Friday, February 15, 2008

My Dad's a Pilot Light.

Yesterday morning, when I got in the shower, the water was cool. Not icy-cold. But definitely not warm enough. I just figured that my roommates had been all showering or running the washer or something and I didn't give it a second thought.

After work, Jaime asked me if I'd had warm water all day. I checked and, sure enough, we only had icy-death-finger-cold water. Dang.

We squeeze into the tiny crawl area that houses the water heater between the washer/dryer and the furnace, get down on the grimy floor and pop open the door that covers the window to the pilot light. It was dark. The dreadful dark of disappointed dreams. (Apparently we were dreaming of not having to relight the pilot.) I called the landlord. He's in Hawaii and could we possibly relight it ourselves?

Sure, no prob. Except I have no idea how to do it. Despite his reassurances that it's "super easy!," we are unnerved by the large red and yellow warning signs that explain that "failure to follow these directions exactly could result in damage to property, personal injury or loss of life."

So I (the bravest one, really) get down there, read the directions twice, ask Alisca to call my mom if I explode, turn the gas to "lighting setting," flip the control to "pilot," and click the lighter.

Nothing. What? I click again. And again. Nothing. Not even a spark. I click the thing 8 times. Uhg! It won't light! On the directions it says if the pilot doesn't light, wait 5 minutes for the gas to disperse ("disperse where?" we ask) and try again. We did this little routine over and over. Try it, wait 5 minutes, try again. All three of us tried it. We saw some sparkage but no flame.

Lily came home with her boyfriend. We tell him what's going on. This is what he says: "Oh no. Did you get it yet?" and walks out. WHAT? We are GIRLS! This is a boy job! He didn't even offer to help. Alisca suspects that he was busy trying to figure out what a pilot was doing in our laundry room. "Pilots fly planes! Where's his plane? I don't see a plane." I suspect that he was busy spraying on more Axe Deodorant Spray.

Well, we can't get it to light. No problem. I'll just call one of my guy friends to stop by and try. So I start flipping through my cell's contact list. Call a few guys. No one's picking up. Weird. My roommate points out that perhaps they are out on dates owning to the fact that it's 9:30pm on Valentine's Day and isn't it an eensy-bit embarrassing to be calling every guy I know the night of Valentine's Day and not even leave a message? Oh, right. Well now I'm mortified. OK.

We start to get a little silly (perhaps it was the dispersing gases?). I know Alisca got some priceless pictures of me crouched next to the water heater, gasping with laughter.

We gave up around midnight and went to bed. This morning I steeled myself up for another cold shower but when the time came for it, I just couldn't do it. It's too cold and I am a wimp. So I turned back time to the 18th century instead. I boiled a pan of water, mixed it with some cool water and had a bath. I felt so rustic.

Jaime called me at work about an hour ago to let me know that the owner had sent over a plumber who turned on the pilot light on the first try. Well, that's embarrassing. Even following the directions carefully, we couldn't get the results that Andy the Plumber did. Apparently, you have to "pump" the gas feed as you click.

So if your pilot light goes out and you want someone to mess with it for 3 hours without making any progress, you know who to call.

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