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.