My first thought was, "Kathy is going to kill me. My wife is absolutely going to kill me."
And she actually may have if this story did not have a happy ending, but thankfully, we'll never know for sure.
You see, last Friday when I rolled out of bed about 9 a.m. -- I was working the night shift at The Herald-Whig later that day and had the luxury of sleeping in -- I discovered there was a major problem in our house.
I had ventured to the kitchen to get a glass of water, but when I turned on the faucet there was nothing. Not a drop of water came out. Nada. Nyet. Zilch.
I tried every faucet we have, then the shower and even tried to flush the toilets. Nothing.
What was wrong? I was near panic.
Then it dawned on me.
"I forgot to pay the water bill," I said out loud.
Moments later, I was calling the Department of Utilities. A very nice lady on the other end of the phone was trying not to laugh as I explained my dilemma.
"I'm almost 64 years old and never forgot to pay a bill in my life -- until now," I told her. "It's all my fault, and my wife is going to kill me if I can't get the water turned on. Can you please help me? Please?"
Once the laughing subsided, she told me to just come down and pay the bill and a city worker would come by early that afternoon and restore water to our humble abode.
"Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you," I said to the nice lady.
Then I discovered I had another problem, albeit a relatively minor one. I had not showered, shaved or anything requiring H2O.
Voila! I went to the refrigerator and grabbed three or four containers of bottled water. I used them to wash my face and brush my teeth.
I was simultaneously dumping the bottled water on myself while trying to maneuver a wash cloth. The brushing of teeth was much a much easier exercise.
I don't think I had ever left the house in the morning without having taken a shower -- until last Friday. I felt cruddy, but knew I needed to get to the Water Department in a hurry. So off I went.
When I got to City Hall, I talked to another very nice lady. I recreated my morning for her and apologized again.
She chuckled while listening to my story.
"Oh, don't worry about it, sir," she said. "You're about the 30th person to come in today with the same story. It happens to other people, too."
After I got back home, the phone rang. I looked at the number and knew it was my wife calling from work.
"How did she find out?" I said to myself.
After I answered the phone, the first words out of her mouth were telling me what a wonderful wife I had.
"Not sure where this going," I thought to myself.
How could she know? She had gotten up early, taken her shower, etc., before the water had been turned off.
Ironically, what she had called to tell me was she had pushed our oversized trash can to the curb when she had left for work that morning.
Apparently, I had forgotten to take out the garbage, too.