headed back to the shower. His real fear was bouncing projectiles in a concrete bunker, with lots of bouncing bullets and two dead boys. This would have just ruined his day.

"Wait a minute. I've got another idea. I'm not going to shower with this shower head again." Without another word the son reached over and started twisting on the showerhead. The head had been sweated on and so it broke free from the pipe just above the bend. Now all that was there was a pipe sticking straight out of the wall. If you turned on the water it would just spray straight out and hit the opposite wall. You could get in the stream by standing on the toilet across the room.

"That's nice. Now what do you plan to do?" Asked Lloyd all the while thinking that he was the one who would be in "hot water" (ha ha) when Paris came home.

"Gee, I don't know."

Lloyd got a chair and put it in the shower. Standing on the chair he used his head for a pipe bender and pulled the end around his forehead putting a new, but lumpy, bend into the pipe. The end results left Lloyd still showering in a single stream of water although with a lot more volume. Paris never did mention the condition of the shower and Lloyd never did bring up the subject so he was unaware if Paris ever even knew.

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