You may recall that I started the New Year with a nasty flu bug and that it was really wiping me out. I have certainly had worse bugs but this one was at the very least a tenacious little punk. Mostly it just pulled up comfy spot on the sofa, with a bowl full of chips, the greasy kind, turned on the Discovery Channel and made himself at home. I couldn’t get this slacker to leave, even when the chips were gone he just moved onto a box of saltines and a brewsky. You wouldn’t believe the mess he made. Crumbs and empty glasses everywhere, pizza boxes littering the floor, the house was a wreck! I couldn’t even get all the delayed holiday gear put away. “Oh no, don’t do that. Let’s just lie here and take a nap” he said. “Look hyenas and giant ants are on next, you don’t want to miss that!” I was weak, I couldn’t resist and the hyenas weren’t so bad but those ants, they kind of stick with you. They’re like the largest colony on earth or something. Forget Al-Quaeda, bomb those freaking ants!
After convalescing for what I am pretty sure was a good six months I had begun to have fever free days. This coordinated beautifully with the first actual sunny day we’d had in those six months. Anxious to get as far as possible from those fever induced ant images, I grabbed my gardening gloves and headed out. It was nearly time for the spectacular Messy Garage Tulip Show. Hey, don’t judge me. Sure there were seven hundred spring bulbs sprouting their lights out in that garage but I was sick people, sick. I filled up the wheelbarrow with tulips and daffodils, iris and a bunch of other stuff I’m to lazy to list and began the tedious task of digging those babies into the ground. This was made all the more tedious because, I WAS USING A SPOON. Not because I lost my hand trowel, my bulb planter or even my mind, well maybe that one. But because I have planted so much in my garden that a spoon was all I could squeeze into the tiny spaces left. It was a long day.
After taking shower, then foolishly talking to my neighbor outside in my bathrobe with wet hair it was time to call it a day. Besides, I could’ve sworn I heard the Discovery Channel click on.
Later that night resting comfortably next to the Saint, who was graciously not snoring for once, I was annoyed…awoken by a light tapping sound. “Oh, it must be raining” I thought and rolled over to snuggle into the covers. “Wait a minute. There weren’t any clouds and rain doesn’t come one drop at a time?” I nudge the Saint, “Honey, do you hear that, what is that?” He’s a sound sleeper but a fast wake up and I am the complete opposite. “That’s a leak somewhere.” Ahhgggg-- He was right and it was coming from the hot water heater which is for some reason dumber than buckets with holes so kids won’t drown (an actual US government proposal, I kid you not) the tank is located in our bedroom. I have no doubt in my mind that the designer who came up with this brilliant plan was a dedicated crack smoker and had just made a major score the day our blueprints came across his desk.
Now the beloved Saint clad only in his nighttime skivvies made his way to the heater in search of the leak. “I think it’s coming from AAAAAHHHHH!!!” This is where he made that sound an exotic animal being attacked by rabid hyenas covered in giant ants on the Discovery Channel makes. It seems there isn’t an actual word for that.
And thus began our latest near death experience.
I rushed to his side and was just in time to hear that horrible animal sound again--but this time it was coming from me. The intake hose on the water heater had come undone and we were now standing under Niagara Falls at the dead of winter in our underwear. The water pressure was nothing short of a hydrant. The intake hose had been cut too short and now that it had come loose it could not reach the connector valve. The water was shooting onto the low ceiling and drenching us. This water comes from a well four hundred feet down and it was dangerously cold at forty three degrees. The pressure was so strong that it took both of us to push the ends together enough to at least slow down the outward flow but as the ends came closer together the water was blasted into our faces and torsos. We were shivering so hard the next day all our muscles would be sore. We could barely speak, our motor skills were clunky and our thought process’ were getting pretty sketchy.
The two of us tried to hold the ends together and figure out a plan. This was made all the more difficult by the frequent and slips of the hose and the onslaught of torrential ice water. One of us had to run outside to turn off the well pump and one had to stay to hold the hoses together. He has stronger upper body strength so I raced outside to the well house and back in just in time for his grip to slip and we took another assault. There was still a lot of pressure.
I ran to turn all the faucets on. The hose slipped again. The house was filling with water. I ran outside again to find a garden hose. We could not force the water into the nozzle, the intake hose was uncontrollable. Violently shivering and barely able to think and speak we realized there was another pump still on at the opposite side of the house. The water was kept coming like an icy geyser with the brief exception of some super heated tank water being suctioned out to scald the Saint’s hand before soaking us with freezing water again. I ran back outside to turn off the other pump. It was thirty eight degrees out there with a light breeze.
Coming back in I felt guilty because thinking I had it better than he did, I got away from the torrential ice water for a moment. Finally the water was under control and we could get out of the water and dry ourselves off. It had taken us about twenty three minutes to get out from under the water.
Right about then is when our Malamute who had been frightened by those wild animal sounds and run outside, came back in. Apparently haven taken comfort by rolling in something very much dead. I laughed so hard at the completeness of the night’s disaster that I nearly fainted in a fit of coughing. Of course that had more to do with the fact that the malingering flu bug had taken total possession of my lungs by that point.
Now to leave you with a few interesting tidbits that I discovered after our little shower fiesta:
1. The temperature of the Atlantic waters that Titanic sank in were 35 degrees.
2. The air temperature was 43 degrees.
3. Time before exhaustion or unconsciousness, 15 - 30 minutes.
1. Temperature of the water we were in, 43 degrees.
2. Air temperature, 38 degrees
3. Time before exhaustion or unconsciousness, 30 – 60
4. Physical exertion drains the body of heat faster than if you stay still
5. Wind drains the body of heat.
6. Leonardo Di Caprio is a liar.
I'm lighting a fire and taking a nap.
*editing note- I checked the outside temp and it was 38* I edited the text to reflect that.