In London, still not that London
What is there about thirty thousand feet that incubates snakes? Is it the thin atmosphere, the endlessly recycled and increasingly rebreathed air, the painful lack of leg room? Maybe it is just sitting in a seat that is 30% too small for you with nothing under you but six miles of air.
Whatever. This is when the snakes attack. The brain snakes.
Thirty thousand feet in the air, no cell phone service, no internet and absolutely no ability to do anything about anything.
This, naturally, was when my one functioning synapse worked through the brief algorithm that explained to me the consequences of my actions:
- With freezing weather forecast I drained the water lines in my boat.
- I drained the water lines.
- Did I turn off the water heater?
- DID I TURN OFF THE WATER HEATER?
"CONNIE, WE FORGOT TO SHUT OFF THE WATERHEATER!!"
My snake has just infected a whole new brain - that of the Budget Committee. Notice my clever use of "WE" in the statement. This is not me trying to blameshare. The snake made me do it.
Now the brain snakes are unchained and paired. New snakes are created at the speed of thought:
"What if the water heater is destroyed?"
"What if the boat burned down?"
"What if all the neighbouring boats in the marina caught fire?"
"Does our insurance cover this?"
"How much insurance do we have?"
"My God are we bankrupt".
Rational thought is the only serum for brain snake infection. We apply some from our meager stores.
I try first: "Don't worry. When we land we will call the marina manager and get him to shut off the power to the boat. That way at least the boat won't burn down."
The salve of rationality is a balm. We have a plan. All we need is to get to Atlanta, deplane and make the call.
Amazingly we achieve all of this. In the airport lounge we dig out the marina phone number. Luck is with us. The manager is not only at work but he has a sense of humour. He can see our boat from his office and assures us all is well. He agrees to shut off the hydro (what Canadians call electricity). We are relaxed.
Armageddon averted. An entire nest of brain snakes has been put to death.
We board the plane to Detroit.
Thirty thousand feet in the air. Overworked, saccharine stewardi continue their desultory attempt to hand out free half glasses of warm diet Coke and wrapped packages containing two or three peanuts.
My synapse which requires use of both of my functioning brain cells and which has been worn raw by errant and uncontrolled snakes running rampant, reboots. It runs a new algorithm.
- we turned off the hydro to the boat
- we left the fridge turned on
- WE LEFT THE FRIDGE ON
"CONNIE, WE LEFT THE FRIDGE ON BUT WE TURNED THE HYDRO OFF"
post script: Our batteries did not die as a result of our leaving the fridge running with no external source of power. They might have but for the kind intervention of our understanding friends Peter and Jane Bugg of Kissimmee. This pair of compassionate individuals drove an hour from Kissimmee to Melbourne on our behalf where, using a key which I overnight couriered to them at immense expense, they entered our boat, turned off the circuit breaker to the water heater and re established power to our beloved Meredith.
God Bless Peter & Jane. They did not even make fun of us. Not so we could hear them anyway.