Archive for February, 2009

Water Main Break


5:45 You know, you wake up, you roll over and look at the clock and you have no idea what is really going to happen to you on any given day. It seemed like just a normal morning to me: Mike’s clock went off, he went to take a shower. I looked up at the ceiling and in my blinded state since I still had morning eye crunchies I saw something: a lady bug. Where did a live lady bug come from in January? It was a sign, an omen for sure.

6:45 So Emily got up, Mike dressed and left the house, and Abby took a shower. I had taken my bath last night so I thought I’d take a quick shampoo in the tub. So I stripped down to my undies and took off my t-shirt and bent over the tub faucet to wet down my hair. Stopped the water. Lathered up with shampoo. Started the water to rinse and….NOTHING. No water. Nada, Zilch! So I stood up all soapy and lathery and turned on the bathroom sink. Nothing. So I wrapped a hand towel around my big girls and went down the hall saying, “Kids! We have no water.” Little did I know that this is akin to saying, “Children!!!!! The house is on FIRE!” Will came flying out of his bed yelling- “Woo, Mom! Get a shirt on! No water? I can’t go to school like this! I’m greasy, I smell bad. What are they thinking?”

I called Mike who was almost to work and he in his clear headedness (mine was not, it was still shampoo-ified) told me to check the basement to see if we had a broken pipe, water backing up, anything. No, there was Nothing. This all caused Will to launch in to an extremely unreasonable tirade, “What do they expect us to do??” Who are they and what did he mean? “We should call someone!” he demanded. They ain’t up at the water department at 6:45 a.m.! He was completely nuts. Somebody slap that crap out that kid, he is driving me to drink.

7:10 Mike roared back home. Will was foaming at the mouth by now. Still swaddled in my hand towel and undies and at full head lather, I was in the kitchen looking up the phone number for the water department. Mike was home and really doing nothing at this point but standing next to me in the kitchen watching me try to keep the hand towel up and dial at the same time. I called the water department; I was right, they weren’t up, but a very nice lady on a recorded message told me that, “If this is an actual emergency, you can call the police department”. What really is an actual emergency? Isn’t the fact that the shampoo by now was either caked in my very red eyes or drying to my scalp an actual emergency? I therefore called the Police Department and told Mike to quit standing there looking cute, to make himself useful and talk to the damn cops. Turns out that there was a water main break in Marion and most of the town was without water. Great. At least Will would not be the only greasy, smelly kid at school. Oh, the horrors of it all!

I got the jug of distilled water down from the utility room and heated it in my tea kettle. Then Abby followed me upstairs and like an idiot I allowed her to pour it on my head to rinse off the shampoo. Next time I’ll check the temperature of the water before I allow her to scald the dried shampoo off my scalp. She learned some new words this morning; it was a lesson for her in vocabulary enrichment.

In the meantime, the water was beginning to trickle out of the faucet and Will began filling all the jugs and pitchers he could find. He would later say that he was storing water so that we wouldn’t be thirsty all day. The water went off again. I suggested to him to take his pitchers to the shower and take a military shower, but because he had risen in a psychotic state he was a blithering idiot- couldn’t do it, we would have no drinking water, it wouldn’t be prudent to waste water, we needed to: BE PREPARED. Lord, you take a good idea and hold it hostage. Thank you to hell, Boy Scouts of America.

7:30 Swallow and gulp down two Eggo Whole Grain Waffles for my colon health. I did not enjoy my breakfast, my head was still burning. Will is saying that he thinks that school should be canceled. I yelled that he was completely nuts. Abby cried, “Why can’t I just live in a normal family??” Frantically I make lunches and take Abby to school with the goal of heading to the mall to walk.

8:05 Begin walking. The other Professional Walkers soon join me and we all regale ourselves with the tale of whom was in the shower at the time the water died. Apparently there are grouchy people all over Marion today.

Then in happens…..we were walking four abreast down the corridor of the mall and we intersected with a side hallway. Coming out from that hallway is a wiry, approximately 75 year old man dressed it an orange stocking cap, a flannel shirt and a bad attitude. I was on the side closest to him and because his was a blind hallway he and I nearly collided.

“Pardon me!” I said politely, somewhat shocked that we nearly crashed.

“F*^ you!” he said. “Damn women walk all over the mall like they f^#*ing own it.”

“Huh?” I gasped!

“F*#king women can’t drive either!” he yelled back over his left shoulder as he left us in his dust.

Wow! Someone really didn’t have water to make his coffee with this morning!

