My Apollo 13 Moment

13 Oct

No one ever expects an accident. Subconsciously, you know the risk, but you’re never prepared correctly. I certainly wasn’t when I heard the call. My dad had accidentally punctured a plastic pipe carrying water while laying some insulation. I came to the rescue, with nothing but my wits and a roll of duct tape.

However, just as I arrived on the scene, he left to call the plumber. I was on my own. There were no more instructions. It was just me, whatever I could scrounge from our basement, and a quickly leaking pipe. Working hastily, I cut up a plastic bag and held over the leak, taping it down at the edges. I became frustrated as the water seeped out the seams. I looked down at the rapidly expanding puddle at my feet, and the gravity of the situation hit me like a freight train.

The water kept coming, taunting me with its incessant drip-drip-drip. I needed a solution, or I’d be condemned to an eternity in the cold, empty void of the crawl space with all the plumbing in it. I looked up at the pipe, down at the pool, and deep into my soul. This ended now.

Like most ideas, it came to me in an instant, its origins a mystery. Remembering how little time I had left, I tore off the plastic and duct tape and bolted up the stairs. Without stopping to breathe, I headed for the pantry. I scrounged through every drawer until I came upon the necessary tool: Razzles. I popped three into my mouth and chewed them into a sticky goo. I leapt back down to the crawl space and went back to work.

Contorting myself once again under the pipe, the water lapped at my ankles, constantly reminding me how much of a lead it had gotten. In one fell swoop I laid the Razzles over the hole and saw the water stop. The leak was plugged. I was going to see my family again. I was going home.

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