murphy’s law

I don’t know who this Murphy guy is, but if he knows what’s good for him, he will stay as far away from me as possible…because after the day I’ve had, I would like nothing better than to kick his ass!

I looked up Murphy’s Law online.  There are a few variations, and some indepth descriptions, but at its core, Murphy’s Law states that, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.”  

Who knew that anything would really be “everything”?

Due to circumstances beyond my control, the water at our house was out of service from Thursday night into Friday morning.  The water company was supposedly working on the problem, but apparently it was not a high priority for them as Friday morning rolled around and we had spent several hours without running water, and therefore no flushing toilets.  Of course, this would be the absolute WORST time for someone in our house to have a case of diarrhea…thank you so much Murphy’s Law! 

After getting up early to make several calls to the water company, Mike was working from home in his t-shirt and shorts when he suddenly jumped up from his desk with an exclamation of, “Oh shit!”  

This had nothing to do with the toilets. 

He had forgotten that he had a meeting in just over an hour at his office on the other side of town.  Even in the best of traffic conditions it was an hour long drive, and he was hardly dressed for the office.  Luckily, in the midst of the chaos, we had stocked up on water (we had several gallons) for just such an emergency, so Mike grabbed a gallon jug and headed into the shower to bathe.  I microwaved a second jug for a minute to take the chill out, but it was still cold. He washed quickly and dashed out of the house to get to his meeting.

Once he was gone, I realized that the girls were still asleep.   This was a bad thing.  Lauren had a doctor’s appointment in less than an hour, and after that was an appointment for Alexa to have her senior portraits done. 

Of course, having no water did pose a problem for a teenage girl trying to get ready for picture day. 

So…senior pictures…no water.  I’m sure you can guess where this is going.  She couldn’t take a shower, or wash her hair.  No gallon or two of water was going to rectify this situation in the time we had available.  I frantically worked to rearrange the doctor visit for later in the day to give us extra time, and ran around trying to help Alexa get ready. 

After struggling with the pioneer-like water situation, we piled into the Land Rover to make our way to our next destination.

We were several miles from home when, without as much as a squeal for a warning, the brake pedal on the Land Rover suddenly went to the floor.  I pumped the brakes a few times to restore function briefly, but the brakes were all but gone.  There was no salvaging this trip.  We turned around and headed back to home as slowly and carefully as was possible to get the other car that was sitting in the driveway. 

The Honda Civic had been sitting for several weeks without being driven.  It belongs to the kids, and because they don’t have their licenses yet, it has had no purpose.  This is why I should not have been surprised when the battery was completely dead. 

Picture day was ruined.

Even after using jumper cables to start the Civic, we had completely missed the picture taking window.  We had an hour to kill before Lauren’s doctor’s appointment, so we went back into the house where we still had no running water, or flushing toilets. 

I have never had to pee so often in my entire life!

The problem was that every toilet in the house was completely unusable thanks to Murphy’s Law and that bout of diarrhea.  I dumped several gallons of water into the tank in the power room to get the toilet to flush so I could use it one last time. 

I peed again at the doctor's office, as did everyone else. 

Despite getting their way (and lunch) out of the house because of the water situation, the girls were tired of being inconvenienced, and with little hope that the water would be restored before the night was over, they asked to go stay at a friend’s house for the evening.  I was all for that idea, so we piled into the tiny Civic for the short ride. 

Once the girls were settled in at their friend’s house, and the urgency had somewhat passed, the water finally came back on. 

I suppose it was a learning experience, although I’m not sure exactly what I learned.  Mike learned that he can sufficiently bathe with less than two gallons of water (and that it’s much nicer if you microwave it first.)  I may have learned that I could never live in a yurt.  Even with electricity, cable television, and my smart phone at my side, I still need running water.  And lots of it.  It takes a remarkable amount of water for just one flush! 

Of course, this whole ordeal has renewed Mike’s obsession with living off the grid.  He’s been looking at water collection systems online this evening, and I fear we may be getting a delivery in the next few weeks for something large that needs to be assembled.  I suppose I should make some space in the dining room next to the solar energy collector and the portable saw mill.  The compostable toilet is going in the basement…I don’t care what Mike says!

Until the next time…I’ll be taking a shower and flushing the toilets all through the house while Mike fixes the brakes!

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Posted on October 22, 2010 .