So a month ago, I went downstairs to grab a beer, and there was water in the basement.
I should explain — I live in Minnesota. We have snow, if you haven’t heard. And it usually melts gradually. This crap melted all at once.
Twenty standing inches of it.
And I only moved in a few years ago. (I’ve always lived in apartments.)
I went upstairs to drink my beer, hoping when I was done, the basement water would have gone away. Maybe house spiders would have drunk it or something. As is usual when avoiding problems, when I went back, the basement water was worse.
Contacting the Wife
I called Mrs James at one of her three jobs. “I fucking think the goddamn fucking basement is flooding like fucking shit.”
No response to that voicemail.
I called again. “We have water downstairs. I cannot scoop it up fast enough.”
I was bailing it out with the drip tray from a toaster oven, that’s all I could think of.
Her response? “I just left work; I’ll be there in 15 minutes.”
I seem to have a reverse polarity with cussing, where I swear so constantly, people who know me take me seriously when I stop swearing. Go figure.
Recruiting the Wife
Anyhoo, as it turned out, the house vacuum does double duty. Remove the dirt filter and that machine can slurp up floodwater. Problem is, it doesn’t do it fast as the water comes in, so you gotta run and empty it constantly for about 12 hours. You do this in shifts. One person grabs an hour or two of couch sleep, then the other takes over, etc.
A day later, we were both still sleep-deprived, and got into an argument over some meaningless thing. So I ran out of the room to kick a hole in some drywall. (While I have never struck a living being in anger, I have been known to attack inanimate objects.)
Wisdom of a Wall
If walls could talk, this one would have said, “You dumbass! You wanted the movie version of when some couple comes together to save the family from a flood, or volcano, or alien monster attack, and at the end, they’re closer than ever for all eternity. In fact, even dealing with a leaky basement for hours on end is stressful and exhausting. At the end, all you saved was thousands of dollars in basement repair you can’t afford right now.”
I would have nodded and admitted, “Yeah, right.”
“Well, haha! Now you’re going to have to fix me! Who’s the supposedly self-aware collection of atoms now? At least I didn’t mrmuph glurn nmmble…”
Because, if walls could talk, that’s when I would have taped newspaper over the drywall hole to shut it up.
They can’t, but in fact, I did. Since I don’t know how to fix drywall. But I’ll get around to it later.