Chicken Little.


So, my house has been falling down, is infested, and will likely kill us.

Helluvan opener, eh?

I came home from a crochet class on Thursday to find water. Everywhere. Leaking from the upstairs bathroom, through the floor and kitchen ceiling, and dripping down into the basement. Water fucking everywhere. A 70-year-old pipe under the sink gave up the ghost, sprayed straight across to hit the side of the bathtub (if it had been two inches higher, it would have been in the bathtub itself), and pooling everywhere.

Went to the shutoff in the basement, but no go. It turns out that the valve was completely open. When the valve is completely open, and there’s a crazy leak somewhere, you won’t be able to close it because of the pressure. So, I helpless ran around, yelling ‘fuck!!!’ and trying to Google emergency plumbers, trying to call the 24/7 claims line on my homeowners insurance (no one answered at Intact, btw), and catching water in our biggest kitchen pot. My brother was unreachable. I cried a lot.

Eventually, a plumber did show up and was very nice to the crazy lady. Replacing that shitty old galvanized pipe cost $400+, which will not be covered.

I eventually got hold of a claims adjuster through our broker’s phone tree who sent over contractors to bring in blowers and industrial dehumidifiers. We were told that those would have to stay on until at least today (four days later). The cat has pretty much been hiding on the third floor since because it is so noisy downstairs. We can’t use our upstairs bathroom (for obvious reasons), and our kitchen is full of equipment. If we seemed hoardy before, it’s triply bad now because everything is in our living room and dining room.

Our kitchen will probably need to be totalled and rebuilt. The upstairs bathroom will need a new floor and cabinet (which is cool, ’cause both tile and vanity are fug). We need to replace pipes, which will not be covered. I am going to call the bank about upping my credit limit. My unemployed brother is quintupling his job search (anyone need a programmer? email him rorymcleod @, but with the real domain and no spaces).

On Friday, an engineer came in to test falling plaster, air moisture, and other things to see what dangerous substances are lurking in these ancient (well, 70-year-old) walls. If they find, say, FUCKING ASBESTOS, as they pretty much expect to, the repairs could take a month. A fucking month. I have to find a place to stay with a traumatised cat for a month. And, honestly, psychologically/emotionally, I can/will not go anywhere without him.

Now, we’re weird, in that our ‘good’ shower is in the basement, near the laundry room, so most of our clothes are stored down there. I have been doing laundry all weekend, putting things in the dryer for 90+ minutes to make sure that they are dry dry dry. The carpet (an old ugly wool thing) in the basement is ruined by flooded, overflowing kitty litterbox (and garbage bin full of old litter). The cleanup crew who worked down there suddenly stopped on Friday, left on an emergency, and didn’t come back.

They did, however, call us later to say that they suspected bedbugs.

BEDBUGS. WHAT THE EVERYLIVING FUCK. We have NEVER seen/felt any evidence of bedbugs. It was going to be hard enough to find somewhere to stay without the threat of fucking bedbugs. I do not want to believe it. I do not want to delay repair for weeks while we’re treated for them. I can’t afford to pay for this on top of everything else. (Insurance will, obviously, not cover this.)

Our insurance dude called this morning to say the contractors wouldn’t be back because of these suspected bugs. I explained the situation and the laundry-doing and the never seeing evidence thing, and he said he’d cancel our deductible because of the work put in (phew) and contact the contractors again. The lead on the project then called to say he’d come in himself to make sure (pleasepleaseplease tell me his crew was wrong) there was an actual problem.

Seriously, I am at my wit’s end here. I don’t know how to deal. At times like this, I miss having parents to help with advice and guidance and hugs.

I live in a lovely, in-demand area. Anyone want to buy a semi-detached house that is falling apart at the seams for a bargain price? It’s a helluva fixer-upper. Because fuck this. I want out.

In other news, and I don’t think it’s just because I am stressed and grumpy because generally consensus agrees with me, but what the hell with the unfunny, chaotic Oscar tribute to ‘movie music’ (from barely earlier than this century)? George Clooney, in automatically opening that miniature, was funnier than everything Seth Macfarlane did. I hope he hosts next year with Daniel Day-Lewis.

At least there was some good lady belting on. Dame Shirley, you’re the best.

3 thoughts on “Chicken Little.

  1. Jennifer

    I’ve had two floods and YOU HAVE MY SYMPATHIES LIKE NO OTHER. I am sooooooooooo sorry this shitstorm happened to you 🙁 And on a house you own, too. DAMMIT!

  2. rachel

    oh god i was already thinking of you all weekend and i hadn’t read the part about the bedbugs! i really hope they are wrong about that! we had a flood in the basement a couple of years ago and had to tear up the carpeting in the cat room, but luckily it only affected that room and the workroom which has cement floors. i’ve had experience with those industrial dehumidifiers when a tornado blew the roof off the clinic i was working at in oklahoma. they are ridiculously loud. please let me know if you need anything like room and transportation for storage (we do have a minivan) a cheer-me-up visit, anything! lots of love from the girls in Manotick,

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