The Weekenders

The little condo Husband and I have upstate is a nice getaway when we manage to get away.  Because of the horrible weather this winter, we only got to enjoy it for three weekends in December and January, so I was shocked when our heating bill arrived for $400.  I called the gas company and said something must be wrong with the meter.  The rep said she had to ask me some questions to properly determine our gas usage.  Do we have a gas oven?  Yes, I answered, but I don’t cook.  Do we have a dishwasher?  I told her we do, but we don’t use it.  Then she wanted to know about a washer and dryer, and again I said we have them but don’t ever run them.  She was very nice on the phone and I’ll bet after we hung up she turned to the rep next to her and said, “Phyllis, I just talked to this woman who doesn’t wash or cook.  Can you imagine?”  The truth is we eat out and do laundry when we get home.  When we’re up there WE’RE ON VACATION and someone needs to please tell that to Phyllis.

The upshot of the phone call was that I had to meet the Gas Man at the condo at 10:00 on Friday morning, which meant I had to leave our house at 7:00, which meant I had to get up at 5:30 because I’m nuts that way.  When the Gas Man arrived, I told him our story of high billage for low usage and he set about checking the meter outside and the furnace in our attic.  When he was done, he lowered himself from the ceiling into Husband’s closet where the attic entry is located.  We stood among the hanging clothes and talked.

GASMAN:  I have good news and bad news.  Your meter is working perfectly so the bill is accurate.

OSV:  Crap.  What’s the good news?

GASMAN:  Actually that was the good news.  The bad news is that you have a leak and that means I have to turn off the gas.  I smelled it the moment I walked up the stairs, but we don’t like to tell customers we smell gas.  They tend to panic.  You don’t smell gas in here?

OSV:  I’m not panicked.  No, I don’t smell gas.  I’m wearing a lot of Obsession.  The sprayer got away from me this morning.  What happens after you turn off the gas, I mean besides us freezing to death?

GASMAN:  Any plumber or heating specialist can handle it for you.  They just have to replace a valve and then we come back and turn the gas on.  It’s no big deal; the valve is standard.

I called Rooney, our heating specialist, who said he’d be over in less than an hour.  It took two.  By that time, Husband had also arrived.  Rooney brought an assistant, a young guy with five face piercings.  It could have been six, but I think one was a double-header.  Rooney jumped up into the attic while Pin Cushion went back and forth to the truck for tools.  After a while, they both appeared by the couch where Husband and I sat huddled under a blanket watching Law & Order on one of our seven channels.

ROONEY:  We’re going to the plumbing supply and we’ll be back in a half hour.  It’s a standard valve.

An hour passed.  The phone rang.

ROONEY:  It’s not a standard valve.  In fact I can’t locate it anywhere.  Do you want me to bring over a portable heater?  This may take a while.

HUSBAND:  How long are we talking about?

ROONEY:  No later than Thursday.

We said to call us when he finds one and we’ll figure it out from there.  Then we jumped into our cars, turned on the heat, and drove back to the city.  These little weekend getaways are so refreshing.

Daughter’s Featured Fotos need No Captions

weekenders 1 nathan

weekenders 2 candyfactorymarshmallows

weekenders 3 trueinanylanguage

weekenders 4 pearpie

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