What do you like to do at 2am?
What would you NOT like to be doing at 2am?
For me, there are many things, including: chasing a spider with a pint glass; talking to the cat; falling down the stairs.
Other than the above mentioned activities, which should usually be saved for, you know, never – there is something that I find even less appealing:
OK, I might be exaggerating slightly, I didn’t (and never plan to) go swimming at 2am. Other than the fact that it would be the dumbest thing anyone could ever do, I’m just not particularly big on swimming (although I did earn my 10-metre badge when I was 9).
So, no. 2am swimming did not occur.
I also didn’t fall down the stairs.
Although, I would much rather jump down the stairs head first in pursuit of a spider whilst shouting back up to the cat about my progress, than have to do deal with this problem again…
A burst pipe, at 2am.
I suppose we should have seen it coming really; the pipe in the downstairs bathroom had been a little bit leaky for a couple of days, like a slow drip that you could hear everywhere in the house. But the landlady promised to send a plumber at some point ‘over the next few days’ so I wasn’t alarmed.
I should have been alarmed.
There should have been alarm bells and flashing lights and warning signs. Instead there was just a dripping pipe – that wasn’t dripping anymore!
Wait… why is the pipe not dripping anymore?
Why can’t I hear the drip?
Actually, what is that I can hear? That almost sounds like running water…
I should have probably realised that there is only one thing that sounds like running water – and that would be running water.
Not to worry, though. I’m no DIY expert but turning off the house’s water supply seemed like the next logical step. It would have been a brilliant idea, too. In fact that’s probably the first thing a plumber would have done.
However, in trying to do this I came across our next problem – the stop-tap didn’t work.
So, to clarify, the STOP-tap didn’t STOP the water from coming in and, seeing as that was its only job, I now call it the ‘DOES NOTHING-tap’ (although sometimes I call it the ‘far too close to my bare buttocks when I’m trying to go to the toilet-tap’).
Next, in an absolute moment of genius, I decided to turn all of the taps and the shower on, in the hope that this would reduce the water, which was now gushing out of the pipe. The only thing I achieved in doing this was an increase in the water bill.
So not only was our house flooding, but we were paying for the privilege.
By this point the water was getting pretty bad. Actually, take a look for yourselves.
So, to cut a long-story short, we opened the front door, reached for the brooms (and the beer) and called a 24-hour plumber.
Who couldn’t make it.
The only other 24-hour plumber that we could find in the area demanded £120 payment over the phone before he came and a further £120 per half-hour – money that we just didn’t have.
So we swept for another hour before deciding that it was time to make the ultimate sacrifice. It was time to call the landlady.
Our landlady isn’t a scary lady. In fact, she’s actually quite nice. But still, it was 2am, nobody likes to be woken at 2am – especially to the sound of the Niagara Falls.
Besides, what could she do? We had already tried the only two 24-hour plumbers in the area.
I’ll tell you what she did.
She sent an electrician.
At last someone’s coming to help…
Wait a minute. An electrician..?
So the house is flooding and we’re all knackered from sweeping water out of the front door, but it’s OK. There’s an electrician on the way – to do some plumbing.
Luckily for us, Mr Electrician knew a few things about stopping water, and so the gushing water stopped. I could have kissed the man (although I didn’t – as far as plumber-electricians go, his breath was rancid).
One trip to Tesco later, looking for something to fix flood damage at a cost of no more than four of the Queen’s English pounds – in our pyjamas – we returned home (with a multipack of tea-towels) and went to bed.
Oh, and as for pyjamas – they’re manly and you know it.
I’ve always said that, one day, I’d like to have a family. You know, beautiful wife that doesn’t like to get her hands dirty, maybe a couple of kids. Just picture the stereotypical family from any Disney Christmas film and that’s pretty much what I’ve been aiming for (except I’m hoping none of them turn out to be cartoons).
I may have to reassess this now.
I definitely need to marry a plumber.
Or an electrician, apparently.