You never think about the shape of water unless your water is in bad shape.
Which is what happened to my wife and I along with 6,500 other Pennsylvania American Water customers recently when a broken water main break in a pipe near a stream along Mountain Home Road in Sinking Spring had the unmitigated gall to disrupt water service in Spring, Lower Heidelberg and South Heidelberg townships and Sinking Spring and Wyomissing Hills.
When that happens, your quality of life goes down the drain.
At first our water pressure was so low so that you could stand under the shower for at least five minutes before you got hit with a drop or a two.
Perhaps that was a good thing in retrospect. Because if the water was crawling with bacteria, who knows what kind of skin issues it could have triggered? Contracting leprosy from a lousy shower would put a kink in anybody’s day.
Even after the water pressure returned to normalcy, our water still was relatively useless until officials ran bacterial tests to ensure that our water no longer was contaminated. It is a slow process because apparently they have to transport the test tubes by water buffalo to their lab in Thailand.
So we had to boil water for drinking, brushing teeth, washing dishes and food preparation.
To clarify, my wife boiled water. Since I am a man of renowned bravery, courage and recklessness, I still showered, leprosy be damned. My wimpy wife opted to sponge bath with boiled water.
We drank bottled water, brushed our teeth and rinsed our toothbrushes with bottled water. Granted, I had to ration my bottled water because I needed to save some for my Scotch and water – a vital beverage in taking the edge off the greatest crisis of my life since The Cuban Missile Crisis.
Meanwhile, our piles of dirty dishes and dirty wash were morphing into mountains before our very eyes. I knew things were getting out of hand when we were contacted by three different mountain climbing expeditions from the Himalayas.
My wife was adamant that we would not wash clothes in case our washer and dryer got gummed up with bacteria that would cause the heartache of psoriasis and resurrect acne that seemingly had died on the vine 50 years ago once we donned the contaminated clothing.
While showering, I couldn’t stop thinking about the movie The Shape of Water, which was about having sex with a fish monster and for some bizarre reason was nominated for 13 Academy Awards and won four of them in 2018. That’s Hollywood for you.
If a fish monster had descended from my showerhead and tried to sexually assault me, I immediately would have joined the #MeToo Movement.
Trust me, living with compromised water was a harrowing experience. We all take water for granted until we’re without it. Then we knit our brows in disgust and wonder how we’ll ever survive. And say more than a few bad words since my 90-year-old mother couldn’t stop by and wash my mouth out with soap.
And woe to those deprived of a spin cycle in their washer and dryer. With them sidelined by crummy water, how could I walk around with my gigabyte smile, easy manner and cocksure strut while wearing my clothes inside out? Or wearing a HazMat suit?
Also, we were running low on towels. In the old days I might have grabbed one of our curtains or drapes in desperation. Alas, they’ve been replaced by plantation blinds, which aren’t particularly absorbent.
Fortunately, officials three nights after the water main break deemed that our water no longer was required to reach the boiling point. Unfortunately, my boiling point lasted two more days.