Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lighting a water heater

It ain't easy. In fact, it's durn near impossible.

This morning, my shower was cool. Not cool as in "stylin'", cool as in Low Temperature.

I took lots of cool showers in Haiti, where there wasn't a water-heater to be had, so I just made the mental transition necessary to endure it, and took my shower anyway. I knew I didn't have time to light a pilot light then, anyway.

This evening, I had already forgotten. After Martha emerged from the shower, I remembered. "Martha, was your shower warm?"

"Not really, but it wasn't cold either," she said. (I'm hoping she actually TOOK one, but I don't have the energy to care right now)

I think I can safely assume that I'm an intelligent person. I can read instructions and I can figure out what to do -- usually. Not this time, though. Those instructions assumed a certain level of experience on the part of the reader, I think, and I have none. Zero, zip, zilch.

I called the landlord, who lives a few miles south of town, and she sent her husband over to light it for me. I felt very ashamed of myself when I let him in, but then he had all kinds of trouble doing it, too. He fiddled around with a few ideas, and then decided it must be something called a thermal coupling (or it sounded like that's what he said, anyway). He'd be back over tomorrow to get it fixed.

[sigh] I'm sorry he's going to have to deal with it, but I'm relieved that it wasn't my fault.

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