One More Thing or Listen to Your Mother
We picked up Sadie from the airport today with much fanfare and camera flashing. Such a teenie wee thing! We heading home with the throngs of rush-hour commuters, crawling up I-93 at 5pm.
At last, we eased the car into a parking space in front of our house. Sean offered to gather the rest of the Sadie-gear from the car while I took her for a quick walk and then got her settled inside. I set her in the back yard, where our neighbor Sandra watched. "Do you smell gas?" I asked her.
"Yeah, I do," she replied, "Yuck."
By now, Sean was coming up the sidewalk. "Honey?" I implored, "Do you smell gas?"
"Yeah", he sighed. "I'll go in and check there."
I paid little attention to that and turned back the the teenie puppy and her teenie puppy stumbling. By now, Sandra had scooped her up and was being accosted by puppy tongue-swipes. I almost didn't look up when Sean burst back outside.
"The house is FULL of gas!" he yelled. "A gas line snapped and is WIDE OPEN. The house is FULL of it!"
Well, really, Fuck.
I must interrupt my own retelling of this occurence to mention that our plumber friend Dave just last week was good enough to swing by and hook up our sexy new clothes dryer, and did a fab job I must add. Just last week! We were just freaking THRILLED to no longer have to drape wet clothes all around the house after running a load of wash.
Anyway. House. FULL of gas.
Apparently, our washing machine had become a little too, shall we say, enthusiastic in its spin cycling and thrown the dryer clear off the platform. (Please note that nothing like this ever occurred before, when the dryer was just sitting there unhooked-up and useless.) As it fell the inches to the basement floor, the injured dryer snapped its own gas umbilicus, leaving a gaping gas line to leak gas into the house for however long (One hour? Two? Three?) it was.
Sean called the gas company, who dispatched someone immediately but did not call the fire department (which, according to the technician, probably should have been done...). He then covered his nose and mouth and climbed back into the basement to retrieve the cat's kennels, so we could get them the fuck out of there.
The technician arrived, went down into the basement, and promptly shattered and knocked all of the glass out of our sealed basement windows with her wrench. "You have explosive levels of gas in here.", she stated calmly. "Stay outside. Are all of your pets out here? Yeah? Ok. Stay out here, and do not turn on any lights or touch any electric appliances. DO NOT."
Sean looked at me. "That was the first thing I did when I went downstairs," he said gravely, "I didn't even think about it."
After a few hours of hanging out in our overgrown yard with our new puppy becoming increasingly confused and our cats becoming increasingly irritated, the technician tested again and deemed the levels "safe" once more. We're now all back to (almost) normal, though the gas is still off till another technician comes tomorrow to check things out further.
It's been a very sobering experience, however. Sean's finger flipped that switch in the Basement of Doom, but it happened to be a humid summer day. I almost didn't buy 2 cat kennels, but I decided it would be best to have one for each cat, in case there was some sort of emergency. We sometimes leave the house and are gone for hours and hours--we could easily have been in that situation tonight. It just happened that we were picking up the puppy and wanted to get her home to settle in.
But nothing terrible happened. We're fortunate.
And now, I know that this must be why my mom always said not to run the washing machine when you're not home. Fucking ay, Mom. I totally get it now.