Bloop, bleep, bloop, bleep, bloop, bleep
The faucet keeps a-drippin’ and I can’t sleep
Bleep, bloop, bleep, bloop, bloopbloop, bleep
I guess I never should’ve ordered clam soup
Bloop, bleep, bloop, bleep, bloop, bleep
I better call the plumber ‘cause I just can’t
Sloop, er blee, sleebleep, blooblee er sleeboo, bl.bl, blooslee, sleebloo…er
(An excerpt from a Danny Kaye song)
What a time!
It all began on Sunday night. I had finished brushing my teeth and washing my face. As I walked into my bedroom, I felt this drop of water spatter my forehead. That’s odd, I thought, it must have come from my spastic hand which I obviously hadn’t dried properly. It tends to flick on occasions. I settled myself in bed with my book and began to read. Perdita, my wire haired dachshund, behaved very strangely. Instead of settling on the right hand side of my bed, as is her custom, she ensconced herself on my left and refused to budge. About an hour later, I stretched out in bed and drew my right leg back sharply in horror. The right hand side of my bed was wet. I flung back the covers to see a large puddle glaring gleefully up at me. As I regarded this with horror, a huge drop flew maliciously past my nose and planted itself with satisfaction amidst it’s friends in the puddle amidst my covers. My eyes flew upwards to the ceiling. There was a stain smeared in a large oval and from the middle of the oval I could see water slowly gathering to form another drop.
My upstairs neighbours, Janie and Joe’s bath must have overflowed. I raced upstairs and noted that their light was still on. I hammered on their door and when a pyjama clad Janie answered my mad knock I said: “Your bath is overflowing!”
“No, it’s not. I’ve just had one and the water has disappeared down the plug just fine.”
“Your waters gone?”
She nodded her head.
“Then what is plopping onto my bed?”
The three of us stared up at this drip, drip, drip. No one had any idea where it was coming from. We phoned our flat supervisor, Dewald, who said that he would come and inspect the next day.
I went to bed with a large bowl held in place on my bed by a circle of towels. It caught the drips perfectly but had to be emptied constantly. Perdita and I slept very much on the left hand side of the bed! We barely moved.
Drip! Drip! Drip!
How I envied Spencer, my cockatiel, sleeping beside us in his warm, dry cage!
George, our gardener, handyman and friend came around the next morning wielding a knife!
“George?” I questioned as he bought a big ladder into my room.
George is Afrikaans and speaks little English. My Afrikaans is not very good. In spite of this we get on well.
“Nee, Gaynor, ons moes!” he informed me. (No, Gaynor, we must!)
He mounted the ladder, inserted the knife into a portion of the dripping roof and turned it. Instantly a torrent of water gushed out which George caught in my plastic bowl. He did the exact same thing about 20 centimetres away and once more water flowed. I was amazed and horrified.
My friend ‘B’ brought round a much needed bucket. What a relief! Sulkily the water plopped into the obliging bucket.
“Gaynor, be ultra-careful,” were B’s last words as she left that evening. “When you step out of bed, the bucket is directly in your path. Don’t knock it over, please!”
Drip into bucket-Plonk! Drip-Plonk! Drip-Plonk! Drip-Plonk! was the sound that accompanied me to sleep that night. And was I careful? Each time I got up in the night, I stepped surreptitiously around that lurking bucket. In the morning it had a disappointed look to it. Ha, I thought, it hadn’t managed to trip me up once!
“Time for you to come through, Angel-Face,” I said as I picked up my cockatiel’s cage from beside my bed. I turned, cage in hand and yes, you guessed it, walked straight into that evilly waiting bucket. It sloshed the nights collected water all over my carpet with gloating glee. If I could have seen where that bucket had rolled to, I would have given it a good kicking. With Spencer’s cage in hand, my kicking prowess was limited! So now I had both a sopping wet ceiling and a sopping wet floor!
Dewald informed Pierre, the plumber and his team about my drenching problem. They would come as soon as possible! I never thought I would say it, but I left for gym with huge relief. Anything to get away from the Drip-Plonking!
While doing my planking at gym, B mentioned that she and Jans would be there at 10.30.
“That’s nice – pant, pant – but – pant – why?”
“You asked us to come and move the TV in your bedroom back along the wall.”
“Glory,” I flopped onto my stomach and lay there like a beached whale. I had completely forgotten!
My TV had been fastened too close to me on the wall. Watching it was actually hurting my eyes. I needed it moved a little further back. Jans was an ace with a drill in her hand!
I returned from gym to see Pierre’s truck outside. Yay, the anti-drip man was here. I walked into my non-drip sounding bedroom and looked up at my ceiling in horror.
“Shytenhauzen, Pierre, what’s happened?
The one side of my ceiling that had been dripping had this ugly hole that looked as if a mini bomb had gone off. On the other side of the room, was another neatly cut square hole. Through this hole I could see new brass pipes.
“Although the water was coming out this side, this is actually where your leak was. I have put in new copper pipes as you can see. Now just let me check that all is going well. Put the water on. The cold tap and then the hot.”
Pierre looked at the pipes and then cursed softly. With the hot water coursing through, it was causing them to swell up. At that moment, B and Jans arrived to move my TV!!!
“I have to go quickly to get a circular pipe to prevent the water swelling,” Pierre informed me. “Won’t be long.”
Two’s company and threes definitely a crowd when it comes to TV moving and re-installing. Especially in a bedroom that already mimicked a war zone! So I got out of the way and B and Jans got to work. B is small but she is strong. She held the TV while Jans brandished the drill and a pencil, marked out the new spot and then…whirred away. Two new holes beamed out at the world. But…the TV didn’t fit! Blast it!
“Sorry, G, we’re going to have to drill in two different new holes!”
Gulping I nodded my head.
The drill whirled away enthusiastically and two new apertures smiled radiantly out at the world. Jans got to work with her screwdriver. She twisted and turned but only one screw would go in.
“You need to take the bracket off the back of the TV. It will make it a lot simpler. Here let me take a look.”
I had forgotten that Francisco, one of Pierre’s workers was still in the room. “Rondy, pass me the electric screwdriver,” he called to his mate. Taking the TV out of B’s exhausted hands, he screwed away with his magical screwdriver and removed the bracket with ease. Taking Jan’s drill from her he positioned himself and put a further two holes into my lovely cream wall. The bracket fit easily onto the screws as if it been just waiting to be moved there. The television was attached to the bracket and it hung there in it’s new place on the wall grinning delightedly at me! But my beautiful bedroom looked like a colander – holes and gashes in the ceiling, multiple holes in the wall!!
That night I lay in a newly made up, dry bed. Perdita lay in her usual position, on my right. I watched my television with un-aching eyes. Not a drop of water was in sight!
Well, I mused, as my eyes closed. I had never had so many men in my bedroom! Dewald, our flat supervisor, George with his knife, plumbers with their copper pipes, drilling and screwing skills, the man about to repair my devastated ceiling!
Men definitely do have their uses in my bedroom!