The Sprinkler Disaster

For those of you who have faithfully read my blog and who have somehow managed to get the idea that I am some sort of domestic wonder, let me warn you right now that this post is going to disappoint you, probably profoundly. Of course, not that anyone would believe any such thing about me--after all, I was the one who, uh, went on the grey foods kick, ruined the gingersnaps, got scared of intruders when my brother and parents were away for less than three hours, and, most memorably, couldn't make it through a day of house-sitting for some friends. But, like I said, just in case any big-hearted people out there have clung to idyllic dreams regarding my domesticity, prepare yourselves for a real eye-opener.

I'll lead into the story gradually--wouldn't want to give anybody congestive heart failure or anything. So. (Deep breath.) Today I was "working" on my computer, getting ready to make cookies (ha. See, I'm not totally worthless!) and minding my own business when I heard the sprinklers turn on. (You shouldn't be concerned about where this story is going yet: the sprinklers at the Hearn House come on on a fairly innocent and frequent basis.) I looked out the screen door and noticed--no way!--some sprinkler part had come loose and was spraying a highly pressured stream of water.
Into my living room. (Okay. Go ahead and get concerned now.)
I ran outside and closed the screen door so that our (newish) carpet wouldn't be drowned to death, and then went over to the sprinkler in an attempt to redirect the floodgates. No luck. Now I was drenched, the porch was drenched, the house was drenched, and the carpet was drenched. I couldn't get it to turn off.
Just when it seemed like anything couldn't get any worse, it did.

Right now we have a bunch of these hanging in on our porch:

See, my dad has been, uh, "re-seeding" our lawn, and, involved in that process has been a considerable amount of "manure". (There is no other way to tactfully write that sentence.) This has made for an increased number of flies, and, let me tell you, those fly catchers are extremely effective.

I found that out when my hair got caught in one. If you're shuddering right now, trust me, it's much worse to actually go through it than to read about it. The worst thing of all was that, besides the sticky gunk all over the fly catchers, there were also--surprise, surprise--flies all over the fly catchers. FLIES!

I did the only logical thing I could think of: I hollered for Daniel. "Daniel! Daniel Hearn! Daniel William Hearn! Come out here!"
He didn't hear me, because, he was busy being a regular Cinderella and cleaning the bathroom at the far end of the house. I had to disentangle myself from the "Revenge" flytrap (the name seems ironic now) and go inside to call him, and, when he finally heard me, we went outside to tackle the project itself.

I have to give it to Daniel.
He really did try his best, and, if I would have had the initiative, I probably would have tried the same remedy he did. But, in any case, it didn't work out so swell. We ended up with another geyser when he accidentally unscrewed a valve that he wasn't supposed to.

By this time I was somewhat frantic, and, while Daniel heroically went to the garage to fiddle with the watering timer (a machine I've always been a little--hello, lot--intimidated by) I decided to be equally heroic in standing in front of the spray, under the conviction that it was better to get myself wet than to let the house and concrete get wet. We were at somewhat of an impasse for the next while, largely unsuccessful in our respective responsibilities. Finally we switched (with him acting as the barrier between the water and the house, and me trying my hand at manipulating the water timer). I did what I should have done in the beginning--called my mom on her cell phone to consult her regarding her advice in the situation. Mom didn't know the answer (probably one of the only things in the whole wide world she doesn't know the answer to) and therefore we mutually decided to ask Emily.

I've mentioned before that Emily is considerably more domestically capable than I am, and she did not disappoint. "Go look at the timer. The indicator will be straight up. Turn it counter-clockwise to the eleven-o'clock position." I was a little skeptical, and did what she said, turning the dial to the eleven o'clock ("system off") position (duh). I yelled, towards the backyard, "DANIEL! IS IT OFF YET?!?"

Of course, it did turn off, and things did calm down. It was extremely embarrassing to have to relate the story to my family, as I'm sure the instance just confirmed for them how terribly incapable I am. (Note to self: remind future husband to teach me how to operate watering timer before he ever leaves to go anywhere.)

At least the cookies turned out.


Nathan LeMaster said...


kara a. said...

well, your story made me laugh. if that's any consolation. ;)

Mark Keller said...

That was hilarious! You've got a much more interesting life than most people . . .

John said...

Those fly traps are fun! A couple of my friends and I got our hands on some of those... :) It's a good thing you weren't there or you would have gotten one in your hair or on your clothes for sure. (We were throwing them at each other... but eventually someone told us to stop) Great story!