It’s 1:30AM, and our daughter wakes us up, pounding on the door. We hear a babbling brook, the cheerful sound of a waterfall—wait a moment, we don’t live in a rain forest! We run to the basement to see water rushing over the baseboards, and a lake, already ankle deep. I turn off the main water valve to our house, but it doesn’t stop. We go outside, and there, rising from our lawn, is a huge dome rising up like a grassy pimple, and water gushing at a phenomenal rate from several points on it.
That’s one of those big waist-high garbage cans out there, for scale. My wife tossed it out there in a desperate and futile attempt to bail.
The red glow reflecting from the surface of the lake that is our front lawn isn’t from hellish, apocalyptic fires, although that would have fit our mood—it’s from the three police cars parked outside our house. We’d called the emergency fire/police dispatch when we realized that the water main to our house had broken, and in a small quiet town with nothing much to do, they all show up. We stood around for a while out there in the dark, listening to the happy burble, until a fellow from the city water works showed up to shut it down. It’s a 4 inch pipe, he said. A 4 inch pipe can throw a lot of water.
One of the officers tried to cheer me up. “At least since the break was before the meter, you won’t get charged for the water.”
So…no water for a day or two (I hope we can get it fixed before the weekend), a swimming pool in the basement, unknown major expenses to fix the damn thing, a night of thoroughly disrupted sleep, and a day full of classes tomorrow. I’m going to be cranky for a while.