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Friday, November 21, 2008

Friday Funnies - The Great Waterbed Disaster

These days I prefer this kind of water

I think it's finally been long enough that I can blog about this fateful night without cringing too much. Even as I was going through it, I knew it would be funny some day...

Flash back to July 4th of this year, EmDee had already headed out to Florida for our vacation, and somehow amidst all the booming fireworks I had gotten Sweetpea to sleep. Now it was time for me to start packing...I headed into big T's room to grab a suitcase and noticed a teeny tiny little wet spot on the carpet - right next to the corner of his (water)bed. I leaned in closer and discovered we had a BIG, HUGE problem. This wasn't just a little leak. The carpet was wet around the entire perimeter of the bed. Did I mention that EmDee had already left town? That it was Friday night, the 4th of July? {{shudders}}

I had a fill kit for the waterbed, but the package said there was such a thing as a drain kit, which I didn't have. The waterbed was EmDee's and he had emptied it when we moved, so I was totally clueless and beginning to panic. It was after 9pm, and my sweet mother went out on a hopeless quest to find a drain kit for me.

I called a coworker in hopes of getting the phone number to a mutual plumber friend of ours. Shockingly this virtual walking phonebook didn't have the digits I was looking for, but he sweetly offered to help this desperate damsel in distress...{{which I'm sure he regrets to this day}}

Backtracking just a bit, I had unplugged the heater to the waterbed immediately after discovering the leak. Soon after hanging up the phone with word that my friend was coming over to literally help bail me out, I smelled smoke. {{faints}} I looked for sources of the burning smell and found none. Knowing there was wiring in the wall next to the waterbed, and that it was likely that water had made its way into the heating vent, I decided to call 911. My sweet daughter was sleeping in the room next door, I didn't know what was wrong, and I wasn't willing to risk not calling. In my head I was thinking "I never realized I would be more embarrassed than panicked to make this call".

I went and woke Sweetpea and we left the house to wait for the firemen. She clapped every time a burst of color lit up the sky - it really was beautiful with the fireworks surrounding us - and all I wanted to do was cry.

The fire truck showed up just before my friend, who was nice enough to sucker another coworker into helping - Sweetpea thought this was the best night EVER - fireworks and a firetruck! In a few minutes, the firemen said all was clear, that they couldn't find anything wrong and it must have been the heater that had been unplugged for over an hour...that still makes no sense to me, which is bothersome as an engineer, but they must have been right.

Once the very nice firemen left, the real work began - emptying the waterbed. It took roughly four hours, hundreds of trips to empty the shop vac {{we ended up finding that sucking the water out with a shop vac while pushing on the bladder from the inside was the most efficient way to remove the massive amount of water}} and one very precarious trip out the front door with an overflowing trashcan full of waterbed mattress on a dolly. There was a lot of pushing on the bladder, sitting on the bladder, sticking things into the frame to help the water empty more quickly. At one point, the base broke into two pieces from the water and the weight. Doesn't that sound fun? I'm thinking there was a reason these things went out of style some time ago.

I will never be able to thank my sweet coworkers enough for their help into the wee hours on the fourth of July. Because of them, I was able to rest easy that my home wasn't under water when we left for vacation the following day. Because of them I was able to get some sleep that night, albeit not much. As a humble showing of my never ending gratitude, I made rice krispie treats with rainbow sprinkles - what do you think, are we even?!

I only hope I am as good a friend as Tom and Al showed themselves to be that night.

Thanks Tom & Al, I am forever grateful!!!!!!

Happy Friday, everybody!

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Gill said...

Oh poor you! Isn't it great to have wonderful friends like that though? I'm sure your thanks is all they need, after all one day they may need little ol' you! But yeah i'd definately say the Rainbow rice krispie treats are one of the best way to say thanks! So do you still have a waterbed? ;)

Monica said...

Sometimes in life we go through different situations and you wonder (or at least I do) how I was ever able to survive.

Did you say you find the humor in it now? Good for you. I don't think all the time in the world would let me, so kudos to you!

CC said...

WOW. What a story. I'm not sure if I'd ever be brave enough to write about it! :)

Just me said...

Oh my gosh! What wonderful friends! That's an awful lot of work and water!

I would have called 911 too!

Steph at Problem Solvin' Mom said...

It was crazy - luckily I had some great friends willing to help me out that also have made fun of me to this day...and helped me laugh about it. It would have been so much worse if we'd left on vacation not knowing...so I'm grateful to get away with just new carpet in that room.

Martha said...

Those "funny" stories sure aren't funny when they're happening! And why do they always happen when we're just getting ready to leave on vacation, when the mother in law is coming to visit, etc.? It's like as soon as we do a super good deep cleaning of our kitchen is the night we drop the whole pot of spaghetti sauce which splatters on and under every single surface of the nice clean kitchen! Or a shaken up can of coke is always opened in sparkling clean kitchens too - Ugh!