Thursday, August 26, 2004

The Hole in the Floor Story

The last event worth reporting was so traumatic to me that in an effort to keep my blood pressure in line I avoided writing about it until now. So it will probably seem like no big deal and not even funny, and many of you will yawn and scan for witty remarks which I'm not promising many of this time as The Spouse is away as I write this and usually provides most of my better material anyhow.

In July, The Spouse knew he was going to be really busy and suggested I look for some sort of trip with the girls so we wouldn't notice he was gone so much of the time. Then my friend, Carla, who lives in London, called and suggested we come so Eldest Daughter could participate in a Spanish immersion week at her daughter's pre-school. The price was right, the accommodations comfy, so the plans were made.

The day I was to leave, the Decorator had scheduled the closet guys to come and build our big bedroom closet and install the shelves/cabinets in the TV room. It was a cool, rainy day. The Spouse took the children out, and I stayed home to pack and keep an eye on things around the house.

It took the guys longer than expected to install the shelves in the TV room as, apparently, there are no right angles in this house. They had to trim and rig and coax the pieces into place. I don't remember what time I was planning to leave for the airport, perhaps 3:00 p.m., but I was starting to wonder if they needed to return the following week after I returned from London.

Eventually they do make it to the bedroom, and I hear lots of hammering and drilling. And then it got very quiet. "Pani Amanda! Could you come here and tell us where you think this water is coming from?"

They had drilled a hole in the floor, and a good amount of brown water was coming up out of it.

I was stumped. This house IS odd. I was trying to imagine if bathroom pipes might be routed through our bedroom floor. But the water didn't seem to smell. I was thinking about downspouts or the kitchen below. Why would there be water piped through our bedroom floor?

Finally one of the guys asks, "Ma'am, does your house have the heating in the floors?" Well, of course it does, but I had forgotten all about it. So then the two guys and the Decorator learned a lot of really bad words in English. They got to hear them over and over again, and I am sure their pronunciation when they use these words will be just perfect. Especially the s-word and the f-word.

Honestly, I was about to cry because here the house was in chaos, and I had to call the landlord and find out what we needed to do to avoid further damage, plus figure out how to repair this. And finish packing. And go to the airport.

The landlord didn't look too thrilled, but I wasn't sure if it was because of the idiots destroying his house or that we called him out on a rainy Saturday afternoon when he could have been watching football. He did point out that a MAJOR electrical line was just millimetres away from the hole and that if we had done this in the basement (as we had been considering to install a wooden playhouse for the children) all of the water in all three floors of the house would have then drained out. So it could have been much worse.

But I was so hopped up on adrenaline, I could barely focus to finish my packing and chase everyone out of the house until I returned from London. The Spouse was philosophical, and kept saying that I hadn't run my oil tanker aground off the Alaskan coastline, nor had I allowed the small child travelling alone to take the wrong airplane. I had not even approached driving my car off a cliff. But I was beginning to think I preferred that to the idea of looking at those finished closets and seething everyday for the rest of my lease.


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