Friday, July 1, 2011

Our Thin Veneer

The news broke around 11:30 this morning that an order had been issued to boil our water at least until 5 p.m. tomorrow due to a water main break. Suddenly, our water was good enough to wash and clean with but not good enough to drink - unless you boil it.

Boil it? You mean like for pasta or corn on the cob only drink it? Maybe in Olathe or Lenexa but not in my town, not in Leawood. Not a chance! After all, Costco is only 5 minutes from my house.

The first chilling tendrils of panic seeped into my brain as I calculated that there was no better than a 97% chance that the case of water we already had would last for the remaining 29 hours of the boil order. The dogs gave me a look their wolverine ancestors would have loved, convincing me that once they had a taste of Ozarka, they'd demand that my wife and I split the case with them.

The Costco parking lot was jammed, people streaming in as if fifty gallon tubs of Miracle Whip had been marked down for clearance. Inside, people jockeyed for position, using their smartphone GPS apps to calculate the best route to the bottled water at the back of the store.

Rules of the road went out the window as a convoy of geriatric water hogs wielded their canes like jousting lances, leaving kidney-punched baby boomers gasping in the aisles.

I sideswiped a Cub Scout troop packed into a Pinewood Derby SUV, cut off a Mothers-Day-Out minivan and rear ended a Hell's Angel on a Harley sending him pinwheeling through the air and into a pallet loaded with 100-bushel bags of Honey Nut Cheerios.

But I made it! And not an instant too soon. In seconds, I was surrounded by demonic hordes swarming around me like beetles escaping a rotting sarcophagus in a remake of The Mummy.

After hoisting enough cases of water into my cart to replicate my double hernia, I barreled through the self-service checkout, blew past the woman waiting to check my receipt at the door and didn't stop until I was back in the safety of my cul-de-sac.

That's when it hit me! Holy crap, I forgot the ice! Well, at least we still had cable.

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