A Rude Awakening
Copyright 2002 by Jon Bondy, All Rights Reserved.
You may send copies of this to individual friends, but you may not publish this work without permission
Jon Bondy, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ever wonder what's the worst way to wake up in the morning? A screaming child? An alarm clock? I think I've discovered a less pleasant way...
This morning, at 6:00, I woke up to the sound of loudly, rapidly running water. As the owner of a 180 gallon fish tank, my first thought was that some hose under the tank had broken, and 180 gallons of salt water were spreading over the living room floor. That caught my attention.
I jumped out of the bed, grabbed my glasses, and ran down the stairs. All was normal. Well, at least with the fish tank. Two parrots stared at me blankly, wondering what all the fuss was about. I ran back up the stairs. Water was pouring out from under the bathroom sink. Hot water. Steam was in the air. I tried turning the lights on, but the breaker had tripped. I would have to do this in the dark. I reached under the sink to close the valve and closed the only one I could find, but it seemed to be doing no good. In the dark, with my glasses covered with steam and water, I just couldn’t find the other valve. Time seemed to be against me, so I gave up on the valve, ran down the stairs again, shut the well pump off at the breaker box, and flushed the toilet until there was no more water in the pipes. All in about a frantic minute or two.
But, there still was water in the upstairs bathroom. And by the time I made it back into the kitchen (just under that bathroom), it was raining pretty steadily and the lights had gone out (circuit breakers are GOOD!). So, buck-naked, I started "bailing" frantically with the only thing at hand, a sponge. Soak the sponge, empty it into the sink, soak the sponge, on and on. After about 20 minutes of bailing, and a trip up stairs to bail out there, the rain in the kitchen had slowed down to a slow drip. The parrots were not sure why they had not been invited to come out of their cages: they had no idea that anything unusual had happened.
It turns out that one of the hoses which goes from the water supply pipe to the sink had burst. If I'd been paying attention, I would have noticed that the stainless steel mesh covering the plastic hose had corroded until it was just dust. So, this was preventable. I'm just glad I was in the house at the time. The other image is not pleasant at all, at least by comparison...
Any good news? I now know precisely where all of the low spots are on my kitchen floor. My kitchen floor has not been this clean in months.
Lessons learned? Circuit breakers are good. Toasters don't work well with water in them. I can wake up pretty quickly if I have to. I function ok in minor emergencies. I have a sense of humor.
I hope your morning was less exciting...