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Charlie Hatton
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April Showers Bring a Dilemma

A few weeks ago, we were slammed here in New England with a huge rainstorm. And when I say ‘huge’, I mean ‘ginormous’. The rains were relentless, for more than a week. Rivers flooded, sewers overflowed, there was even talk of collecting two of every animal.

(Whether to save them, ark-style, or to eat them, BBQ-style, I was never quite clear. But I voted for the latter. I do loves me some spit-roasted zebra.)

After the raindrops had finally stopped plopping, the missus and I took a trip downstairs in our house to find that our basement had flooded. Which was no surprise, really. It’s a one hundred year-old house; you’ll have the occasional leak. My grandfather is only eighty, and he springs leaks all the time. That’s just how life works.

“It’s a one hundred year-old house; you’ll have the occasional leak. My grandfather is only eighty, and he springs leaks all the time.”

Sadly, there are no jumbo-sized Victorian-style diapers we can buy to solve our cellar seeping, so we had to explore other solutions. We could get the leak fixed, I suppose — but it’s an old house. It’d just leak somewhere else eventually, and we’d have to fix that, and then there’d be another one, and another… who has time for that sort of nonsense? Clearly, ‘fixing’ the problem is no fix at all.

(This should tell you right away why lazy smartasses like me should never own houses. I can just see my future self in the aftermath of a home-related disaster, shrugging and saying:

Aw, hell — if we put a roof back up, it’ll probably just collapse again, anyway. You always wanted to sleep under the stars anyway, right, honey?

This is why I can’t have nice things. Not for very long, anyway.)

Given the soggy situation, my inertial inclination, and the forecast of additional impending precipitation, I took the only reasonable course of action. I bought a shop vac, with which to suck up the current water as well as any future water that might darken our cellar floor.

Of course, I couldn’t be bothered to actually leave the house, so I bought it online. Two-to-four week delivery is very reasonable for an online retailer, I think. No problem.

Three weeks passed. The shop vac arrived.

By that time, the basement was dry — or dry-ish, at the very least — so the shop vac wasn’t particularly needed. But now we owned one, for the next torrential crisis. We stowed our new toy away for a rainy day.

In the basement.

(You can see this coming now, can’t you?)

Fast-forward to this week, with ‘occasional heavy thunderstorms’ in the area. Zoom in on me, trundling down our stairs to check on things.

The basement? Flooded.

The shop vac? Still in the box, sitting in a shallow pool of water. The very water it would be cleaning up, if it weren’t sitting, still in the box, in a shallow pool of water.

There’s a certain poetry in all of this, I’m sure. A smarter man than I could no doubt use the situation as an ironic metaphor for the futility of trying to tame nature, or the absurdity of our reliance on modern technological gadgets. Of course, he’d have time to make these astute observations, and to get so wicked smart in the first place, because he probably lives in a condo, and doesn’t waste time on watery-basement bullshit.

So what to do now? The answer is obvious — clearly, I should pull up the online store again and buy another shop vac, with which to dry out the first one. No problem. It should be here in two-to-four weeks.

Of course, by then the water in the basement might have dried up on its own, and I won’t need the new machine. Probably, it won’t even be worth unpacking it, so I’ll just store it in the basement, and when it rains again, it’ll be… heeeeeyyy. This isn’t working out any better than fixing the damned leak. The basement will still be wet, and I’ll be stuck with a dozen soggy shop vacs floating around the place. Dammit.

Well, that leaves only two options. We’ve either got to sell the place and move, or find a way to control the weather so it never rains again. I’ll start scouring the real estate ads, and have my wife work on the weather machine. She’s the smart one, you know — and besides, do you know how much work building a weather control device would be? I don’t have that kind of energy. It’s nap time.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “April Showers Bring a Dilemma”

  1. kerry says:

    that sounds like our house, too. our basement has flooded 2 or 3 times since we’ve moved in last year. we bought some cement to try and fill in the places on the floor that the water seems to be coming in from, but do you think we’ve used it yet? nope. i hadn’t thought of getting a shop vac. but at least i know not to keep it in the basement now. ;)

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