Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
somebody help!" What are those kids yelling about now, I
wondered, thinking it was my grandchildren. Then I remembered,
the grandchildren are at home.
My daughter came down the hall yelling, "I need
help." What in the world? Is the house on fire? No, but
it might as well be. I rounding the corner to see Old Faithful
erupting in my bathroom and a river coming from under the
Water was squirting from a broken pipe. By then the water was
an inch deep on the floor. The little knob that shuts off the
water wouldn't turn any further. We needed to turn off the
main water supply.
"Go under the house and turn off the water!" We were
getting pretty panicked and the water continued to flow. My
daughter grabbed a flashlight and took off to the crawl space.
Soon she was back. "I can't find it."
The water was getting deeper and starting to run out the door
into the bedroom. She called my son. "Come home! We are
having a flood. We need you NOW!"
A plumber, I'll call a plumber. I grabbed the phone book and
looked for one with a 24 hour emergency service. Here's the
one that I just paid over a thousand dollars to work on the
septic tank. I called.
"We are taking calls for
tomorrow," he said.
"I have a busted pipe and water is flooding the house. I
can't wait until tomorrow. Can you just cut off the
"Sorry, I don't have anyone available."
I called the next emergency service plumber and got an
answering machine. "If you are club member and this is an
emergency, press 1." Plumbers have clubs? What the h...!
"Should I get the neighbor?" asked my daughter.
"Yes, yes, anything!"
Thank God for neighbors with good sense. Our neighbor came and
looked, then ran back home and got a tool to cut off the water
at the meter. I knew that plumbers did that, but I had no idea
how to do it.
We grabbed towels to soak up water. Every towel in the house
was soon wringing wet and the rug in the bedroom was squishy
for several feet from the door. I remembered that the carpet
shampooer would suck up water, so I grabbed it and started
"It was like a waterfall under the house," my
daughter said. "Water was coming from every crack."
Oh, God. I was soaked to the waist and my daughter was too. We
took everything from under the sink and threw it in the
The neighbor said all we needed to fix it was a small part, so
honey, who had been as useless as the rest of us until now,
took off to the hardware store instead of helping clean up the
Meanwhile, my son arrived after it was all over. When honey
finally came dragging back with the part, he went in the
bathroom and fixed it.
"I'm turning the water back on now," he said.
"Be sure it doesn't leak." Fortunately, it didn't
and the crisis was over, except for washing three loads of wet
towels and running fans for a week to dry the rug, which
started to smell pretty bad after a day or so.
Eventually everything dried out. I was planning to replace the
rug soon anyhow. The part was only $10 and I didn't have to
pay a plumber.
This Saturday we are all going to get lessons in how to shut
off the water in case of an emergency and I'm going to buy one
of those tools to do it with, regardless of cost. The next
time I need a plumber, it will not be the non-emergency,
"24/7 emergency" service.
We've had flash flood warnings due to the rain, and river
flood warnings due to the runoff, but they forgot to mention
flash floods in the bathroom due to broken pipes.
Copyright 2011 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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