Ten day ago, I was taking a shower when I noticed that there was no hot water. I didn't think much of it, other than I should probably check out the waterheater. I walked into the closet, and noticed that the carpet was soaking wet. I looked up, thinking that we must have a ceiling leak from all the rain the week before. Somehow, 2 + 2 was not equaling 4 in this equation, and I didn't think the two things were connected.
Later, I was in the laundry room, and thought I heard water running inside our garage, so I went out to investigate. What I found was a river running through our garage, winding its way through a canyon of boxes, old furniture, and debris collected over the twelve years we've lived in the house. The water was traveling through the garage and out onto the driveway. I dug my way through the clutter in the garage to the mouth of the river: our decrepit, antique waterheater. I felt like Lewis & Clark forging their way to the Missouri River headwaters.
Frank was out of town, so I called a plumber, and after three tries, finally hit upon one with an emergency answering service. I really think that Joe the Plumber should have stayed in his line of work and gotten a license. People need plumbers. Pundits? Not so much. I've never heard anyone say, "If I don't see George Will or Arianna Huffington right this minute, I will certainly keel over dead." They might, however, say, "There's a river running through my garage, and if I don't find a plumber soon, I may need a sailboat to get out of the house."