October 25, 2013

FRIDAY: Hot water is overrated


---- — Buy a house, they said. It’ll solve all your problems, they said.

OK, maybe they didn’t say that. But everybody congratulated me when I bought my first house this year. What a great decision, they told me.

What “they” (whoever they are) also told me, though, was that I’d get to “experience the joys of home ownership.”

And what joy – it has started.

I woke up Tuesday and found a big puddle of water having a party around the water heater in my basement. The puddle was jivin’ with the dead crickets I’d somehow let in, back when they were alive, and various bits of dust and dirt I should probably have cleaned up a month ago.

Slippers may not have been the best footwear that morning.

When I rented, I could just call the landlord and tell him, you know what? Your water heater is a dud. And I'd go on my merry way. Now, I pick up the phone and call myself. Sarah! Your water heater is a dud! Thanks for the heads up, girl.

Switching to the trusty rubber chore boots, I headed downstairs with the only cleaning appliance I know how to use: The vacuum.

All the places I've lived have had maybe one carpeted room. So I don’t actually own a regular vacuum. I make it work with a wet-dry vacuum. It looks like an alien — fat little torso, incredibly long neck — but I haven’t named it yet. Maybe Vworp. Doesn’t that sound like a nice name?

Until now, Vworp has just been a dry vacuum. But I figured, hey, it’s made to suck up water. Let’s see if it will really suck it up! So I attacked the party of water with the snaking hose of a neck attached to this sucky appliance.

You know how your mom told you not to slurp your pop loudly through the straw? Don’t let her near Vworp. She’d probably ground it from carbonated drinks for a month.

Back and forth, back and forth — sucking up the water was like painting in reverse. A stroke here and another there, and the canvas that was my basement floor suddenly looked less like a glossy print and more like a coarse, blank matte. If only I could reverse spend money by reverse painting the floor.

A few gallons later and the puddle party was broken up. I think most of the crickets went the way of dead goldfish.

Vworp had passed its first major experiment. And I hadn’t dropped the cord into the puddle.

I can’t believe I had the gumption to use electricity around a puddle of water.

Sarah Einselen

Friday editor / Queen of Vworpsylvania