Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It’s Official: My Life is a Comic Book

I don’t think any appliance in our home was spared this year.  Well, the fridge, but the year is still young.  One thing or another had to be repaired or replaced all year long. 

Then today as I was about to leave the house, I heard a weird noise.  It sounded like water flowing.  But there was also a humming.  I checked the toilets.  Nothing.  I unplugged the washer and dryer.  Nothing.  I went to the bedroom and unplugged the TV, but I noticed I didn’t hear the noise that much.  It was loudest by the kitchen door.  I checked the fridge.  Nothing.  I turned off the switch for the computer and its accessories.  Nothing.  I went outside and again noticed that the sound was minimized.

My first instinct was to drive away, in the event that if the house explodes, I’m nowhere close by.  But that plan seemed very short term, so I rechecked the appliances and electronics.  Nothing.  Realizing that this was above my pay grade, I called my husband and tried to explain what was occurring.  In describing the symptoms, I apparently was not succinct.  He calmly let me know that if I can’t explain to him what I was hearing, he won’t be able to diagnose the problem.  I was thinking that I had never heard this sound before.  I was thinking that I am possibly in trouble.  I wanted to shout, “Dude, this is your department!  You should know what the heck is going on!”  But this is the new and improved Myra, so I said calmly, “I know I hear water running.  I know I hear a noise, but I just cannot figure out the issue.”

He told me to turn off the main breakers.  Several years ago I managed to get over my fear of flying, but fire and electricity, not so much.  I quickly flipped the switches and waited for further instructions from him.  Next thing I know, the phone went dead.  I thought to myself, “Dammit, didn’t Verizon just fix this phone last week?  Shoot.”  I went over to use the neighbors' phone because of course I haven’t seen my cell in about a week.  The husband was outside with his cell.  I borrowed it, but in my panic, I could not figure out my husband’s number.  I told my neighbor that I heard a weird noise in the house and if he could come and check it out with me.  By the way, only as I write this, I realize that the phone went dead because I turned the breakers off, but let me proceed.

I tried to turn back on the main breakers, but boy was that difficult.  He tried and finally got them on.  We went inside, and of course I didn’t hear the noise.  Then I heard another weird noise.  I knew where that was coming from.  The stupid aquarium was now buzzing.  We found the button and turned it off.  And by we, I mean he because the only button I found was the light switch.  I was still not working on a full cylinder; plus I hadn’t really looked at that aquarium in a long while.  We now have turtles which totally repulse me.

He observed that the water was low, and the pump was sucking on air.  My husband called at that moment, and I assured him that I was fine, and that it was the aquarium.  I was about to feel really silly when we both got to the door and I heard that noise again.  I said to my neighbor, “That’s the noise.”  I called my husband back and said, "It’s not the aquarium.  He thinks it’s the water heater downstairs.”

We went outside and down the crawl space.  Using his cell phone light, he checked the heaters.  I found the light switch and turned it on.  We observed that it was leaking.  He suggested that I turned it off.  Then he said, “Wait, water is leaking on the wires.  You are going to have to call someone.  But it seems like some kind of automatic switch came on when it started leaking.”  He probably then said, “Go turn off the main breakers again before we touch anything”.  But I heard, “GO TURN OFF THE MAIN BREAKERS NOW BEFORE THE WHOLE PLACE BLOWS!”

I darted to the garage and turned the breakers off.  I was so relieved that I made it in time before the big explosion that I physically felt my heart continue beating again.   In my mind, that someone that I had to call was the electric company or the fire department, so when I heard the doorbell ring, I couldn’t believe help came so quickly before I even called.  I figured that automatic switchy thing he mentioned worked a lot better than I thought. 

I opened the front door, and I gather that a range of expressions flooded my face because the next thing I know my Jehovah’s Witnesses point person and her colleague were asking me if I was okay.  I tried to motion to them that I was fine, but going through something at the moment.  I was still so stricken that I couldn’t talk.  They kept asking if I was okay.  I put my hand up to say wait and nodded.  They were not convinced that all was well, so they asked if it was the kids.  I repeated the gesture.  Then finally I said that my water heater was leaking, and I had to turn off the main breakers quickly since the water was running on the wires.

My Jehovah’s Witnesses point person explained that she understands how it is with those things, but before she leaves me to handle it, she just has these brochures to leave and she will see me another time.  Like any top-notch salesperson, she was not leaving without giving her wares to her prospect.  She gave me a hug. (Yeah, my Jehovah’s Witnesses point person and I have become good friends over the past seven years even though I still haven’t visited her hall.)  Then she told me to say hi to the kids and left.

