Tuesday, October 25, 2005

welcome to my world

So, it's gotten pretty cold here the last couple weeks. Over the course of last week, especially, the need for me to turn on the heat in my apartment became increasinly acute. I did not do so, however, out of of any thriftiness, thermatoughness, or thought of energy conservation, but because I didn't know how. I've never lived in a place with old-style radiators before, and they have these various knobs and valves and whatever, and after turning one knob and having nothing happen, I decided it was beyond my limited mechanical comprehension. Meanwhile, it got colder.

By Saturday, I decided that this had gone on long enough, and that I needed to ask my neighbor how it worked. She looked puzzled at me as I described my general confusion about radiators and then finally just asked, "You know you have a thermostat, right?" To which I said, "Um, no." And then I immediately Hoped To God that it was in some obscure place in my apartment where it could have been plausibly overlooked. "Should be right in the middle of your wall." Which it was.

The events described above, I fear, actually provide a more incisive summary of some of The Central Defects of Jeremy Freese than I would care to admit, but an exposition of exactly what those flaws are and how they are made plain by the example will be left as an exercise for the reader.

Anyway, I turned the thermostat on and then went to a party. I didn't get home until around midnight and it was cold and rainy. I was back in my newly warm apartment maybe five minutes and there was a knock on my door, which had to be my downstairs neighbor. Which it was. Apparently one of my radiators wasn't hooked up quite right and so had been spraying water into her apartment for the last several hours, and so she and her son had been working on staunching the mess and waiting for me to get home.

Fortunately, that turn of events is harder for me to turn into any especial indictment of my character. I could even feel chivalrously cold the next two nights--instead of just like an idiot who couldn't figure out a radiator--since I had told my neighbor I would just keep my heat off until the problem was fixed. And, lo, the plumbers succeeded this morning after hitting a snag yesterday, and so now my place is warm.


Anonymous said...

Somehow, that rates right up there with the time when my son was 4 and left the water running very slowly in the bathroom. I was sick, and did not know this had happened until my poor downstairs neighbors came running up because they had water pouring down the wall in their bathroom.

Of course, it turns out that the sink plug upstairs was not engaged, so the water should have gone down the pipe right, but since the drain in the basement was clogged nearly completely (causing slow drains, which I had complained about before), THAT had been what had caused an otherwise minor problem that I would have caught in more than enough time into a crisis that my neighbors never really forgave me for. Luckily, this was in student family housing, and the managers were really nice about it. They even sent a guy over the next morning to unclog the basement drains of the miles of hair from god knows how many previous occupants.

So, the moral of this story is : everyone has messed up like this at some time in their lives. Be thankful you didn't cause a fire or something that could have been worse (although, water really sucks, too).


shakha said...

jnsys: it's not clear to me how jeremy, "messed up". He may have been a bit of a dumbass (no offense, Jeremy) in terms of not figuring out how to turn on his own heat, but the fact that radiator wasn't hooked up right wasn't predictable. In fact, it could have been much worse. He could have turned on his heat before going to work (presumably while his neighbor was also at work and kid at school), and destroyed their aparatment. But this would hardly be Jeremy "messing up". It would be part of living in an old Cambridge apartment with landlords who'd rather not fix things. - shakha (defending jeremy freese's honor since 2001).

jeremy said...

Actually, I never thought about the angle that my neighbor should be thankful I turned my heat on when I did rather than sometime when she was out and I could have destroyed her place.

tenants association said...

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