Murphy’s Law says, “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” Write about a time everything did — fiction encouraged here, too! (this is a mixture of fact and fiction)
It all started when Fred met Joe in the cellar of the appartment block where they lived.
“We are moving Joe” said Fred “with two kids and one on the way the place was getting a bit cramped. That means that our hobby room in the cellar will no longer be needed. Thought you might be interested in buying it, give you a bit more space.”
Joe thought it over and spoke to the wife about it. Sally was enthusiastic. At last some extra space for her sewing machine, the books and her clothes. Then Joe found it would be a good idea. He could practice his saxophone in the that room, it would not disturb anyone and at last he would not have to listen to the complaints from his wife about the noise. The deal was made, Fred moved out and Joe bought the room. It came complete with a fitted carpet. Actually Joe and Sally were not keen on carpets, they preferred a nice clean wooden floor, but decided they could always fit that up at a later date.
They had a large wardrobe in the cellar which was not really serving any real purpose. It was in good condition and Sally told Joe, it would be better to put that in the new room. Joe was not happy. It was not a cupboard that you just pushed around, it was a cupboard that would have to be taken apart and rebuilt. However, when Sally had an idea, it had to be carried out. That was the first problem. One Sunday afternoon, when Joe’s eldest son was at home, they both departed to the cellar and began to dismantle the cupboard. It was all solid wood, and not an easy job. Five doors were removed and shifted to the new room. The walls of the cupboard followed and the base and top. Joe breathed a sigh of relief, at least the parts of the cupboard were now in the new room and he was sure it was a good idea. He could put the clothes he did not need in Summer in the cupboard and vice versa in Winter. Ideal: now he would just have to put the cupboard together again. A small delay occurred when Joe was hammering the hinges into the door. He hit his finger instead of the nail. As this was very painful and the finger turned a bluish colour, he was out of action for a week. When the finger more or less returned to its normal size, he continued with the work.
Eventually the walls were standing and it was time to put the final touches. He again had some help from his son and they found that there was a problem. They had forgotton to measure the height of the room, or the cupboard. The cupboard was one centimeter taller than the room, meaning Joe could not fit the roof onto the cupboard. Another delay, as Joe had to find a carpenter that would remove the extra unwanted centimeter from the cupboard. No problem: the carpenter did the necessary work, which took another week and some money, but the job was done. The cupboard was standing perfectly. Sally and Joe were happy, at last enough room for everything.
It was then that the rains came. I mean it always rained from time to time, but the area where they lived had the precipitation record on that certain night. It was one of those evenings when you went to bed, heard the continuous rhythmic splashes of water on the windows, a few thunder claps and in the morning it was still pouring down, not exactly cats and dogs, more like elefants and whales. Joe was retired so he did not have to go anywhere early in the morning. His neighbour was a working man and he was one of the first to leave the building. As the neighbour descended to the underground garage he had to pass through the corridor separating the various basement rooms.
Joe’s doorbell rang, not once, but three times. He dragged himself out of bed, slipped quickly into more respectable clothing than his pyjama and opened the door.
“Morning Joe” it was the neighbour. “Sorry to wake you so early but we have a problem. The cellar is under water.”
“Huh” was all that Joe could say, wondering if his hearing was going wrong.
“You had better come” continued the neighbour “to see if you have any damage in your cellar or hobby room.”
When Joe arrived in the basement, he was not alone, most of the neighbours were already there. Some already with mops and buckets, trying to clear the water away, which was a lost quest. One neighbour said specialists had been informed and they would be coming to pump out the water. Joe saw that his cellar had some water but not so bad, and then he opened the door to his hobby room and waded into the room which was under 3 centemeters of water. He fished out certain objects that were standing in the water. All the furniture in the room had a sort of dark mark at the basis where it was wet. And the cupboard, oh yes, that was wet as well.
The furniture was moved out of the room into the corridor and the fitted carpet was removed by a carpet company. A pump was put into the room, which used special (expensive) electricity and started a two week pumpting session until everything was dry.
And the cupboard? Joe managed to remove the bottom board of the cupboard and cut on the edges of the carpet beneath. The cupboard had to be moved, however, to give access to allow removal to the skirting board behind the cupboard.
Today Joe is happy. After waiting almost two years and watching, the water problem had been solved by engineers. There was not longer a problem with flooding in the cellar and he even had a nice new wooden floor and the cupboard was back in its original place.