Wednesday, June 25, 2008
So, by then it was about 4am and ‘The Brain’ and I were pulling bongs on the balcony, watching the rain pelt down and wondering what to do with ‘Scary Bob’s’ small fleet of expensive vehicles, both of which were permanently grounded by now.
Eventually we gave up and passed out on the couches, lulled to sleep by the dope and constant drumming of the rain…
I woke up first. My watch said 11-30am and my head was throbbing. ‘The Brain’ was still fast asleep on the adjacent couch, sawing logs like his life depended on it. Outside it was still pouring; I could hear the deluge through the open doors on the balcony. Deciding that a glass of water was in order I swung my legs off the couch and prepared to head off to the kitchen.
As I put my bare feet down, I noticed the carpet seemed to be wet to the touch, which certainly got my attention. I looked around the lounge room; the whole carpet appeared to be glistening. I rubbed my eyes and checked again. It was still glistening…and as I walked towards the balcony doors I noticed the nearer I got to them…the wetter the carpet became underfoot.
While we had been sleeping, the rain had apparently been so heavy it had pooled on the balcony then flowed over the sliding glass door rails and into the lounge room. The carpet was absolutely soaked; every step I took caused a puddle of water to form around my foot. This was not good.
I went over to give ‘The Brain’ the latest update from Catastrophe Central, wondering if this flood would be the straw that finally broke his camel-like back. To my surprise he took the news quite well, saying it had happened before, though not on quite so grand a scale. Apparently, all we had to do was dry the carpets out with a space-heater…
Now, for those readers unfamiliar with space-heaters, imagine an electric hair-dryer the size of a commercial jet-engine. Normally you would use one (1) to warm up your entire backyard for a mid-winter BBQ. These things simply suck cuntloads of cold air in at one end and blow superheated air out the other end…
Over at ‘BHC Ltd’ (‘Scary Bob’s’ building company) they had plenty of space-heaters; they needed them sometimes on construction sites to dry out rain-sodden earthworks, or to help cure concrete when the outside temperature was too low. So, we jumped in a taxi, went over to the BHC warehouse, grabbed one of the company utes and loaded it up with a space-heater.
‘Maybe we should get two,’ said ‘The Brain’.
So we did, taking them back to Lane Cove, hauling them into the lounge and setting them up at either end of the room. We plugged them in facing one another and stood back as they roared to life, the giant elements deep in their bowels glowing orange with electrically-resistant rage, while the built-in fans sent a blast of super-heated air barreling across the space between them.
Within minutes the temperature inside had become too warm for comfort, so we throttled the space-heaters down a notch or two, then went downstairs, where it was considerably cooler…and began what turned into a very long game of ‘Monopoly’.
If someone landed on ‘Free Parking’ they had to skull a nip of bourbon, going to jail meant a bong-hit…Mayfair with hotels was big rent and a punch in the arm. We started at about 2pm and at 6pm we decided to take a break and go check on the carpet-drying, so we trudged up the stairs to the lounge, the air temperature soaring with each upward step…excellent drying conditions.
As long as I live, I will never forget the scene at the top of the staircase…
The soggy carpets were dry. Bone dry. Tinderbox dry. And, being a high-quality wool pile, they had also shrunk nearly a foot away from the walls on all sides, pulling up floorboards as they receded to the centre of the room.
‘Holy fuck !!!’
‘You’re so fucked…’
We trod gingerly over the shrunken remains of the still-steaming carpet, pausing to note that the case of red wine ‘Scary Bob’ usually kept in the bar had popped every cork, the contents of the bottles now just a slow-moving ooze of reddish molasses which crept, glacier-like in a downwards direction, finally coming to rest on the turntable of the ‘Bang and Olufsen’ stereo.
‘Oh my god.’
‘You’re so, so, so fucked, Brain.’
Then there were the canaries, ‘Snap’s’ prize-winning pair of breeding canaries, resting peacefully (and now permanently) on the floor of their cage in a somewhat medium/well-done condition.
The tropical fish were nicely juxtaposed, ironically floating at the top of their tank, eyes wide-open in final disbelief at the sudden global-warming extinction event.
The large cherry wood china-hutch, a wedding present if I remember correctly, twisted and bowed by the contraction of its fibrous tissues, was so utterly warped that the glass window-panes in each of the doors had fallen out, smashing themselves to smithereens on the floor.
There was more…much, much more…but those were the highlights…and I’m sure you get the picture.
To be finished next time…