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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on March 30th, 2010, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 11, Issue 3 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 11, Issue 3

Not in hot water

Even three hours away, a plumbing disaster can cause major trouble for Krider

By ROB KRIDER

My employer scheduled me for a week’s worth of training in another city. Apparently, after 10 years at the same place, I have no idea what I am doing at work, and to get someone to actually teach me how to do my job is so challenging it required the services of someone from out of town.

I wasn’t thrilled by the idea of crashing in a hotel for a week and being away from my wife, whom I love. At least that’s what I tried to convey to my spouse. Actually, a week away from my wife (the household chore designator), the kids (the never-ending question askers), and the duties at home (the garbage can that won’t stop filling up) sounded pretty outstanding. Plus, I’d get the opportunity to take a nap every day from 5 o’clock until the next episode of Celebrity Rehab came on. It all sounded pretty cool to me. I just couldn’t admit it, of course.

I packed my bag and put on my sad face, “Honey, I’m gonna miss you.” But was I really going to miss taking out the garbage, helping my son with his algebra homework, or listening to my wife and daughter fight over who is cuter, the vampire or the werewolf from Twilight? Nope. I love my family, but I would definitely enjoy the vacation away from them. By the way, everybody knows the werewolf is cuter.

My wife is no dummy. She knew that my training was a week's vacation from the job of husband and father. She knew I’d be off in another city, enjoying restaurants, naps, and cable TV. Since motherhood doesn’t offer a vacation, ever, she was jealous, and rightfully so, which meant that she was mad at me. It wasn’t my fault I had to go to the training; she knew it, but regardless, she was going to be mad at me. Mad because I left her home alone with the never-ending question askers.

To make things even better for my poor wife stuck at home, the moment I pulled out of the driveway to leave for a whole week, our water heater broke. How is that for bad timing? I was three hours away, stuck in a class about, well I really couldn’t tell you what it was about because it was so boring I spent most of the class with my phone hidden under the desk deleting old text messages one at a time. I’m actually that guy who thinks his text messages are hilarious, and I re-read them and crack myself up before deleting them. Anyway, I got a new text message that said the kids were screaming because they were taking cold showers. Something was wrong with the hot water.

   What could I do? I couldn’t fix the water heater from three hours away, and since the training was mandatory for my job, I couldn’t leave to attempt to save the day. So instead I just texted a smartass comment: “I think I know what’s wrong, Honey. For hot water, turn the LEFT knob counterclockwise. <@:)” I’ve found as long as you end a text message with a clown hat/swirley hair/smiley face, all smartass comments are forgiven. Except on this day, the day my wife had to endure her own cold shower.

I ignored my instructor's babbling, and I continued to text back and forth in an attempt to resolve the hot water problem with my now very unhappy wife. She called a plumber for an estimate, and on my lunch break I headed to Home Depot to price water heaters. The cheapest one I could find was going to set us back $500. Bummer. The plumber came out to the house and informed us of some very important information: “You don’t have any hot water.” What would we have done without his expert analysis of the problem? He said he could fix it for $850.

As my class continued on without me paying any attention, the text debate between my wife and I raged on. Could I fix it? Could she survive a week without hot water? Was it worth the $350 difference? Would I screw up the installation so badly we would need to spend another $350 in random parts anyway? In the end, economics won the fight. My wife and the kids would have to endure five days without hot water until I got back into town.

To comprehend the real hardship is to understand my wife first. She is a personal hygiene clean freak. She showers religiously and often takes two a day. Her hair requires a regimen of procedures and products that is more complicated and has more steps than a space shuttle launch sequence. She was convinced, I mean absolutely positive, that if she didn’t wash her hair for a week, it would fall out.

I came home after a week away late Friday night, refreshed, napped, and clean (the hot water at the hotel was fantastic). When I arrived, I found my son as happy as ever. It was the first week in his life his mom didn’t rag on him about taking a shower every day. Like most boys, he was happy in his own filth. My wife, on the other hand, looked a bit frazzled. Her hair was doing things I hadn’t seen since heavy metal bands ruled the ’80s. I didn’t mention it. I just told her that I missed her and that I was glad to be home. She saved the pleasantries for later. Her only greeting to me was, “Good to see you, too. Now get outside and fix the water heater!” m

Rob got the old water heater out and ready for a new one five minutes after Home Depot closed for the night. His wife woke him up the next day to buy a new one five minutes before it opened.




Weekly Poll
Should the proposed aquifer exemption in Cat Canyon be approved?

Yes—the water from the proposed area can't serve as drinking water.
No—oil containments could still pollute usable groundwater.
Additional oil and gas projects can create more jobs.
We need to move away from oil and gas and look at renewable energy projects.

| Poll Results