Water, water, everywherePublished on December 31, 2007

  • Illustration by Teresa Manchester

Recently, my wife, Ally, and I had a new roof put on our house in downtown Stittsville, where, if you're lucky, you can get caught behind a battalion of 18-wheel semis, dump trucks and tractors all going approximately 20 km/h on Carp Road.

There are more trucks and other slow-moving behemoths clogging up the road than there are mosquitoes in the summer and it's done little for my precious sanity.

So, this summer the roof went on, we paid a lot of money and the circle of life was once again complete, which is to say we found yet another way to spend more than we have. What happened next, though, was a little out of the ordinary. The following day, it rained. A lot. In fact, I'd wager it rained more that day than it did all summer. What was really interesting is that while it was raining outside, it was raining inside, too. A lot.

Now, for legal reasons and because he's bigger than I am, I can't blame the roofer. There was a design flaw in the house, much like there was a design flaw in the Titanic, only wetter. Plus he did come over within minutes to board everything up, so this isn't a rant against roofers. If I could find the original builder, however . . .

In order to describe the flood properly you need to remember that scene in The Poseidon Adventure (the original, not the awful remake) where Shelley Winters is all puffy-cheeked as she swims underwater to what she hopes will be freedom and, well, air? That was our living room, except that my wife doesn't resemble the late Ms. Winters in any way. Ally is perfect. This can't be stressed enough, I'm being told.

After the flood waters subsided, we even found the dog behind the couch, where she had discovered an air pocket, $3.97 in loose change, and a three-year-old Tootsie Roll with nine pounds of lint on it. This was how Dougall survived.

The rain seeped everywhere, but mostly it got in between the walls and the paint causing large blisters the size of Cornish hens. Our insurance company, The Personal, deserves a plug here. They had an emergency crew out to the house within an hour and have been a dream to work with ever since, though I wonder how much they like us now in the wake of what they've paid to make things right again. But they got the ball rolling quickly for us and the Sea Monkey family who took up residence in our office.

The crew tore out ceilings, sliced through paint blisters (Ally thought it less than funny as I did Rocky impressions every time they cut open a blister: "Cut me, Mick, cut me!" SPLOOSH!) and in all ways did their best to make our house resemble something from a black-and-white European film about World War II, which is supposed to make a statement about man's rage against his own humanity.

This was in July. Yes, the July that's in the summer. By the time you read this, everything will be finished and we will finally have our house to ourselves once again. In the end, it wasn't nearly as funny as Rocky impressions and not quite as bad as black-and-white European art films with buried messages. We're excited to have our house back again and the Tootsie Roll has given Dougie hours of chewing joy.

Too bad the water slide we built in the living room had to come down, though. Now that was fun.

Written by Scott Taylor

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