(an ancient mariner)
Last week, while we were skiing, we got a call from the local fire department. They let us know that our sprinkler pipe had burst and was flooding our yard and pouring out into the street. So the fire department broke in and shut off our water, and turned off the gas to our hot water heater. Apparently the water was just starting to seep into our basement. That's not that nice of a call to receive while on vacation.
When we returned home Friday night after dropping the kids at their dad's for the weekend, we found that the basement was on the verge of flooding and that the water was, in fact, shut off. We couldn't just turn it back on, because then the ruptured pvc pipe (which went to the sprinklers we didn't use last summer) would pour water back into our yard, and our basement would definitely flood. We have these two holes in the basement that fill with water when the groundwater level is high. They are probably sump-pump holes, but because our house's previous owners did not seem to do anything correctly, there is no sump-pump installed. Anyway, one of these holes was about to overflow, and the other one was overflowing and the water was slowly seeping toward the carpet we had to replace when the basement flooded last spring. We sighed, rolled up our sleeves, and began frantically bailing out the gross holes. They instantly re-filled with water. So we did what any lesbians in this situation would do. We went to Home Depot.