Weblog: 2-9-2009 – My Kingdom for a Hot Shower

February 9, 2009 · 2 comments

Just a bit of traditional weblogging today:

This past weekend was an interesting one.  I took the day off from work on Friday because I felt some kind of sickness coming on this past Thursday afternoon.  I hardly ever take the day off – 2008 left me with about 5 unused sick days – so I figured better safe than sorry.  I’ve been burning it pretty hard at both ends lately:  a few extra hours here and there at work, plus blogging and other stuff into the wee hours – I’ve been averaging about 5 or 6 hours of sleep and my body has been feeling pretty run-down.

So I slept pretty much straight until 4PM on Friday and got my regular evening-time stuff done.  Lots of water and food (and vitamins, as usual), plus some extra sleep on Saturday morning, and I was feeling much better. 

Friday afternoon (pre-4PM) found me opening the door to my deceased landlord’s son banging pretty hard and asking if I heard water running.  I replied that I did not, checked my plumbing to be sure, and went back to sleep.  When I awoke and turned on the water for a shower, I found that the hot water was not running.  I called the house and the caretaker informed me that the hot water to my apartment (a carriage house (fancy name for garage)) had been shut off due to a leak between the main house and mine.  She turned the hot water back on for me and then off again when I got out of the shower (and did the dishes).

I found it a bit odd that Chris (my deceased landlord’s son) didn’t leave me a note, but as I was pulling out to run my Friday afternoon errands, he flagged me down and explained the situation (of which I was already well apprised).  Chris explained that the situation would continue “for about a week or so”.  Yowzers.  No hot water for a week?!

Saturday’s shower was a cold wet washcloth.  Not my idea of a good time.

Scott and I hiked Balsam Lake Mountain on Sunday morning, which was phenomenal, as per usual.  I returned to Chris’s promise that his buddy (who will be helping him remedy the no-hot-water situation) was feeling “woozy” this morning, but would be along shortly.  He turned the hot water on for me.  When I got out of the much-needed shower, my phone was ringing to the tune of Chris stating that I “must be done because there’s no hot water left”.  Ever meet a fifty-something-year-old smart aleck?  I highly recommend it as one of the first major steps on the route to a prison term for a particularly nasty crime.

Not convinced?  Try this one: 

Ted:  “Chris, I have no hot water and would like a hot shower”.

Chris:  “Yeah!  It’s just like camping out, huh?”

Chris and his buddy tinkered around my kitchen for a bit and had me move just about everything therein so that they could figure out which pipe was hot water and which was cold.  Sometimes it’s tough to be a member of American Mensa, Ltd.

They then informed me that they would be installing my very own hot water heater in my kitchen!  Probably a “30 gallon deal”.  This herculean task is to be accomplished “sometime this week – it depends”.  And it will cost me an additional “ballpark twenty bucks a month” on my electric bill.

Now, dear reader, if your snob-meter is reading off the charts, please check it again, it’s probably just the overflow from your sarcasm meter.

First, my kitchen is tiny and already occupied by circa-1970s appliances (stove, fridge, and…that’s it), in addition to the relatively large forced-air heating unit in one corner.  Second, they propose to put the hot water heater in front of the window, pretty much in the middle of the kitchen (though it’ll snug in nicely next to the sink).  This will deprive me of approximately 6-9 square feet of the maybe 30 square feet of kitchen that’s not occupied by the aforementioned appliances.  I also own a table, two chairs, and a small shelf unit.  Yay.  Less space and higher bills.  My apologies, dear reader, that there is no “Third” here; I am simply too pissed to worry about syntax.

I might make mention of the fact that Chris was slightly offended at my innocent questions as to location, size, impact on my finances, and water pressure.  This offense I apparently gave was nothing compared with the ultimate insult I delivered later that afternoon when I politely asked how I was to go about showering and shaving before work this lovely Monday morning.  He was truly put out at the inconvenience I caused him by having to think on this one.  Luckily, dear reader, that Mensa membership comes in handy every once in a while:  I suggested that he either show me how to get in the house and turn the hot H2O on myself, or maybe that someone already in the house might be able to do it for me (and save me the trip in my skivvies through the February cold – this bit I did not mention, for the sake of propriety).  He replied with a long-suffering sigh that Evelyn (his mother’s live-in) would be up and around and might be able to take care of it, were I to give him the specific time I planned to shower (and call her before-hand and afterward). 

Man, I hope this saga doesn’t continue for too much longer…

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Katie February 10, 2009 at 09:38

I know I am a little behind with the blogs, but i just finished reading this one. According to the law if hot water is not provided for a period over 24 hours I believe you are supposed to get a rent credit for those days. If it lasts over a week there are some other laws that come into play. In NYC the landlord is required to put you up in a hotel the days the water is not working. Of course when the water in my place wasn’t working for a little over a week I said nothing… Another idea, get a gym membership. That’s where I ended up taking all my showers when the water stopped!


BRIAN February 10, 2009 at 13:54

Ted I just read about your situation with the shower. That really sucks and I would have kicked Chris in the teeth. My suggestion is that you go to a top notch strip club and request a shower dance. I’m not sure if you’re allowed to get in the shower with the girls but at least you can watch someone else clean up. Hope this helps…


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