Sunday, July 13, 2008

Damp around the edges.

The radio crackled at me. It was about 0500 in the morning and dispatch wanted me to respond to a report of a water leak. No problem. I'll go check it out, call the city crew, and keep anyone from driving over the broken main.

It didn't take me long to find a problem. There was no broken water main, no water coming up through cracks in the street. I wondered what was going on. Dispatch provided me with the address of the reporting party and I knocked on the door.

The woman who answered appeared to be in her 80's. She was grateful I had come. Didn't know who else to call so she called the police. I asked her what exactly the problem was. Down a narrow hall she opened the door to her utility room. Water was showering everywhere. Apparently the rubber hose coming from the faucet to her washing machine had split. The effect was like turning on a high volume sprinkler in the small room.

With a sigh I turned up the collar on my coat. Did I mention there was snow on the ground? I splashed across the room through the two or so inches of water on the floor. Five or six feet later I got to the washer and turned the faucet off. The water was dripping from the ceiling and off my nose.

I advised the lady, who had watched the show from the safety of the hall, to call her plumber sometime after 0800. She thanked me for coming. Don't mention it I said as I sloshed out of the house. On the way to the car I tried to brush off as much of the water as I could. No success. As soon as I got in the car the windows fogged up. Apparently car heaters and soaked officers don't mix.

By shift change I was mostly dried out. My replacement was amused at my appearance and laughed heartily at my tale. He was less amused when I hopped out of the driver's seat and he jumped in. I hadn't gotten out of the car since I left the call.

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