Nosey Neighbor

Posted October 15, 2010 by jimhigley

My new neighbor, Randy, is really nosey. Good thing.

Last week, I woke up to a extremely busy day. I also woke up to a house that was so cold, ice crystals were starting to form in the water that had been puddling in my kitchen sink.

I figured it was time to stop fighting the fact that summer was officially over. I needed to crank up the furnace. So, before I ran out the door to a bunch of appointments, I flipped the thermostat into “HEAT” mode, waited a few minutes for the furnace to kick in. I could feel the warm breeze of air coming through the registers and started to imagine what it would be like to come back to a warm, tropical house.

And, off I went.

About an hour later, sitting in my doctor’s office, I heard a “bing” from my IPhone alerting me I had a new email. So I opened it up. It was from my next door neighbor, Randy. And the subject said, “Furnace?”

I don’t know about you, but I found that just a tad bit freaky. How did he know? What else does he know? Were my blinds closed last night?

Randy’s email, to paraphrase, went something like this:

“Jim, by chance did you turn on your furnace? The neighborhood is now overpowered by the smell of natural gas. I remember this happening last year, with the former owners, and the fire department ended up coming out to avert an explosion. If my recollection is correct, you have a couple of burners that don’t work and you are currently dumping toxic levels of gas into your home and our neighborhood. Please call. Have a nice day. Randy.”

Okay, it wasn’t written exactly like that. But that’s what I understood him to be saying. So I screwed the balance of my doctor’s appointment and made a dash home to what I was sure would be a street full of fire trucks, EMT, ambulances, helicopters overhead and the evening news. This was not going to be a good day.

The only thing I came home to was the other neighbor mowing their yard. I did contemplate diving on top of him telling him to take cover because I feared the combination of his mower and my gas leak might blow the entire neighborhood up. But I restrained myself.

I walked into the house. I have absolutely zero sense of smell. So I had no idea what was circling around me. But I trusted Randy. Both dogs were still alive. No alarms were sounding. So, I disarmed the thermostat – kind of like a hand grenade scene – and shut down the monster in the basement breathing gas into my world. And in an instant it died. The dragon had been slayed.

Who says nosey neighbors are a bad thing?

  • Eric

    If this happened to me.. I'd just pass out more blankets and make everyone wear more socks..

  • Jim Higley is the Bobblehead Dad – writer, speaker, life observer and cancer thriver. His favorite role, however, is being "Dad" to his three kids.

    I like the way you think, Eric! Would you mind talking to my kids!

  • PeriAnne Huggins Olson

    Joking aside, for real…..you don't go back in to a house that has a natural gas leak. You do call the gas company. Our town had one house literally blow up last year. In another instance, family friends did not wake up…all air lifted to Mayo. They all survived luckily. Don't put yourself in jeopardy, it is a real danger….I'm just sayin' :-)