Friday, December 4, 2009

Baby, It's Cold Outside

Winter isn't here. But it sure feels like it.

So while we're whining about it, here's a story that will make it all better.

A dear friend is known to his friends as The Doctor.

He makes his living in the apparel industry. But he has this presence that makes it easy to sell him to the unsuspecting as The Doctor.

He has been a neurosurgeon that has performed the only successful brain transplant, a heart surgeon when it helped us get a table in New York, and at least once a plastic surgeon specializing in breast implants.

So anyway, The Doctor was on a weeks long sourcing trip in China.

He returned to his home near Green Bay, Wisconsin one really cold winter night.

He slipped and spun his two wheel drive Lexus home from the airport. It's after midnight on a day that began in Shanghai.

Jet-lagged, exhausted, he lugs his bags to the front door up the icy walkway and narrowly avoids falling on his butt. (Oh, that's right. He was also once a proctologist.)

Unlocks the front door and has that "I made it home" euphoric moment.

Stumbles inside, sits on the couch, and begins to peel off the layers of clothing.

Then he hears a dripping sound from the kitchen.

Begins looking for the drip, can't find it, but notices that it is really cold in the house. He can see his breath in the kitchen.

Checks the thermostat. The heat is set for on, but there is no heat in the house.

About this time, nature calls.

Goes to the downstairs toilet. It's frozen.

Goes to the upstairs toilets. They're frozen.

Now nature is calling more urgently, and it has become a conference call.

The Doctor is in agony.

He is a dignified, discreet man. In all the times we've played golf together, I've never seen him take a whizz outside.

So he now faces Hobson's choice. Go outside for relief, or don't and deal with the consequences.

He makes the hardest decision of his life, and walks out the back door.

It is blessedly dark. He finds a sheltered spot behind the wood pile.

Drops trou.

And then the motion detector floodlights on the outside of his house come on. He remembers installing them a few weeks ago for added protection while he traveled.

He feels like he's on "Cops".

He hurries to finish his business. At which time it occurs to him there is no Charmin' to squeeze out behind the woodpile.

As he sits their squatting in his embarrassment and anguish, he notices the dog. The neighbor's dog has been watching this all. He convinces himself the dog will tell.

The Doctor goes back into the house.

It's freezing. It is two in the morning.

He calls the heating guy, who actually answers.

The Doctor is told that it's probably just a pilot light that had blown out.

The heating guy comes in the middle of the night. Fires up the heater.

Then delivers this news.

"Your pipes are going to start busting as it warms up. First will be the upstairs bathrooms, and then downstairs. If you have anything you don't want ruined, you might want to start moving it now. You have about 30 minutes."

The Doctor recalls all the precious stuff in the basement. Family heirlooms. Photos.

He moves like Speed Racer up and down the stairs to get everything in the basement to the already stuffed detached garage.

He moves the furniture around to try to get it as best he can out of harm's way.

Then sits on the couch, and listens as the pipes begin to groan. Then watches as the water starts to come thru the celing from upstairs bathroom one. Then upstairs bathroom two.

And then the pipes below him on the first floor go.

The good news is he can't hear the dripping any more in the kitchen.

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