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Friday, September 3, 2010


“This is Colette from the management office at 301 Prudential Drive. There is a flood in your unit and we need to get in. If we can’t get in we might have to break the door down. Please call me back as soon as possible. This is an emergency.”

This is the voice mail message I found on my cell phone yesterday when I came back from lunch time and as you can imagine, I flipped. A flood in our condo! Breaking the door down! I immediately called Colette back and ... got the management’s office’s voice mail.  I called back five minutes later and ... got the voice mail again.

Fortunately the message gave a number in case of an emergency and since Colette had mentioned that this was an emergency I saw no reason why I couldn’t use that number.

I quickly explained the situation to the woman who answered the phone and through some ‘back door’ she got hold of Colette. Naturally I stressed that my door was not to be broken down. We would leave work immediately and we would be home as a.s.a.p.

I had already alerted Dieter of the situation and like two bats from hell we flew out of our office. Once outside we hailed a cab, jumped in, gave the cab driver our address and told him to ‘step on it’.

We soon found out that ‘stepping on it’ only works in movies, in real life there were cars, cars and more cars blocking our way and annoying things like speed limits. In other words, it took forever to get out of the downtown core but eventually we got onto the highway. Great, now the cab driver would be able to ‘step on it’.

Euh, wrong, there was an accident on the highway and traffic looked like a parking lot. So we left the highway and took the regular road. The regular road was far from ideal though. In addition to slow moving cars, we had to deal with traffic lights, traffic lights and more traffic lights.

Finally, finally we got home. We took the elevator up and before the door was fully open we were already out. In Olympic sprint style we ran to our unit and wondered what we would find on the other side of the front door. I fully expected to find my bedroom rugs floating in the living room.

We opened the door and ... saw Charlie, Mickey and Charlotte who very obviously had just woken up and Chanel who was still asleep on top of the fridge. They meowed a hello and seemed totally at ease. I rushed to my bedroom, thinking the flood was maybe there and found Gabriel asleep on the windowsill. Where exactly was this flood? What exactly was the emergency? What was the reason they would have broken the door down for?

When I called the superintendent he knew about the ‘flood’, our downstairs neighbors had called him because they found water trickling into their bedroom. He would be up to see us shortly.
I waited half an hour and when the super didn’t show up I called him again. He stated that he couldn’t come up because he was waiting for the plumber. He would come to our unit as soon as the plumber arrived.

Eventually at 6:45 p.m. there was a knock on the door ... the super and the plumber. They went to have a look at the A/C system in my bedroom, found a blockage in one of the pipes, which apparently caused a bit of a leak. Don’t ask me what the plumber did, but ten minutes later everything was fixed.

Strange, isn’t it, that we had to leave work in a rush at 2:00 p.m. and spent $50 on a cab ride, only for the plumber to show up at 6:45 p.m.
Anyway, all is well that ends well. I suppose we should be thankful that there wasn’t a real leak, with real damage.

In January 2009 we actually had a real flood. It happened late one night. I was still up when I heard, what I thought was, one of the cats peeing in the litter box. The release of water kept going and going and I remember thinking ‘Jeez, but that cat pees long’.

When I went to check there was no cat in the litter box, but I did see water seeping through the air vent of the ceiling. Within minutes the seeping water turned into a wild gushing. I mean, the water come down the ceiling, down the walls ... there was just water everywhere.

We tried to mop up the mess but it was no use. At the time we really were ankle deep in water. In the end the superintendent came with the assistant superintendent and two giant machines resembling vacuum cleaners. The machines were designed to suck up water and did a marvelous job. Half an hour later all the floors were perfectly dry again. We later learned that a pipe had broken on the floor above us.

So, nothing quite as severe this time. No broken pipe, just a blocked A/C pipe causing a bit of trouble. Damn Colette, some people can turn a molehill into a mountain.

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