Here in China, we don’t need your filthy American luxuries like “hot tap water on command”. Instead of a constantly running water heater built into the plumbing system, we have a small water heater connected only to a shower handle above the bath and to the bathroom sink.

Except its not connected to the bathroom sink.

Oh, it’s connected, with something like 4 knobs on the pipe between the heater itself and the faucet. We briefly experimented when we first got here a year ago, and gave up hope of hot faucet water. As long as there was hot bath water, we’d be fine.

Well, yesterday, I discovered YET another knob, on the same pipe, hence forth unknown to mankind, and decided this was clearly the key to hot faucet water, which I could use to shave this mangled mass of hair I call “beard”.

I turned this knob, and instantly, gushes of water started shooting out, all over the bathroom.

My clothes were soaked.

Our three towels were soaked.

Everything was instantly covered in water!

And I couldn’t turn it back!

Oh, try as I might, it just gushed faster and faster!

I frantically turned off all the other knobs, hoping to cut the flow, to no avail.

I searched the house for a wrench or wrench like implement!!

Amber said, “Why don’t you use a towel to grip the knob with?”

I returned to the bathroom, intent to follow this advice, when, what did I discover, but a goblin, green as the lettering on my classic winamp skin, wearing pointy red boots and a purple jesters cap, banging away on the pipes, singing a merry little goblin ditty in his high pitched voice.

It went something like this:

“Green green pipes break trouble double bubble bobble pipe break pipe dream break the pipes be real mean!”

Well, I went to the kitchen to fetch my sword, “Goblins Bane”, which up until now we have been using to chop potatos and carrots, for lack of a goblin.

I charged into the bathroom, sword high above my head, screaming my warcry of “ARRRGGGGGoooooGAAAAA!!!!”

Amber watched me with a puzzled and smugly, superior gaze and said, “What are you doing? Just turn it with a towel!” By now, the water in the apartment was ankle deep. The phone was ringing: this was assuredly the building manager calling to ask why there was water running out from underneath our door and down the stairs.

The goblin, upon hearing my terrifying warcry, began pleading for mercy, and I scoffed, in both pity and disgust, “Begone Fiend! And do not return, or else You will feel the cold steel of my Blade, ‘Goblin’s Bane’! And always remember the name of ‘Kevin: Goblin Slayer’!”

The green goblin fled for his life, leaping out the open window.

I descended upon the pipe, fixing it firmly in my hand with all my strength, and gave a mighty twist…..nothing.

Amber’s voice, from the bedroom, “Use a towel! It’ll be easier!”

I muttered under my breath, “Yes, of course it will, wench….Sure…”

I grabbed a towel, just to prove her wrong, and wrapped it around my mighty hand, which had already failed me before. I gripped the knob, and once again gave a mighty twist…I could feel the magicals strength of the towel flowing into the my forearm, and felt the skin break in my palm, as, finally, the knob returned to its rightful place.

And the water stopped.

And all was peaceful, thanks to my heroic efforts, my sword “Goblin’s Bane” and…ummm…the towel.

True story.

blog comments powered by Disqus


04 September 2004