The day really went downhill from there (read: because up to that point it was going along moderately well)

Cowboy Girl was singing out loud to herself to the tune of whatever was playing in her iPod. Now, Cowboy Girl is one of the usual mall walkers- she comes each day dressed in glasses from 1982 and a cowboy hat, her one pony tail hitting her in the bottom as she walks the opposite way ’round the track in the mall as the other walkers struggle to get out of her way. Today she received a cell call as we passed her and we heard her say, “And if he lays a hand on me I am going to call the cops!”

I turned and yelled back over my shoulder, “Watch out for men in orange hats!” She did not seem amused.

Just another day in the life of Korky Gries, I make my own fun.

Bug Man

Once upon a time there was this really hot housewife name Korky. This was back two summers ago when my parents were living here as my dad recovered from having his knee replaced in Cedar Rapids. Mike had been out front working in the yard around the bushes putting down mulch and making everything look pretty for his hot, young wife. The next morning I got up and noticed a dark line on the floor of the dining room and was repulsed to find out that that line was actually a line of ants seeming to traverse under the dining room carpet and coming up onto the wood floor of the kitchen eating area. And let me tell you, this wasn’t 5 ants- this was 5,000,000 ants and it gave me heebee jeebees that only can be cured by a call to the exterminator!

So, I got on the phone and called the local pest control service, and soon there was a knock on my door and the Bug Guy was standing there. Let me just describe him as looking like Fred Mertz (do you remember I Love Lucy- Lucy and Ricky, Fred Mertz and Ethel the neighbors?- if you can’t picture Fred, think about Danny DeVito only about 1.75 inches taller). He was the biggest dweeb in the world, about 60 years old with a large juicy mole on the side of his neck. Icky oh icky!!!!! He started saying stuff to me like, “Well, ma’am ya got yer carpenter ants and yer fire ants and yer sugar ants, but I think these here are just your basic brown ants.” or something equally intellectually stimulating to me ‘cause oh man, does a short, dweeby, bug man does it for me.

Mom and Dad were sitting in the living room and Phil (bug guy) began his spraying. “Ma’am, what I can offer you in service is quite a good deal. Because my company cares for you and yer family we can offer you a special deal, only to our most valuable customers.” Yeah, blah blah blah, I’ve heard that pick up line before.

About half way through his spraying routine Phil says to me and I quote, “Ma’am I know I shouldn’t be asking you this, but I have a bit of the runs and I wonder if I might use your bathroom.” OH MY GOSH Now some strange bug man is going to use my john!!!!! So, what are my options? No, he stands there and soils himself or yes, and my bathroom is stinkified??? I chose the latter. Phil went in and was in the bathroom on the main floor, where he didn’t turn on the fan and we could proceed to hear his every ‘movement’ for the next 15-20 minutes. None of us needed to hear that. He came out and Oh, my sweet Lord it was as if an opossum had crawled inside, exploded and putrefied all in that short time. Trust me, I could barely pay him as he finished the job as I was gagging and heaving the entire time. My poor dad, who was trapped with his leg in a special knee brace was not able to run for his life and it was hell in the house. It made the monkey cage in hot mid-July seem like it smelled good! The entire main floor was now a war zone. My mother said, “Well, that settles that, we have to get out of here and go out to eat tonight.” I’m not sure what was worse, Phil and his problem, the 5,000,000 ants or the smell of the bug killer that also was permeating the air.

Now, fast forward a year and try to forget about the incident and Phil the bug guy. We had been noticing that we were having a lot of spiders in our basement and main floor. Marion is built on several natural springs and it is really damp around here and bugs seem to flourish. We decided to call the bug company and have them come spray. You can probably guess what came next- they sent Phil. As I answered the door he said, “I think I done you before, I’m Phil. Here to service you?”

I beg your PARDON??? Other than feeling slightly aroused I was mostly annoyed that they sent dweeb guy out AGAIN but I figured he got rid of our ants so snap out of it!!!! Anyway, he came in and proceeded to tell me that his “little woman” worked at a hospital and, ‘we made a pact early on not to bring the job home and freak the other one out with what we sees in our professions’ and some story about how a rat came up a toilet one time in a business here in town and how he valiantly trapped it when stronger and more virile men ran like “pussies” (his words, not mine). Okay, whatever.

About half way through the job he stopped and looked at me with that deer-in-the-headlights kinda look and said, “I have a sore toe and they gave me ‘The Antibiotic’ and it gives me a bit of the runs. Might I trouble you to use yer restroom?” Holy, moly all hell broke loose again and what can you do about it?????? I think it is wrong for workmen to use the bathroom on the job!!! I thought I was gonna die!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I truly can’t even describe it to you, a black fog started to roll out under the bathroom door before he even finished. He stepped out into the haze and said, “Uhhh, ya may want to run the fan in there.” All I could stammer was, “YA THINK???????????”

That is my bug man story. Ya wanna be here when my main man Phil is servicing me????????????????????? 🙂