Monday, June 21, 2010

Eventful First Father's Day

Having been raised by a single mom, celebrating Father's Day for the first time (father-in-laws excluded) was a rather exciting prospect. Last year, I was a 'father-to-be' and this year, a 5 month old brought me a present. But this Father's day turned out to be much more eventful than the usual 'present, hanging with the family, dinner' day.

At around 7am, after my son's morning feeding, my wife headed out to walk the dog. She didn't last long, as I heard the door open up about 30 seconds after it had shut. She came running up stairs.

"There is water POURING out of the neighbor's garage!"

I told her to watch the baby, and ran outside. Sure enough, much more than a broken water heater's worth of water was gushing from underneath out neighbor's garage door. Being the good neighbor, I started ringing their bell and knocking.

I figured I would probably hear the noises of a pissed off neighbor coming down his stairs until his foot hit the flooded basement floor, at which time panic would set in. What I heard was:

"Damn it, I'm ****ing coming!!!"
"WHAT THE ****!!!???"

I'm sure he didn't need to open the door to know what I wanted. I told him the water was coming out of his garage. He said thanks, closed the door, and started calling for his wife. On Father's day.

The next hour was spent trying to shut off the leak. You see, the water line burst BELOW the main shut-off valve to the house (see: nightmare). We had to open the main line on the street, find the valve in 2' of muddy brown water and shut it off (kudos to the Spanish painter working in the neighborhood... without his help, we'd have never gotten it shut off). When it was all said and done, there was 4" of standing water in my neighbor's finished basement. You've never seen sad till you've seen carpet floating on the air bubbles trapped under it.

Oh, did I mention the house is just shy of a year old? Yeah... nightmare.

Fortunately enough, we suffered no damage and the neighbors should be 100% under home warranty/insured. Still, it's a hell of a way to wake up on Father's Day.

So I consider myself and my family lucky that we weren't affected. I know it won't be easy, but I hope my neighbors get everything fixed and back to normal ASAP.

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