You know when your apartment or house gets to be such a catastrophic disaster area that you think it might just be easier to move and start all over again?
We are SO beyond that point. Seriously, if someone handed me a set of house keys and a pile of boxes, I’d be gone by the morning light.
We had an incident last night, complete with mysterious phone calls and danger – the real kind even; not the imagined sort I am so fond of.
Ed came home with the laundry and saw a fairly significant amount of water on the floor. He asked where it came from, but I didn’t know – and while we were investigating it, I found a much more disturbing mystery on the bed: where was all this water coming from, and also what the *fuck*?!
Water was pouring out of our bedroom light fixture and onto the bed. There was water all over the floor and the walls and the bed was a sodden mass of soggy linens and piece of plaster. Things were a fucking *mess*, and we stood there dumbfounded for a few seconds before springing into action: Ed called the building manager, I called Josh for manly assistance, we grabbed buckets, and started investigating.
There were a number of hugely problematic things to take in all at once:
- So much water!
- Oh shit, the bed is getting drenched
- Where is it coming from?
- Is it coming down the WALLS? How did the mirror and calendar get soaked?
- Seriously, move the fucking bed already
- It’s coming out the light fixture – water + electricity = NO GOOD AT ALL
I cleared all the blankets and pillows out of the way while Josh and Ed moved the mattress into the spare room. We laid out buckets and a tarp, and got to work while Scott the Building Guy came up to see what was going on. First problem: the water and electricity. Okay, let’s kill the power to the bedroom so we can get up there without death. Easy, right?
Our apartment building was erected in 1756 or so, and all electricity runs through ONE breaker in the suite. Turning off the power in the bedroom meant killing the entire apartment. Good job, electric people! We resigned ourselves to working in the dark (aided by Shan holding flashlights), because we couldn’t get around the power issue. Scott took down the light shade, and this led to the next problem:
The water was warm. It was more than warm; it was just this side of hot. We couldn’t figure it out – not only was there no kitchen or bathroom above us, there was NOTHING above us: the Penthouse suite doesn’t extend that far; we were below the roof. If the water was rain, why was it so hot? Scott turned off the water in the building just in case, and Josh and Ed worked to bring down the entire fixture (which was a ceiling fan and therefore complicated – Ed did far too thorough a job when installing it). Scott also punched a hole into the ceiling where some of the paint was obviously bubbling: we wanted to divert the water from over the bed and give it another way to escape.
With the fan down and the wires recapped without anyone being electrocuted, we turned the power back on so we didn’t have to deal with a suddenly defrosted freezer on top of everything else. It was time to figure out what happened, so Shan and I went all CSI on this shit: why was the water warm, and where did the water on the walls and floor come from?
I don’t get to use the phrase “arterial spray” in my day to day life nearly enough, but I got to use it last night. Shan deduced that if the fan and light were ON when the leak started, it would account for the water being shot out in a radial pattern, depositing water along the mirror, calendar, and floor AND why the water was so warm. I took a flash light and followed the trajectory of the water droplets, and sure enough: there was a distinct pattern. The arterial spray of the water was the same height of the drops on the mirror, and from there extended into a perfect arc along the door and onto the floor. Since the fan was on, the light was also on – and this would easily account for the warm temperature of the water (it had been sitting in the light shade for god knows how long, being warmed by the light and electricity). Mystery solved! Shan and I are awesome.
Okay, so we determined that the water wasn’t coming from any invisible pipes on our roof so it was most likely rain. Scott went onto the roof to investigate, and shortly after we heard a startling WOOOOOSH – a great deal of water was pouring out from somewhere. It sounded like a fucking waterfall; it was so loud. We thought the rain had picked up to Calgary intensity, but a glance outside told us that the rain had momentarily stopped – so what the fuck?
Scott came storming (no pun intended) back downstairs, looking both angry and triumphant: he had solved the how. He held up a single beer can – an empty Molson Cold Shot – that someone upstairs had pushed into the rain pipe for fun and profit. With the drain blocked, the water backed up onto the roof and eventually started seeping into the cracks in our ceiling and onto our furniture.
So! Our house is a complete fucking disaster: the bedroom is inhabitable until it dries out, at which point repair men will come and cut a bigger hole into the ceiling to clean it out (mold is bad) and patch it all back up again. They’ll do the same to the living room, which also started leaking last night due to the rogue beer can. Our mattress is propped up on its side in the spare room, because there isn’t anywhere large enough for us to lay it down. Ed is sleeping on the spare bed, and I’m on the couch in the middle of the living room (because it had to be moved because of the first leak). You can’t move anywhere in our house at all without tripping over something that shouldn’t be there, and for once it isn’t due to sheer laziness on our part: things are fucked up in here.
Also, because I slept on the couch last night, I woke up with the worst headache I’ve ever had – it made me vomit several times and black out in a puddle of tears and intense pain.
NOVEMBER IS AWESOME !!!!
For my own amusement and because Kelli asked, here is a complete list of things that are currently wrong with our apartment:
- The living room ceiling is rotting above our couch
- The bedroom is useless for the next week, possibly two, while strange men cut holes in our ceiling and possibly fondle my unmentionables
- The ceiling fan we bought and installed is fucked up and unusable
- Our landlord is going to set up a dehumidifier in there and give us $25 to cover the added power cost (woo!)
- The toilet handle broke off; we’ve been using a bungee cord to flush for the last month
- The Chlamydia Sisters below us
- The Idiots Upstairs (version 3.0)
- Josh and Shan are moving out on Saturday
- Every single electric outlet in the apartment runs off one circuit
.. on the upside, our living room walls are a lovely shade of green and it smells like cookies in here.