A site of satirical musings, commentary and/or rhetorical criticism of the world at large.

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Location: Southeastern, Pennsylvania, United States

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

S.O.L.B. (Save Our Litter Box)

This week’s crisis at the Gunther household began last Friday night when our house struck an iceberg...

(Okay, technically that first sentence is not totally true, but you’ve got to admit it’s one hell of a hook that got you to read this far!)

All right, it wasn’t an iceberg that hit us, but it had the same effect: an accumulation of water in the lower regions of our living quarters, i.e., a flood. We first discovered the problem after dinner, when I descended the stairs and noticed that one section of our light blue carpet was a darker color than usual. Up to this point, the day had been going smoothly, even when you consider that it was a Friday the 13th. Unfortunately, as I stepped off the bottom stair and felt the soaking sensation of a saturated basement carpet on my stocking feet, I realized that my carefully planned Valentine’s Day/President’s Day Weekend was crashing down faster than the Hindenburg and you can say, “Oh the humanity!”

(Look, this is the most traumatic event to happen to me since my heart surgery four months ago, so you might as well get used to the overwrought dramatic prose now!)

I walked further around the finished part of our basement and towards the laundry area, each step another slog through the indoor swimming pool I always wanted. I opened the door to the laundry area where three inches of water rushed towards me. Okay, so three inches by no means qualifies as a deluge, but damn it, this is still more water than I ever want to see inside a house where I pay the mortgage.

By this point I was yelling upstairs at Anne Marie about the situation, and she yelled back mostly language I can’t repeat here. I quickly found the source of the leak – gushing from the overflow pipe of our water heater — and looked around for a shut off valve. I traced the supply pipe up to the ceiling and a trio of copper valves, which were all corroded and useless. Drat!

Now in a panic, my mind raced around frantically for my next option. Actually, a little voice in my head was running around (coincidentally also wearing wet socks) shouting, “We’re gonna drown! We’re gonna drown! We’re gonna drown!” I ignored this little voice and went back into the carpeted area of our basement. I remembered that the water supply line was at the front of the house. I headed towards that side of the room, when suddenly, it hit me...

(INTERMISSION. Please take a moment, dear reader, to get up, stretch, use your facility, nosh on those scrumptious Girl Scout cookies you recently bought, and, oh yes, change your socks if they got wet.) hit me that the shut off valve should be behind a panel resembling a cabinet door in the front wall of our basement. I opened this panel, turned the valve, and quickly returned to the water heater. Yes, the water had slowed to a steady drip.

I turned to go back upstairs to let Anne Marie know that I shut off the water, when I saw my little grey cat, Meredith, perched on the bottom step. She sniffed the air and stretched her neck as she surveyed the unusual sight before her. Not only was the carpet thoroughly soaked, but it looked like her litter box might start floating towards her at any minute! I can only imagine what was going through her mind!

(Probably something along the lines of “Wow! Am I lucky or what? I don’t have to walk across the basement floor anymore to relieve myself! All I have to do is wait here and my box will magically drift towards me on a thin film of water! What will my humans think of next?)

I felt I should try to salvage something from the basement, but where to start? Meredith answered my question. I sloshed over to the litter box, carried it upstairs, and out of the flood zone. Meredith, no fool as she had seen me walk up the stairs numerous times and knew it was best to get out of my way, set some sort of speed record as she leapt up the basement steps and (presumably) the second floor stairs as well in a matter of seconds. She was long out of my sight when I reached the top of the stairs, where I could hear Anne Marie already on the phone to the plumber...



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