Tuesday evening, with my sister safely home, Cait and I began looking forward yet again to our first relatively stress-free weekend since the beginning of October. (Cue ominous music.). But Wednesday morning as we packed lunches and ate breakfast I smelled gas by the stove. I’d smelled it earlier in the week when I cleaned behind the stove (don’t think too highly of my cleaning skills; it was only because an errant tofu sausage had rolled irretrievably under the oven one day last week).
When I returned from work that afternoon I called the gas company and reported a possible leak. The guy who showed up looked quite skeptical and said he didn’t smell anything, although I could still smell the gas. But he waved his tester around behind the stove, and within 30 seconds it went off like a combination Geiger counter-air raid siren. He was oddly stone-faced and impassive, and after several deafening minutes, I was forced to ask if there was a leak. Still expressionless, he said, “Oh, yeah, you’ve got a big leak.” He told me to call a plumber (to my astonishment, as I’d naively thought the gas company would repair a problem with the gas line, but nooooo) tied a big, red “DANGER” tag to the front of the stove, and left.
Figuring the rest of the week was now shot to hell, as we could no longer cook and one of us would now have to take more of our rapidly dwindling leave to stay home for the repair person, I looked up plumbers on the web and called the first name I recognized. To my astonishment, they said they could send someone that afternoon! Lo and behold, there was a knock on the door within half an hour, and an affable gentleman quickly put an end to the toxic plume that has probably been polluting our house since the day we bought it, for the low price of $129. (The repair, not the house.)
That I can type the words "the low price of $129" is a testament to the way our lives have changed in the past two years. I am a known tightwad, but the last year has wreaked havoc on my entire life, including my neuroses. Oddly, despite spending an amount I am not allowed to calculate on sperm, high tech squirting, and the aftermath, we are in a better financial position, so it really is ok. Secondly, the aforementioned aftermath is costing so much that $129 seems a mere bagatelle.
I'll take a bagatelle over ominous music any day.