Friday, January 27, 2006


... the hot water war. Well, not yet. But victory is in sight: I see it in the distance... Monday-ish.

So allow me to tell what will be, I hope to God, the penultimate chapter of the Water War: yesterday, after I had written the “Bitter” entry, I was sitting in my bathroom reading (don’t laugh, it’s the only warm room in my house), when I noticed the smell of gas. I examined my nemesis, the water boiler, only to find that in a new and disturbing maneuver, it had managed to extinguish one of its two flames. No flame = no gas being burned off. Thus, gas filling the room, replacing the oxygen, Emily can’t breathe, Emily is dying. That is one diabolical machine. I went for the quick execution: I shut the whole thing down. Then I marched straight over to my school and reenacted the various Battles of the Water War for everyone standing around the teachers room. Since all the English teachers were busy with some performance that I had never been informed about, this involved a lot of my broken Hungarian and grandiose gestures. No hot water (me shivering). Gas filling the room (waving arms around). Deadly! (me clutching my throat and coughing).

So once again, the handymen took my keys and went over to inspect it. I had no idea what they did, because my keys were returned to my desk but I didn’t see either them nor an English-speaking teacher for the rest of the day. When I came home, the boiler was still off. Hibernating, waiting, I know. Plotting something worse - a way to drive me permanently crazy, freeze me to death (has anyone seen Sunshine? Do you remember the camp? The human icicle?)... or gas me once and for all.

But! Just now at my door appeared the two handymen plus an unknown third man, carrying a box... a new-water-boiler-shaped box. We established that Monday would be a good time for them to come put it in. Meanwhile, it sits on my bathroom floor waiting: a box filled with the promise of reliable hot water, no hitting or fiddling involved, no gas leakage, no threat of death. Blissful.

I feel as though writing and publishing this might be tempting fate. I have visions of that damn evil machine, despite being turned off, still finding a way to kill me in the next few hours before I can escape. Or maybe the new machine will be even more demonic in some terrible, as-yet-unimaginable way. Oh well, I’ll risk it - besides, by now I think fate owes me big time.

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