Tuesday, June 17, 2008

A River Runs Through It, Part II

Something awful happened today. Something that has never happened to me my entire life. Something I swore would never happen.

My basement leaked. Which is putting it mildly.

More accurately, it was a deluge. There was water pouring into it!

I am bewildered. I am outraged. Remember "A River Runs Through It"? I wrote that maybe a week ago, when I walked downstairs and I thought the fridge down there was leaking. You can guess what happened next... I went upstairs, started reading a Los Angeles Times story about Leonard Pennario playing the Prokofiev Third at the Hollywood Bowl in 1956, and I forgot all about the fridge, the basement, everything. Because my basement does not leak. End of story. In the 10 years or something I have owned this house there has not been one drop of water in the basement. It is like headaches. I do not get headaches. I have not had a headache since I was 8. So every time I feel I might be getting one, I think: That is ridiculous. I do not get headaches.

But the headaches go away -- if they are ever there to begin with. The water in the basement did not.

Because Howard went down there today. And he started screaming. Along the lines of: "There is six inches of water in this basement! How could we not know this is happening? How could we not know what is happening in our own house???"

Which, of course, he is perfectly justified. When he married me he did not know he was marrying a woman who was going to go around with her mind on nothing but the 1956 Los Angeles Times.

Upshot of this: Howard made two trips today to Harbor Freight (don't feel too sorry for him, he loves that place, it's like me going to the UB Music Library) and bought two (2) sump pumps. My admiration for him, at first grudging, grew to astronomic proportions when, unable to find rubber boots at Kmart for wading in the water, he fashioned his own footwear utilizing big plastic bags from UPS. What a resourceful man I married! He needed that protection when navigating our basement because would you believe it, that fridge was still running, blamelessly, with electrical cord and outlet completely submerged in water. The fridge's fan was whirring underwater, creating this awful splashing sound.

We realized the problem was not an appliance or a pipe when we realized that in spite of all our sump pumping, we were losing ground. We were taking on water! And we realized it had to be because of the rain pounding down. When the rain stopped, we gained ground. When it started again, we lost it. Not for nothing did I go to UB. I can figure things like this out.

What happened to that covenant God made about not destroying the earth with water?

Howard finally went down to Big Blue to do this or that. He has been a sweetie over this basement business so he can do whatever he wants as far as I am concerned. Except. Except. He did pay me the ultimate insult of forgoing my slow-roasted chicken and cabbage in favor of a burger from Fuddruckers. He called me to tell me he ate it. Think of it, a big fattening burger! And Tim Russert's body not even cold!

What with that and the dread of whatever expensive home repair we might be in for, I really do think I might be getting a headache.

Nah, can't be.

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