Tuesday, September 08, 2009

An imaginary shower

What would you do?

It's quite early in the morning and you're just about to step into the shower and are hanging around half naked, when you hear the telephone ring.

"Hello," you answer.

No one says anything, but there's clearly someone on the line. This is not atypical so you answer again, just a little bit louder.

The line crackles and a man's voice says: "How are you ma'am?"

The greeting exchange that happens before introductions has long ago ceased to amaze you, so you just go along with it.

"Good. How are you?" you say.

It might just be you, but you think you detect a slight sound that could signify confusion and you remember that you should have of course replied with fine instead of good. You groan a little to yourself. This could take a while now.

"Fine, how are you?" the voice replies.

"Good, and you?" you decide to cut the loop short the next time around.

"Fine... How are you? The man answers once again.

You decide to stop beating around the bush. "Who is this?" you enquire, in what you hope is a pleasant tone, because you don't want the person to think that you weren't being polite back.

"Hullo, ma'am," the voice replies.

You wait for the rest of the sentence. It doesn't seem to be coming. There is audible breathing at the other end.

"Yes?" you prod.

"This is the security.... At the gate, ma'am," the man finally explains.

"Yes?" you prod again.

"The security ma'am," the man repeats, and you begin to think that either the man on the other end is being held at gunpoint and your number was the first on speed dial, or that you have really thrown off this poor man's mojo by daring to reply with good instead of fine.

"Yes? What is it?" you try with a more direct approach.

"Ma'am the municipality," you are explained. Yet you continue to be befuddled. In fact, you are standing naked in your bedroom and the municipality wants to stop by? You start looking around for something to throw on. Where in the hell is that second-skin-of-yours bathrobe anyways?

"Who?" You reply. Perhaps a tad too loudly.

"Ma'am the municipality. The water. You have no water," the voice lays it out.

You look into the bathroom where steam is starting to form because the water heater has kicked in and the water streaming freely from the shower head is hot. You are reminded of the time in Mexico when the doorman called you up one afternoon and asked whether you had a fuga and you misunderstood and thought he meant a fire when he was actually talking about the leak you'd had for several days and were waiting for a plumber to come and fix and the doorman sent the plumber packing because you denied having a fuga.

You decide to play your cards right this time.

"I don't have water?" you throw out.

"Ma'am. The municipality is here to fix." the voice says, and perhaps there is a little note of exasperation.

"Why are they here? What stand are you trying to call?" you decide to get to the bottom of this. It is the municipality after all, and those boys are hard, hard to get to come out when you need them.

"I let them through, ma'am?" the guard ignores your questions and enquires instead.

"No, wait! We have water. Who is there again?" you ask, since you remember the horror stories about someone letting in the wrong people. You are, after all, almost certain that you do have water.

"The mu-ni-ci-pa-li-ty," answers the man. Great. Now he thinks you're challenged. And the guards already feel that based on the times you've near-missed the fingerprinting station, or had to get out of the car to get in, because you were far too far from it. You know they laugh at you behind your back. Just a little.

"Please. I don't know anything about this. Who asked for them to come?" you stall, although you know the guard is clearly just waiting for a yes or no, and won't be asking any more questions from whoever's trying to get in.

"So I don't let them in?" the man replies.

"No," you finally say.

And then you get in the shower and begin to live in fear that you've greatly pissed off the water department of the municipality.

Maybe you really don't have water?

17 comments:

omchelsea said...

The water was imaginary??? That's too funny. You just made me choke laughing and now my pug thinks I'm dying and she's sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor emoting "Good pug! Feed the good pug!" because there could be nothing more traumatic than your beloved owner dying BEFORE doggie dinner-time. Ye gods. Get me a coffee. With alcohol in it.

Tay said...

Trust the JHB municipality to only show up when there is absolutely no problem, but when you have no water/electricity/wine they turn a blind eye.

CrazyCris said...

Hmmm... I think I prefer your imaginary water to my truly non-existent water when I got up yesterday! Lasted all morning, to be followed in the afternoon by muddy red water for several hours... :s

Two Flights Down said...

This reminds me of the time the NHK guy showed up at my door. I was running a fever and my Japanese (I'm in Japan) isn't so, uh, fluent. I should have told him I had buta influenza (pig flu). It would have scared him off.

Sarah Lulu said...

Oh dear I think I've now laughed too much to go to sleep and it's night here and bedtime ...ahahaha .... *wiping eyes* ...

I may need a shower to calm down.

iasa said...

Maybe security was just angling for an invitation to come have a shower with you.

Optimistic Pessimist said...

Where was the municipality when the internet was down? Clearly the internet is far more important than water. At least you can imagine water. You can't fake the internet.

Cyndy said...

My imagination is reeling with the scenes and music of Psycho running through my head. No one was named Mr. Bates, I hope!

Oh, you should have let them come and see the water. I am sure they would have found some way to mess it up ~ or to get some on your computer and really create a global crisis!

Suggest you go back to the days of hanging out in robe and skipping the showers. Much safer...

Steven Anthony said...

I find it best to use my imaginary lavender soap for those imaginary showers....funny post:)

ps. did u ever find out why they were there?

Eidothia said...

Something must be wrong wid my sense of humor. Cos I dint find this post funny. Infact I found it eerie and hoped that you dint let them in, in the end.

Alexsandria said...

The guard sounds like the challenged one, not you. I'd be afraid to know that such a dunce was guarding my home.

armyblond said...

hahah ... you think ... therefore there IS water!

histreasure said...

pertinent question..'Who asked for them to come?'
tho i could totally understand why you would've thought that your brain had gone all mush and the water was imagined...what with all the wine, coffee, more wine and then some more coffee.

kristine said...

you pissed off the municipality. O.M.G. Bad move, girlfriend.

Amanda West said...

LOL. That started sounding really creepy there at the end.

Ekanthapadhikan said...

That's the funniest I've read in a while. Lol!!!

By the way, did you find out why the municipality guys were there?

TitansFan said...

It's always a chore to talk to people when the language barrier is set up. I remember trying to talk to the technicians setting up my Bathroom Steam. Why did my wife hire those guys? We could have saved at least an hour if they spoke proper English. Oh well, It's finished now.