Last Friday I crept downstairs at 5 am as usual and made coffee, then turned on my computer only to realize I was standing in water.
This was different than the moisture that usually pools beneath my desk. That normal moisture is simply computer sweat which spills out when my PC finds itself strained by a particularly demanding video game. Remember to clean out your computer sweat trays regularly, folks.
No, this was not computer sweat at all. It was plain old water. Lots of it, coming up from between the floorboards. I had no idea when the leak began but at that moment I was extremely thankful to be a weirdo whose favorite time of day is pre-dawn.
Between greedy mouthfuls of scalding hot coffee I grabbed every halfway grubby towel in the house and threw it on the ever-expanding pool of water.
The leak wasn't cascading or shooting up the sort of isolated jets that you stick your nasty butt over in theme parks. Still, it was steady enough to submerge one corner of my home in half an inch of water mere minutes after I replaced the now-drenched towels. All things considered, I preferred to have no water on my floor at all.
At this point it dawned on me that I was putting band-aids on a spurting decapitation. I needed to turn off the water altogether at my house's intake valve. So I went outside - a tremendous act of bravery in itself. There was a valve. There was a place for a handle. There was no handle.
In my mind, somewhere at that very moment a raccoon was giving a tour of its art collection to a date. Wine glass in hand. Commenting on the impersonal nature of industrial design while its date nodded, tilting its head thoughtfully at a frame containing my intake valve's handle.
One inexplicably calm phone call later, a plumber was explaining that I had a slab leak. If you don't know what that is, it's sort of technical. I'll explain: It meant my shit was about to get wrecked. My whole dumb life was about to be ruined. My face was about to get stomped by reality.
Minutes later there was a hole in my wall and a conversation in my living room.
Plumber: "The leak is located somewhere between your backyard hose spigot and the rest of the house. We can cap off the hose's line right here. That would stop the leak but disconnect the hose line so you couldn't use it anymore. Or we could tear up this entire wall and pull up your floor and the underlying concrete to repipe half the hou-"
Me: "Goodbye hose. Good riddance. You are dead to me. You're on your own from here on out, yard."
(Several awkward moments later)
Me: "I never liked that hose anyway. In fact, I don't know that hose. Never seen it before in my life."
The moral of this story? Do not put plumbing in your house. Those pipes are full of water, man! Water.
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