How many of you have a friend whose relationship with you is much like Lucy and Ethel...or Laverne and Shirley? My friend, Rae, Sew What-A Tale of Tape and I have such a friendship. Rae lives at Buckeye Lake part of the year and in Clearwater Beach, FL most of the year. This incident happened many years ago when she FIRST moved to Buckeye Lake.
Rae informed me that she had bought a new bed and needed help emptying the water from her waterbed that was on the second floor of her cottage. It was a spring day...kind of like what we are having in Ohio right now...reluctant to arrive and cold and windy...but sunny. Of course, I was glad to help. How difficult would that be....attach a hose to the waterbed and drain the water out of the window.
The first obstacle was the window....it was painted shut. So we had to find a longer hose that would reach the only window that we could open...which was down the hall and through the other bedroom. While I was searching the shed for a longer hose, Rae was searching for the attachment for the hose to hook on to the waterbed. The only hose I could find was curled up in the corner looking as if it had not been used in years. It had to be 100 feet...two hoses rusted together. I couldn't budge the connection so I dragged it into the cottage...grumbling about how anyone could leave a hose together...growl, growl, growl...I guess I should have been glad that the previous owner had left it.
I was really impressed that Rae had found the attachment...things were looking good...so what if the hose was too long. We got it attached and poked it out the window. Of course, we had to put plastic garbage bags on the floor because the hose was so dirty from spending its time in the shed. What do we do next? The water wasn't moving?
"Maybe we have to syphon it to get it started?" was my bright idea.
"How the hell do we do that?" was Rae's reply. Things were getting a bit testy because the hose (probably angry that I woke it from its peaceful hibernation) was not cooperating...kept unrolling...avoiding the plastic bags... and getting dirt on the floor and the bed spread in the other room.
"Did you have a pump come with the water bed?" I knew the answer before I asked...and the look on her face reinforced that. If there was a pump...she had no idea where it was.
"One of us could suck the end of the hose and get it started," was Rae's suggestion. But before she volunteered me to do that she realized that the hose was not air tight. Oh no!! It must be leaking!
We rushed to the waterbed and found that the hose was leaking in a number of places. Black oily water was dripping onto the plastic bags and rolling onto the carpet. Colorful words sprang from Rae's mouth....well, mine too. Franticly, we unscrewed the hose...slopping more water onto the floor, but at least stopped the flow. Turned out, the hose was so old it had rotted out. We needed to get it out of the window before it leaked anymore goo. It is really difficult to maneuver such a long hose after it had spent years wound up...but I did manage to throw it out the window. Rae had put the cap back on the bed. What to do next?
I hate to admit this...but the next idea was mine. There was that nagging thought....attempting to get through...but I discarded it. Time was running short...her new bed was being delivered soon...and we had to drain the waterbed.
"Why don't we just roll the bladder down the stairs?" I said. "We could then roll it out of the living room into the kitchen and out the back door."
I don't know why Rae did not question that idea....but at the time we both wondered...Wow! how come we had not thought of that in the first place! The stairs were the divided kind....go down about eight steps with a wrought iron railing...a small landing...turn and then about four steps that opened into the living room. We even thought about moving some of the furniture so that we would be able to roll the bladder easier.
(Note: The mattress size measures 60x.80 inches and is 9 inches deep holding approximately 187 gallons of water...weighing over 1000 pounds) For some reason, we did not consider this a problem.
It was with much sweat and more colorful words that we got the bladder out of the bed. We were both a lot younger and stronger then. We got on one side and rolled it just enough to step inside the bed and kept rolling the bladder with our legs and arms. Finally it landed on the floor. The rest was easy...well, squeezing it through the door took some effort, but we just kept kicking it through.
I went to the landing on the stairs to help "guide' the bladder down the steps. Rae was at the top and gave it one last shove. This once slow moving bladder, with a burst of energy found the shortest distance to the floor of the living room. (Suddenly I remembered the theory of gravity...or is it law of gravity!) The mattress pushed me into the corner of the landing, rolled over the railing, breaking it from the wall....bounced on the chair...and knocked over the lamp. (one of Rae's favorites....specially crafted from Utah with ancient petroglyphs on it)...breaking lamp...cutting into the bladder and creating small geysers with one big 'Old Faithful' spouting and spraying water all over the living room.
It's one of those times that happen so fast there is no time to react to the danger until afterward. Even though the bladder was quickly losing water it was still too heavy to drag into the kitchen. More colorful language...and then my urge to laugh...knowing it was not the right time...but it came. Rae saw no humor. We continued working...me giggling and Rae growling...rolling the edges of the bladder and finally dragged it through the door and out the kitchen to the back yard.
The rest of the day was spent cleaning and repairing. The lamp was lost...shards of pottery everywhere...it found its home with the bladder, out the back door. The old bed was taken apart making room for the new one that was delivered much later than the time given. At the end of the day one of her neighbors stopped by wondering what was in the back yard.
"It's a long story," said Rae. "It is embarrassing. Who would think that two people, both having two degrees, both advisors to the Future Problem Solvers, most would consider us fairly intelligent...but...well, there is no explanation."