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Dear Household Karma Company:

First of all, let us apologize for not paying the Good Household Karma bill when it was due. We didn’t realize it WAS due, since the bills are never delivered until the karma has crashed. Nonetheless, we have paid in full, and now would like some respite from the Bad Household Karma that has apparently moved in with us and is eating our house, starting with the basement.

You may remember Friday morning, when someone from Karma Central created mayhem in our laundry room. This resulted in a surprise light bulb explosion that tripped a breaker in the basement.

I went down to reset the breaker while my Beloved stayed upstairs to see if it would trip AGAIN, and discovered that Karma Central was running out from under the basement door in a small rivulet.

Possibly you people over there at Good Household Karma never have to reset a breaker while standing in four inches of water, but let’s just say it’s a job best left to experts, or people who are absolutely certain their time has not yet come. I am neither of those, so I hoofed it outside and called my Beloved, who along with his dad and best friend, vacuumed something like 150 gallons of water out of the basement before resetting the breaker.

We could not, despite our best efforts, find a definitive source for this water, but there sure was a lot of it. The cave crickets were scrambling up the camping equipment in a most pathetic fashion. Truly, the innocent do suffer.

I tentatively identified a frozen hose connection as the culprit, shut the valve, and my Beloved positioned the dehumidifier in a strategic place. In the mistaken belief that we had realigned our karma, we went on with our lives.

On Saturday morning, your agents must have been working overtime, because ONCE AGAIN, the basement was awash in mysterious water. This time, ignoring Occam’s Razor and the fact that we’ve had rain all winter but no flooded basement, we decided the rain had come in from a detached downspout.

We reattached the downspout and, with the innocence of people who don’t know that their karma is still falling off the cliff, went once again on with our lives.

Let’s fast forward to Sunday, since we know you have other things to do and no complaints department to speak of. On Sunday evening, after the youngest daughter had left to go back to her home and the dog had stopped yarking in our study, my Beloved ventured downstairs to empty the dehumidifier. Upstairs, in the kitchen, I heard urgent banging on the ceiling. When I joined him in the undercroft, we stared in horror at the release valve on our furnace, which was blowing water all over the place.

Yes, Bad Household Karma has destroyed the water intake on our NEW furnace. The pressure in our system, which is supposed to be about 13 psi, was about 35 psi, and the valve was doing what we all hope pressure relief valves do in dangerous situations, which was water the cave crickets. At least it wasn’t blowing up, a thought that left me a little sick, since the Y.D.’s bedroom is just above the boiler.

Not knowing what else to do, we called our furnace and plumbing guru, at nine-thirty on a Sunday night. (You can imagine how thrilled he was, and should he abandon us, you will be hearing from our lawyer, although his karma has not been so great lately, either.) We are in the process of replacing a bunch of furnace parts that are less than two years old.

Henceforth, we will pay the karma bill, but we just wanted you to know that the cave crickets have suffered enough. We appreciate that the boiler did not go all Mythbusters and blow through the roof, but we feel that the basement is sufficiently damp.

We (and by this I mean “me,” since my Beloved is never afraid of anything) are now aware of how dangerous a furnace really is, and are torn between being warm, which we like, and being blown up, which we’d prefer to avoid.

If Good Household Karma could see fit to rectify this situation in a positive and helpful matter, we would be most appreciative, realizing that we have no power at all in this relationship.

Thanking you in advance.

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