We finally got our new home – hooray!
The movers come tomorrow so we’re “camping” with our bed, a couple of folding chairs, and minimal cooking gear until then; but at last we’re IN!
We’re already discovering some of our new home’s quirks. Such as:
Our water filter’s controller periodically takes the system offline and forces water back through the filter to clear it. When it’s backflushing, we’re not supposed to run water or flush toilets because that would allow untreated water into our system. So the cycle is programmed to run at 3 AM when everybody’s asleep and unlikely to be using water; and it’s supposed to run for about 15 minutes.
It’s directly underneath our bedroom. And the backflush sounds like the space shuttle launching out of a particularly viscous swamp: A cacophony of high-decibel roaring, sucking, and gurgling.
And it’s “about 15 minutes”. Which equals roughly an hour and a quarter.
When the first eruption rocketed me out of bed at 3:08 AM, I clung to the ceiling hyperventilating for a few seconds, then slowly lowered myself back to the mattress after I realized what was creating the godawful racket.
“Fine,” I thought. “It’ll only run for 15 minutes, and then I’ll go back to sleep.”
But after my violent awakening and subsequent adrenaline surge, I needed to pee. But I couldn’t because if I flushed, it would suck untreated water into our system.
I realize now that I could have peed without flushing, but in my sleep-deprived state I somehow confused the knowledge that if the water level drops in the toilet bowl (as with a flush) it will draw more water in; while if the water level rises in the toilet bowl the excess will just dribble harmlessly down the plumbing stack. So I was afraid to pee in case it somehow sucked untreated water into our system. No, I’m not at my best at 3 AM.
So I lay there thinking, “I can wait. Fifteen minutes is no big deal.”
Except it wasn’t fifteen minutes.
I dozed fitfully. Every ten minutes or so I’d wake to another barrage of borborygmi from the nether regions (the house’s; not mine, fortunately).
Check the clock.
Think, “Gawd, I’ve gotta pee. Isn’t that thing done yet?”
Repeat in 10 minutes.
After an hour I was cranky and exhausted, and my back teeth were floating. And still the infernal rumblings continued.
Finally around 4:15 AM I couldn’t take it any longer. I got up, scurried outside into a spectacularly starry (and damn chilly) night in the silent peace of the country, and marked my territory with intense relief.
Just as I crept back into bed at 4:23, the goddamn backflush stopped.
Clearly its programming is more sophisticated than I realized: It must have a sensor under the bed to make sure the occupants are fully awake by the time the cycle ends, and it may even have some advanced technology to determine exactly when a human bladder reaches maximum capacity… after which it runs for another 10 minutes.
Needless to say, we’ll reprogram the system. One nocturnal shuttle launch was enough for me.
So does my swamp-shuttle experience make me an ass-tro-not?
Or only a space cadet?