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Waterworks - It's Not Just a Stop on the Monopoly Board
Monday, Oct. 06, 2003, 7:33 p.m.

QUESTION: What bill?

WHAT I LEARNED: Some people really can turn the waterworks on and off.

I was going to write about my brand new refrigerator but that will have to wait while I tell the Tale of No Water. The Tale of No Water is a simple tale. It has to do with a woman and her bills. It illustrates the angst of a water company scorned. It delivers the drama of a new refrigerator with the capacity to dispense cold water and ice - chipped and cubed - right from the front of its bisque-colored door, suddenly unable to dispense even a frozen chip or cool drop of H2O, after a dazzling opening night.

At this point, I could share with you the story of the water bill that would not be paid because it was so easy to overlook. I could tell you how I finally realized that I'd better send it out but did not squeeze in under the water company's parched-earth deadline. I could verify with magnificent irritability, the fact that the water company decided without any provocation (except a little unpaid bill) to go with a no-water approach to getting this issue quickly addressed from our end. I can certainly assure you that this simple yet elegant approach did the trick. They got my attention.

However, I would rather share with you the crowning moment of the Tale of No Water that is so simple yet so representative of the entire no-water afternoon here at our house - the anguish of a man trying to fix a downstairs toilet without a clue that there is no water running into the house. I would rather chide myself endlessly about the water bill that got away from me in the privacy of my own mind, than own up to the fact that the bill had fallen off my radar to my toilet-fixing, water-less spouse. Frankly, I would much prefer my husband wasn't home when the whole thing came up empty but such a grace was not to be mine. Unfortunately, he was home - fixing a toilet of all things. Water - a plumberís friend was not his to entertain.

I know we provided some amusement for the water company with matching husband and wife calls. Malcolm, the nice service representative at the water company, was very accommodating indeed about getting the water turned on in less time than it takes to flush a few toilets.

Water - it may be a thing of nature but that middleman is murder.

Todayís Suburban Strategy: Saving the Mermaids...

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