Wednesday, September 17, 2014

And the Short Guy Laughed

Friday evening, I was sitting in my family room and I heard the noise that indicates my kids have turned on the water outside. I yelled out the back door to the kids, “Stop playing with the water! You have 10 minutes before you need to come in and get ready for bed.”

“We’re not playing with the water,” they all chimed.

“Well, just turn it off, please,” I instructed.

They insisted, “But we didn’t turn it on!”

I closed the door and listened more carefully to the sound that I had thought meant the water was running. I followed the noise through the kitchen and traced it to my refrigerator. Uh oh, I thought. My refrigerator is making really strange sounds! I opened and closed the doors a few times (like that was going to stop the sound and make everything okay.) Any technician would agree. “Well it was broken, but since you opened and closed all the doors, you fixed it!”

I decided I’d probably have to call someone to come look at it on Monday. In the meantime, I just plugged in my ear buds and cranked up The Psychadelic Furs. Voila! No more annoying noise.

At some point on Saturday, I asked Jackson to mow the lawn because I was pretty certain if he didn’t mow it soon, he was going to need a scythe just to clear a path to the front door. This is when we discovered that he couldn’t mow the lawn because a small lake had formed on the side of the house. You know, where the water was running. Where the water had been running full blast for nearly 24 hours straight. Yeah, there. Apparently I was right the first time. It wasn’t the refrigerator; it was the water spigot on the outside of the house.

I walked outside my house and was greeted with this sight.

I started hyperventilating, envisioning my water bill. I remembered my parents yelling at me for taking such long showers as a teen. “Do you want to pay the water bill?” they demanded. “You don’t need to take a 30 minute shower!” Ohmygosh, that was nothing compared to this!

I kept calm and tried to figure out the best way to go about stopping the leak. To an outsider, it may have looked like I was running around in circles, flapping my arms like Chicken Little, squawking, “My water’s leaking! My water’s leaking!” But I assure you, I was busy, using my cerebral cortex to formulate a logical plan for curbing the steady flow of water.

Thankfully, my level-headed friend told me to call the emergency number for the water department. I didn’t even know there was such a thing. I called, explained my situation, and was informed that some guys were on their way over to check it out.

In the meantime, I figured I could keep the water from gushing out by screwing a spray nozzle onto the hose. I ran across the street (I didn’t actually run. I don’t do that. It’s an expression) to borrow one from my neighbor. I realized I’d have to screw the sprayer onto to the hose with the water rushing from the hose in a torrential stream. I’ll give you a minute to picture this. Yep. 

Me + hose + sprayer = me drenched from head to toe. Just as I realized the sprayer didn’t even fit on the hose, the guys from the water company showed up. They took one look at me, my wet hair stuck like seaweed to my cheeks, my tank top plastered to me, my shorts dripping down my legs, and started laughing. Well, the short guy laughed. A lot. The tall guy was all business.

“Uh yeah, I tried to screw this sprayer on the end of the hose. I didn’t work. It wasn’t one of my better ideas. Then again, it wasn’t my worst idea either,” I stammered.

The short guy laughed some more.

The tall guy screwed some sort of fitting onto the end of my hose. He didn’t get wet at all. Apparently the secret is to fold the hose in half, effectively crimping it and stopping the flow of water while screwing the fitting onto the end. The short guy looked at me as I wiped the mascara from my cheeks and attempted to smooth my dripping hair back off my face, and he laughed some more. Not liking the short dude.

In the end, the guys stopped the surge of water and left. I walked inside so I could change clothes before heading back to the football field. No sooner did I get upstairs than the doorbell rang. I ran back down and answered. The water guys stood there. “I’m sorry to bother you, but you know, instead of calling a plumber, you could just go to Ace and ask for a . . .”

I interrupted at this point. “Thank you, but I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I’m pretty sure I can’t fix this, and I’m scared to go to Ace because I’m convinced the guys there all take bets on what crazy fix-it problem I’ll come up with next.

And the short guy laughed again.


Shannon said...

Dawn - A few years ago, my husband turned on our new sprinkler system for the first time, without really knowing what he was doing. One of the valves was open so that it didn't freeze in the winter, and water gushed out of it. All night. 24 hours. Pumping about 26,000 gallons of water into our yard. It flooded our basement because the water seeped up through the foundation. In the end, the water bill wasn't too bad, thankfully. But just wanted to let you know that you're not the only one these things happen to. :-)

Janice said...

Dawn, you need to make friends with neighbor woman who has a husband that is handy and feels sorry for you ;-). Srsly, my dh does all this sh..stuff and does it for women in distress as well. Unfortunately we aren't neighbors. Also, learn where the turn off valve is in your house. It might be in the front yard under a round cover or it might be elsewhere. In case of major leak you just shut off the main to the house. Of course, if it is in the front yard you might need a tool or sorts to turn it off. My husband was at work when the connection under the kitchen sink decided to go. Fortunately I knew where the valve was, unfortunately I didn't know where his tool was.

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