Early saturday morning, my sleep was disturbed by the sound of my roommate taking a shower, very loudly. Why did she have to turn the water on full-blast? I wondered to myself, rolling over and falling back asleep.
A little later, I awoke again, and thought, I didn’t know we had that much water pressure! I never turn the water all the way up when I take a shower.
A little later, I wondered; Has she run out of hot water yet?, but I mentally shrugged it off, and went back to sleep.
A little later, I awoke again, and thought; Geez… I really need to use the bathroom… I hope she finishes soon.
I didn’t quite fall back asleep, but I waited awhile. I heard the sound of water splashing on the floor. What is she doing? I wondered, and I finally got out of bed, hopped down to the floor, and walked down the hall to the bathroom.
Then I stopped, puzzled. The bathroom door was wide open… and the lights were off… and yes, my feet were wet.
Ryda was, of course, not taking a shower at all, but still asleep in her own bed. The loud shower-like noises were coming from above the ceiling. Water was pouring down from the light fixtures– both the one in the bathroom, and the one in the hallway.
crapcrapcrapcrapcrapcrap I said, and rushed back to my room for my shoes, and then ran upstairs. My upstairs neigbor’s front door was wide open, and I called “Hello!” as I entered. I already had a pretty good idea what was going on. This same neighbor had a leak once before a year ago, which dripped into my bathroom and ruined my light fixture… although this leak seemed a bit more severe…
Water was already spilling out into his living room, soaking the carpet. I waded upstream and found him in his bathroom with a big plastic waste-bin, trying to catch water that was coming out from under his sink. Not just a little leak. This was more along the lines of a firehose. I have seen rivers* that carried more water than this. He was trying to catch the water in the waste-bin and dump it down the tub, but given the volume of water that was blasting out from under the sink, this effort was about as effective as trying to juggle swimming pools.
I hurried back downstairs to call the landlord, and found Ryda awake, and rushing to put plastic over the TV and move the gaming-consoles to high ground.
I will spare you the details, but by that afternoon most of our posessions were packed away in a big pile in a neighboring apartment, and our apartment was a barren soggy empty place with bare carpetless floors, slowing drying in the heat of the day. A few things got water-damaged, but not too many things, and not too badly.
So for a week or so until the new carpet goes in, I will be enjoying the pleasant, but non-internet-connected hospitality of my Aunt and Uncle. Fortunately, I have internet at work, so I can continue to regularly feed my myspace addiction ;)
* That river hyperbole really isn’t saying all that much. Here in semi-arid California, a river is any place where a large amount of water has flowed at some point in recent geological history, say, at least once since the end of the last Ice Age