That should have given me a clue that up to this point, my actions were a little over the top, but it has dawned on me that when a person has a major fear, rationality is not the first thing on her mind.  I went back to the crawl space where my neighbor finally turned off the valve so the water could stop leaking.  Using the light on his cell, he searched for the buttons.  However at the time, I had not returned to my senses and thought the light I saw was a sparkle or something.  I kept calling him and saying shakily, “I wouldn’t go under there alone.  I’m staying up here.”  But he ignored me and did what needed to be done.  Truth be told, being neighborly or not, if shit had hit the fan, I was leaving his ass down there and running for the hills.

My neighbor and I returned to the garage.  He turned off the buttons affiliated with the crawl space and water heater and then put back on the main breakers.  I called my husband and asked the neighbor to explain to him what he did, because God knows, that is so not my expertise.  Then my husband said to me, “Do you know that I had already turned everything off in the crawl space before I left?  I wouldn’t have left it like that.  You weren’t in any danger.”  

I was thinking he didn’t tell me that; but between you and me, even if he had, I still would have reacted in the same frantic way.  Instead I said, “Do you think you can come home tomorrow?”  He said “For what?  Everything is fine now.”  I replied in my mind, “I don’t know, just to hold me.”

I swear I could not live without that man.  Sure, my input in this relationship is vital, but the things that he does that I can’t do are lifesaving.  Any time he is not around and something goes awry, I am totally helpless.

For instance, last year summer, the kids and I were enjoying a Sunday afternoon when we went outside and noticed a crow trapped in some loose strings on a crocus bag.  I looked at my kids.  I don’t care if they are 9 and 10.  I don’t discriminate.  They looked at me, and I know they were thinking, “Lady, you are so on your own”.  I took up the bag and realized this would be no easy task.  With so many strings around the bird’s leg I had to do something because every time the poor thing tried to walk or fly, it got dragged back down by the heavy bag.  I asked one of my sons to go over to the neighbor and ask him if he can help us.  His son returned and said his dad wasn’t home, but his brother was, but he was showering to go to work.

I wasn’t going to ask the entire neighborhood, so I found some courage.  I said to myself:  Okay.  I will get some scissors and cut the strings from around the bird’s leg.  However, every time I picked up the bag, the bird flapped its wings which threw me off, causing me to drop the bag.  On my third attempt, I started cutting until I saw something red.  Not being able to see exactly where strings ended and where leg started, I had cut into the bird. 

At this point, I dropped everything, ran off, wrung my hands and was on the verge of tears.  I wondered if I could cut without looking at the blood or the bird’s leg, but that was impossible.  The neighbor’s son squealed, “MYRA!  YOU CUT THE BIRD!”  At this point, I’m thinking he’s useless, and I don’t need a commentator.  I asked, “Are you going to do it?”  When he said no, I responded, “Then please don’t tell me the obvious.  Do you think I wanted to cut its leg?  Don’t you think I don’t feel badly about that?”

Looking over at all this spectacle was the next door neighbor’s boyfriend on the patio smoking.  He came over like some Western hero with cigarette in mouth.  Carefully and effortlessly, he undid the strings and let the bird loose. 

When my kids and I saw the ill-fated creature hopping on one leg and trying to fly with one wounded wing, as badly as we felt, we couldn’t stop laughing.  And it didn’t take long before every time we saw a crow someone would joke that I killed its relative.

I know I appear like a complete dimwit, but I promise you, perspectively speaking, I fall somewhere between that and genius.


  1. I know you are trying to be serious but this is too funny, thanks for a good laugh today.

  2. Perspectively speaking, I think your life is more than a comic book:) Thanks for sharing your life and thoughts with us, and I look forward to more in 2013.

  3. I laughed so hard that tears just ran down my face. This one was so funny. Thanks for the laughter.

  4. I laughed until I cried. up to now I am still afraid of worm and lizards. the weather has been good so I have been drying the clothes. each time before I put the clothes out, I clean the lines. In doing this I usually disturb this darn lizard that sleeps in the pipes of the line. the last time when I thought my hand came into contact with it. I ran and screamed so loudly, Neil came around to see if I was still alive. He thought that by now I would be accustomed to the lizard sleeping in the pipe. Guess not. I can't wait for him to start the vegetable garden. LOL

  5. I truly enjoyed as usual too funny Trying to visualize your reaction..... am the same way with electricity, remembering growing up I put a hair pin in the electrical outlet which cause sparks to fly even on me and making holes in my clothes so am extremely cautious.

  6. As I said, never a DULL moment in your house.

  7. here i am thinking, "I sure hope she wasn't expecting uncle neil to still be on the line when she cut the breakers... oh wait she did" LOL!

  8. Myra, you rock! That was totally hilarious especially as I visualized your reactions. I love your outlook on life, gives me continued inspiration to remain true to myself......go girl.

  9. I was having a bad evening which started yesterday afternoon for a myriad of reasons some caused by my own actions so I really needed to LAUGH. I then decided to re-read this post and it caused me to laugh /cry. And since I am not at home I did all that laughing without making a single sound. You know how a certain sister of ours laughs, right?