NOTE: Before reading this column, please put on these galoshes. These right here. Yes, I got you all galoshes. Because that is how much I care.
Interesting thing happened here a few weeks ago: You know how your house contains sinks, and those sinks have pipes under them, and sometimes those pipes get into lousy moods and turn into vengeful plumbing-monsters that burst when you're not home? And then they spray water for three hours with the approximate pressure of a fire hose, and spray and spray and spray, submerging your entire floor beneath in an inch or so of water? Yeah, pipes can be JERKS THAT WAY. If you can tear yourself away from the paper for a few minutes (Funky Winkerbean can wait, I promise), I beg you, do this: If there is a thing in your house through which water flows, GO LOOK AT IT NOW. Bring a flashlight, tap the pipes lovingly, sing them "Let It Go" and give them heartfelt pep talks, whatever, just PAY ATTENTION TO THEM.
Because when you don't give them love, bad things happen. We're in the midst of removing, replacing and repairing most of the objects that sat on the floor of the house, including the flooring, baseboards, cabinets, couches and the board games on the bottom of the pile. (My apologies to Scotland Yard, which I remember being a really fun game, back when we played it, which must have been like 30 years ago, because it was at the bottom of the pile. My apologies also to Star Wars Trivial Pursuit, which my wife doesn't seem to be mourning.)
In the meantime, you know how most houses have floors? Ours is not currently one of those houses. The old floor got cereal-soggy, so it was smashed into little bits and carried out the side doors. In its place we have solid concrete. So we're in here with two kids, 10 and 2, with a delightful concrete floor. It looks like a German art museum in here, which makes sense, since we're usually listening to Kraftwerk.
But lest you think -- LEST -- I'm complaining, rest assured that one of the only benefits to this process is discovering that I pretty much only want concrete floors in my home from now on. They are MAGNIFICENT. Someone spilled fruit punch on the floor? SO WHAT? Someone hurled a full cup of applesauce off the dining room table? CAN'T HURT THE CONCRETE. Someone inexplicably dipped a spoon into a full bowl of yogurt and then started flinging the spoon around like some kind of 2-year-old tiny enraged potato-shaped orchestra conductor? FLING AWAY LITTLE MAN, IT'S NOT LIKE IT HURTS THE FLOORING. What's for dinner tonight? SOUP SOUP SOUP WHEEEEE. Because there is not a tomato soup in the world tomato-ey enough to ruin a floor made of the stuff they build football stadiums with.
Sure, there are downsides -- having a concrete floor makes your feet all dusty, is a drab gray and is "unsafe for children." Both of them tend to fall down a lot, so I'm really just counting the hours until I end up in an ER explaining how the terms "hit his head on concrete" and "in the TV room" ended up adjacent to each other. (They also, we have found, have negative consequences when you drop iPads on them. Related: Does anyone know how to get tiny glass slivers out of a finger before you start writing a column? Because this is really starting to hurt.)
The weird thing is how not-weird this story seems to me. Most of the folks I tell about our soggy adventure have a parallel story: Oh that happened to my mom/roommate/brother/cousin/yoga instructor/whatever. There are apparently a LOT of bursting pipes across America these days, which leads me to wonder if there's something going on.
Frankly, I blame Funky Winkerbean.
- Watch 'Empire Strikes Back' with a 10-year-old and tell me how to explain that kiss
- Dad tries to keep up with 10-year-old while on wheels
- Trials and tribulations of knocking your own teeth out