December 25, 2002

My Christmas had the most miserable beginning of any Christmas in my life.

I got home from midnight mass at about 1:30. (I know, I know, I’m Jewish—but I have a job singing in a church choir. I figure it’s my duty to my people to take the goyim for as much as I can.) I decided to give myself a nice Christmas present by setting up my punching bag. This particular kind of punching bag, rather than hanging from the ceiling, stands on the floor, resting on a very heavy base. The base is very heavy because it is filled with water or sand. So setting up the punching bag really just required filling the base with water.

You can already see where this is going, can’t you?

Earlier in the day I had bought 30 feet of hose from the local hardware store. It was a tough call—buy the narrow hose and risk its not fitting over the faucet, or buy the wide hose and risk its not fitting into the base? In the end I went with the wide hose, which was the right choice, as it just fit into the base, and the narrow hose would most definitely not have fit over the faucet.

So at about 2:00 this morning, I attached the hose to the faucet, shoved it into the base (my experience shoving wide tube-shaped objects into tight holes stood me in good stead here) and turned the water on. I couldn’t find the instructions, but I figured, how hard can this be?

All was well for several minutes as water entered the base of the punching bag, splashing mellifluously. Every so often I turned off the water and checked to see if the base was full, but it wasn’t. So eventually there was no more splashing sound, and I waited a while (because water still seemed to be going into the base) and then figured it was time to take the hose out.

This was a terrible, terrible mistake.

Within seconds, my walls were covered with water, a bulb from my lamp had burst, my notebooks were sopping wet, and my brother and his houseguest had run out of towels to mop things up.

Because of course, the water had been going into the base and creating intense water pressure, because there wasn’t any room for it but the faucet was still forcing the water forward.

Eventually, I was able to dry almost everything out and finally made it to bed at around 4:00. The only casualties seem to be the lampshade (irreparably stained) and my computer, which now refuses to type the last letter of the alphabet. This wouldn’t really be so much of a problem, since it’s not a particularly common letter, but the concentration camp I am writing a musical about is spelled using that letter and so I am at a loss.

Speaking of this musical, I am going back to Prague tomorrow to do more research; I’ll be back on New Year’s Eve. In my absence, a good friend of mine will be guest blogging. According to the latest report, he will be identifying himself as Milksop. He doesn’t have a blog, but he has become a devoté of this one and I suspect he will do a wonderful job.

At the very least I bet his computer will type the last letter of the alphabet.

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