Sugar-Free Syrup and the Columbus Day Flood

On Sunday morning, after the show, Chris had another “exciting” meal.


I was pleasantly surprised that, even though he qualified for the Yorton which was two weeks from this show (one week and a day from today), he still decided to eat two “fun” meals (chicken wings on Saturday and breakfast out on Sunday).  Chris still qualifies as a crazy diet-robot in my book though as, for this second “fun” meal, he still asked for sugar-free syrup and would not eat his potatoes.  Why even eat pancakes if you’ve going to sugar-free syrup them?  Gross. Things like this are why I scoff when he tells me excitedly that he’s going to order a giant McDonald’s combo meal when he’s done dieting.  Maybe he will order one but then he won’t eat the fries, will throw the bun away, and replace the ketchup with broccoli florets (or something similarly distorting of the generally implied meaning of “going to eat a McDonald’s large combo meal”).  Anyway… by Sunday afternoon, Chris was back in the contest prep diet swing and, in the American Airlines departure drop-off lane at Logan airport, after we said good-bye to Jeremy, Chris assembled and consumed his yogurt concoction.


Yep, giant cinnamon container had come on the trip with us too.

On Monday morning, still running on the adrenaline of qualifying for the Yorton show, Chris woke up early, grocery shopped, artistically organized his food, and sent me pictures.


We’ve got apples,


and lots of broccoli and beef bags and some almonds,


more giant cinnamons and Equal,


some eggs (those are my baby cheeses and jellos),


and many egg whites and a few large yogurt tubs arranged with almost creepy artistry.  That centerpiece egg white container contrasting with the curvyness of the yogurts?  That took thought.

So Monday was going well; Chris was relaxed and surfing the high of having qualified for the Yorton until all of a sudden, around 1 pm, the fire alarm in our apartment building blared.

I’ll pause here to mention why Chris and I were at home at 1 pm on a Monday: in Massachusetts, we get ALL holidays off work.  I have never in my life gotten Columbus Day off.  This is exciting.  I feel sorry for people who move from Massachusetts to the mid-west and realize with dismay that “Patriots Day” is not something the rest of the country actually observes.

So this Monday was Columbus Day and we were home “observing” it and I’d made some awesome jokes about how we should celebrate by dressing up as the Santa-Maria and the Pinta and walk along water-ways and discover things and I then learned the hard way that you should never make boat and water-way related jokes because then your fire alarm will go off and the sprinkler system in the hallway will be activated and not shut off for almost 25 minutes (!!!) causing the hallway to be several inches deep in water and some of this water will get in your apartment and you will know logically that you are not in a boat in the mid-Atlantic in the poor passengers’ quarters where the mean ship-worker has locked you below deck but, really, you saw Titanic A LOT in high school because you had a thing for Leonardo DiCaprio back then and it’s really hard to get the image of the water rising and rising and you drowning in your apartment out of your head.


Trying, in vain, to stop the rising waters from the hall sprinker

(I should mention, for those of you concerned, that there wasn’t any fire; a mover had hit the hall sprinkler with a couch.)

Once the sprinkler stopped down-pouring (it was definitely NOT “sprinkling”), the electricity went out.

All calmness left Chris.  It was almost time for him to eat.  And he needed a microwave.  And we no longer had electricity.  And, as the hallway looked like a disaster zone, it looked like electricity could be off for a while.  (In Titanic, if I remember correctly, once the electricity went off, the ship sank pretty quickly.  Would our apartment sink, forcing us to utter corny yet compelling love lines to each other while clinging to a one-person sized board?)

I believe Chris estimated at this point, in a panic, that, based on the circumstances, the electricity would probably be off for the next 5 days.  I told him this was unlikely, but understood that he was hungry and illogical and very worried about future food.  I had to go into work for a bit anyway (as professors even when we are “off work” we are of course not really “off work”) so Chris went in with me and microwaved.  When we got home, two hours later, there were six men in our apartment ripping up our soaked carpet, but, joy of joys, the electricity was back on.


This was the work order that maintenance filled out for our apartment that day.  It’s a bit hard to read but it says, “We came by for the following:” and the “other” box is checked and written in the blank is “flood.”  Nice.

That same day was also apparently the day that the city opens up all the fire hydrants causing water to gush all over the streets.  To prove I am not making this up, please see the following “Hydrant Flushing Notice.”  Water on the streets wasn’t a big deal but it caused our toilet water to turn brown and Chris swore our drinking water tasted contaminated.  Thus, on the day our apartment flooded, we went out and bought, what else, more water.  Water water everywhere…


That is a fully flushed toilet.  I was going to call maintenance about the toilet water color until the sprinkler thing happened and then, rusty brown toilet water just didn’t seem like a big deal anymore.

So life continues.  Chris is back on his diet plan, feeling good during his workouts but a bit hungry and tired during the day.  I can’t believe we’re about to get back into the “peak week” deal again.  Didn’t we just do this?


Yep, this happy man is ready to compete again.