“ain’t no hobo like a train hobo”

Spending my teen years in South Eastern Minnesota, I gave quite a lot of thought to how I would fare as an Amish.

In this region of the country, we have widened roads for those living the simple life, and often sample their caramels and strawberries.  Sometimes, we even go to their houses to shriek uncontrollably/chase/catch the chickens that will later be butchered and delivered to our freezer.

Maybe that was just me?

Anyway–yesterday I got a little taste of what living The Simple Life is about–because we HAD NO HOT WATER.

Mr. A and me.
Mr. A and me.
another angle.

I’m not going to bore you with how NOT OKAY it was that we suddenly had no water, but I must tell you, I’m not surprised because:

1. Our apartment is slowly deteriorating into a sad mist.

2. It was -312 this week outside, because … Iowa, so the potential for frozen/burst pipes was sadly high.

3. I was filmed for local TV yesterday, so it made perfect sense that I would not be able to shower beforehand.

However, upon realizing that I would quickly be joining the pioneer life, I brainstormed a few ways to make lemonade of the situation.  As a pessimist, this did not go well:

1. Recruit volunteers to make a fire under myself, while I steam in a large cast iron pot.  They can add vegetables to this broth while I thaw, if a steamin’ bowl of Cait stew delights them.

2. Move to Guatemala.  Avoid the intestinal parasites, but appreciate a warm climate with more stable living arrangements.

3. Buy some overalls.

4.  Suggest (again) that Mr. A and I should become truckers.  I hear truck stop bathrooms are luxurious and never run out of water.  Plus, I am a stupendous driver and have a bit of experience with ham radio.

5. Declare to be adopting the hobo lifestyle.  Embrace new hobo name.  Personal recommendations and additional suggestions from Facebook folk include:

  • Hobo Ham
  • Alley Cait (3 votes)
  • Tuba (2 votes)
  • Boxcar Hamilton (3 votes)

While I was planning our alternative lifestyle, Mr. A was out … FIXING OUR PROBLEM.  Exhibit A (no pun intended) as to why he is my perfect mate.

And the good news is:  OUR HOT WATER IS BACK!  But, as usual, there is so much more madness to the story.

First, A went to the hardware store downstairs to ask them for help.  The hardware store suggested he talk to the lady who owns the business below us, so he went there.  Apparently this issue has happened before …

The brash business owner lady claimed she had a few box elder bugs, so she decided to set off a BUG BOMB.

This shows a lack of chromosome function for a few reasons:

1. It’s January and presently -783 with windchill.  Those resilient beasts will not be a problem for long.

2. Please SAY SOMETHING if you are planning on fumigating, since I would like my beloved pets to LIVE.

3. Seriously?  Box elders?  I am a bug FREAK (case in point) but I have named the box elder in our kitchen.  Bartholomew hangs out next to the dish soap and sometimes crawls up a wall, but he’s harmless and pretty good company.

As we return to A’s conversation with the business owner, she reveals that she did not want to explode the apartment with the force of her bombing (?!?!?!), so she shut off the propane tank and its exposed pilot light.

A had to then break the news to her that by turning off the propane in her business, she robbed us ALL of HEAT.

And, the best part of the story, she had NO IDEA she was paying for our heat.  Whoopsies!  (And, by the way, thanks brash, bug-bombing business owner lady!)

Since I am half my father, and therefore quite paranoid, I immediately assume she is going to regularly shut off the propane when she is not open for business (which is 70% of the time) to cut  down on what must be a monstrous bill.

And so, we arrive at the sad reality of potentially employing some of the previous suggestions, listed above.  However, if you have a better suggestion to keep me from re-enacting the Donner Party, please leave that below!


5 thoughts on ““ain’t no hobo like a train hobo”

  1. Sarah January 23, 2013 / 6:51 pm

    Well, if she does regularly shut off the propane,you can always threaten to send a bathtub of naked screaming apartment dweller through her ceiling during business hours. Just sayin’.

  2. Mom January 23, 2013 / 4:25 pm

    Unlike our neighbor, you cannot set up a burn barrel in the middle of your front room when they turn off your heat. ( His was from non-payment of bill.) It might also make a mess when it burns through the floor and falls into her business…
    Alas. Need your old electric heater?

    • domesticait January 23, 2013 / 4:26 pm

      can i use the electric heater in the bathtub?

      • Kathie Smith January 23, 2013 / 4:41 pm

        Once. You can use the heater in the bathtub…once.

        And jeez you embellish a lot. It was only -245 below zero over here in balmy britt 🙂

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