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The Sinking of the Suburban Titanic©

Drip. Drip. Drip. I heard the dripping in my sleep. It wasn’t the light drip of a faucet leaking in a sink. It was the hard, splashy drip of water hitting the floor from somewhere high up above. Driiiiipppppp.

Drip. Drip. Drip.

I heard the dripping in my sleep.

It wasn’t the light drip of a faucet leaking in a sink. It was the hard, splashy drip of water hitting the floor from somewhere high up above.


Fully awake now, I listened, and then got a sinking feeling. After two days of steady downpours, I knew that somewhere, somehow, the water outside had made its way in. I bolted out of bed and into the kids’ bathroom from where the dripping sound was emanating, hit the wet floor at top speed, and wiped out with a splat and a thud.

As I looked up from my prone position in the puddle, an intermittent stream of water funneled down from the rim of the skylight, onto my face.

“Arrrgghhhh,” I yelled like a pirate whose ship was taking on water. My groans alerted the dog who came running in to save me. He peered tentatively around the door, then came in and took a drink from the puddle.

“Thanks. That’s a big help,” I glared at him. I got up, waddled over to the linen closet in my wet pajamas, and grabbed an armful of towels and a bucket. I soaked up the water with the towels, strategically placed the bucket to catch the rainfall, then went down to the basement with the wet towels and… stepped into three inches of water.

“ARRRGGHHH!” I yelled like a pirate whose ship was now sinking into the abyss.

I decided it was time to abandon ship.

Outside, the rain was still coming down at a steady clip. So steady, in fact, that it had topped off the pool which was now overflowing into the backyard. Sleuth that I am, I figured this was probably the reason the basement was flooded.

Hmmm. Water dripping from the skylight. Water in the basement. Water overflowing from the pool. What do these things have in common?

Exactly! My husband was out of town.

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“Why is it that things always go wrong in the house when you’re away,” I asked him over the phone.

“I plan it that way,” he said.

The good news was the kids were still off at sleepaway camp so I didn’t have to deal with them while I sorted out the mess. The bad news was I had no excuses for being too preoccupied with the kids to sort out the mess.

With my husband gone for three days, I realized it was up to me, Supermom, to once again right all that was wrong (and wet) in my little corner of suburbia.

First I called the roofers, and got a very nice message that they were on vacation for four days.

Then I called the pool company, and got a very nice message that they, too, were on vacation for four days.

So then I called my travel agent and booked a vacation for four days. I figured if no one else was around to come fix my house, then I didn’t want to be here either.

Unfortunately my dog sitter was also on vacation, so I had to stay and make sure the dog had enough food and water to drink. Of course, I could have just put his water bowl under the skylight, but that didn’t occur to me at the time.

Eventually, the rain ended, so the roof stopped leaking, the pool stopped overflowing, and the basement stopped flooding.

All this happened just in time for my husband to come home.

“Hey, everything looks okay here,” he said as he walked in the door and gave the place the once over.

“Sure. The sun’s out now,” I said petulantly. “Everything is peachy.”

“Yeah, it’s beautiful outside! Want to go for a swim?”

©2008, Beckerman. All rights reserved. For more Lost in Suburbia, visit Tracy Beckerman at, and check out her hilarious new book “Rebel without a Minivan” at Amazon and



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