09 January 2010

More excitement than I can handle

From the kitchen table I can see down the hallway through the dining room window and have a slice of a view to the driveway belonging to one of my neighbors. This morning when one of the dogs started barking I glanced up in time to see that neighbor looking over in my direction. It was more than a fleeting glance, so I walked toward the dining room. Some of the dogs followed me and they added their own barks to form a chorus. I figured he must be looking because of the racket. These animals can make some noise. Then he turned away and walked back toward his house and I returned to the kitchen table.

I was waiting for a call from a repair service providor to come out and take a look at our furnace. On the coldest day of the year, it decides to act up. Nice.

After an hour or so I get a call that they’re on the way. Fifteen minutes later I see a flash across that same window and I look outside. Nothing.

But wait, what is all that water? A big stream of water running down my next-door neighbor’s driveway. Maybe they’re draining their pool? Nah. Maybe they’ve got some sort of leak? Sheesh, I’m glad it’s not me. That river of water must be what the other neighbor was staring at earlier…

I decide to investigate anyway, stepping outside into the 40-ish degree morning in my flip-flops. I hear a loud wooshing noise and notice a pool of water standing in the lawn between our two houses. As I get closer and my feet get wetter, I discover with horror that there is a fountain behind the fence in my yard. Fear slices through my heart. I race through the house and into the back yard to get a full view of the destruction. It is not a pretty sight.

The fountain is coming from a white pvc pipe sticking up from the ground. It is near the ac compressor. I have no idea what purpose that white pipe typically serves. I see some levers on the pipe but in my state of mind (aka, technophobia) I decide after touching them and getting all wet from the spray of water that I cannot turn them. I dash inside to tell Cristy. She says we need to turn off the water and goes to pull on some boots and get a fleece pullover.

I am somewhat aware that there is a place to turn off the water at the utility meter, so I go outdoors again, still in those soggy flip flops to find our meter. I see that there is one in the neighbor’s yard, so I figure that ours will be positioned similarly on our own property, and it is. But there is a cover that I cannot remove with my hands, even though I’m really trying.

Then I find Cristy in the garage and she says that she’s already shut off the water by using the Emergency Water Main Shut-Off Valve. She shows it to me, and there is a tag proclaiming the purpose of this valve, in case, like me, you might be skeptical. I’m so glad she knows about this little secret.

But unfortunately, the fountain is still spewing like a geyser and water is pouring down the street at an alarming rate.

She heads back out to the fountain with a mallet, asking me if I tried to turn any of those levers. Of course I did. That was the first thing I tried, but I decided that they don’t move. I go back indoors thinking maybe I should try to call in another repair service request…. Cristy walks through the back door covered with water spray and says that everything is ok now.

Were you able to get the lever to shut off with that mallet?

No, I just reached down and turned it.

Oh, right.


  1. What a way to face the day. I hope everything turns out ok. And yeah, I just love it when someone simply does what I'd already failed at!

  2. I would be the same way. My brain just doesn't automatically think that mechanical way. Then my ex would just walk in and boom, fix it. AAAH! But glad she did...

  3. Oh that's a hell of a surprise on a morning like this. I am a mechanical nightmare. Can't think straight about anything that might require some common sense to fix, involving knobs, screw drivers, pipes, whatever. And you know what, that's okay. I don't even have a desire to learn. Stay warm AND dry!

  4. Wait. So did your neighbour just look at the water and then go back inside his own place?

  5. yes, that would be an accurate description. I know.

  6. It is refreshing to know that someones weekend was worse than mine.....now I don't feel so bad.