Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tragedy, Narrowly Averted

This one was scary.  At some point Easter Sunday Carol and I stopped by the apartment.  The workers were gone, we had the run of the place, so we just hung around for a while, inspecting little things, getting a feel for the place.  I tried turning on the shower just to see how the water pressure was.  It seemed pretty good, so I tried the bathroom sink, it has one of those single handles that turns left and right to get hot and cold.  Looked good too, but when I turned it off the water didn’t shut off all the way.  So I slid it over to the other side and it stopped.
We looked around some more and left, walked back to the apartment.  We were making Easter dinner at the apartment for Sandy and Steve.  Got home, but CAM realized that she hadn’t left something in the apartment that the workers were going to need the next day.  I think it was the cabinet knows that we had bought at the department store that day.  So she talked me into taking the walk back to the apartment to drop them off.
We got there, dropped off the stuff, and resumed looking around, poking into the corners.  All of a sudden Carol said, hey, the bathroom floor is wet.  On another look, it was REALLY wet, like it had a quarter inch of water all over it.  And the water was running out of the bathroom into the hallway, where it was collecting under the plastic that was taped to the floor to protect the hardwood.  Crap, the bathroom sink had never shut off, it had been running a trickle for the last two hours.  I looked under the sink, and there it was:  the drain hadn’t been hooked up.  The water was running straight from the tap, down the drain, and into the vanity cabinet, from where it was running out onto the floor.
There were a million bad possibilities.  Hardwood floor ruined, water running into the apartment underneath us, the poor people we have never met who have been putting up with three months of construction.  What to do?  We started searching the place for anything to clean up with.  Fortunately, the painters had a lot of rags around the place, I took off my shirt and we started mopping.  Sop it up, squeeze it out in the shower.  It was a lot of sopping, and then we had to pull up all the plastic on the hallway floor to mop under there.  It took us about an hour to get it all cleaned up, and then to retape the plastic back down on the floor.  The floor seemed OK, and no word from downstairs.
We told the kids and Sandy and Steve, but no one else.  The next morning when we went to meet Monsieur P. at the site no one said a word, but the faucet in the bathroom was taped closed, so someone noticed something.  Never did hear from the people downstairs.  We were so lucky that we had a reason to go back to the apartment.  If that had run all night it would have been a total disaster… I don’t even like to think about.  It was like one of those situations in a car when you have a near miss on a bad accident, and then drive on without a scratch.  Your body doesn’t know whether to be relieved or terrified.
In present tense news, Monsieur P. tells us that the apartment is really almost finished.  A few things to clean up and they are out of there.  The people at ParisPerfect will have the cleaning crew in Friday or early next week, and we should be ready to go. 

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