By KATE HUNTER
Nothing illuminates personality differences like a flooded rumpus room.
It happened to us last weekend when most Brisbane families faced some kind of storm damage.
All over the city, couples were rifling through drawers, looking for torches and shouting, ‘You KNEW those batteries were NOT to be used for the Wii controllers!’
Thousands spent the evenings playing Scrabble by the light of scented candles purchased at school mother’s day stalls.
My husband Jim always knows where the torches are. He keeps a stash of batteries in a locked, but readily accessible box. Sensory overload from lavender candles was the least of our problems.
At about 3pm on Sunday, our rumpus room began taking water. This wasn’t a complete surprise – when we bought the house last year, a building inspector told us the lower level was ‘ineffectively waterproofed.’ That was fine, we were able to negotiate a little on the price.
Anyway, it’s a good old-fashioned rumpus room – unfashionable terracotta tiles, a ping pong table, a cupboard packed with dress-ups, sleeping bags and Barbie dolls in various states of undress. Nothing of value, nothing that can’t be moved upstairs in a matter of minutes.
There had been regular rain and a couple of decent storms before last weekend. Not a drop had threatened the rumpus room. Perhaps the building inspector had been over-cautious?
But last weekend, it was a scene from Titanic. Water seeped in from all directions, and within an hour we were sloshing about in ankle deep water, forming a human chain to move the sleeping bags and Barbies to higher ground.
My sister selfishly ignored our pleas to borrow her wet/dry vacuum, saying her rumpus room was even dodgier than ours, but thankfully our friend Luke came to the rescue. Luke thrives in a crisis, and he even has hi-vis clothing and owns an enormous wet/dry vac he is more than happy to share. Together with Jim they did clever things with silicone and aluminium foil (craft?) and stemmed the inflow.
Once the water was gone, Jim and I had to decide what to do. And never had it been clearer how different we are as people.