2010 — The (second) great waterbed disaster

As described to Carol shortly after it had occurred:

Friday evening about three weeks ago, Christa is out shopping, Peter is out spectating at an indoor hockey game, David is upstairs drawing the bedroom curtains against the all-too-sudden onset of pitch blackness. Suddenly, what's this? Squelchy feet on the carpet? Cannot be! Yes, the relatively new (lasts a lot longer than the previous model, sir) waterbed mattress has decided after about five years to skip what you might term its Prime Directive, namely the dry containment of hydrated oxygen. So it was sodden towels and plastic buckets everywhere, all hands to the pump (a little fitment I can stick on the end of a power drill at some considerable risk of electrocution, I suspect, and thus lead the wet stuff towards the bath rather than the living room ceiling) and hope I can pump the stuff out faster than it can leak out of its own accord, making a nice pattern on the living room ceiling and threatening to visit the effects of the gravity you mentioned on, say, the plasma TV screen to name but one of the items that has been a recent bone of contention with our former insurance company. Christa returns, and pitches in. Peter returns, late, direct from Casualty, and sporting an eye patch covering the eye that was nearly pucked out of his head.

In vague order of importance: his eye seems to be fully recovered. The bedroom is completely redecorated. The carpet is removed. The bed is chopped up and discarded. The waterbed mattress is rolled up in an ignoble heap on the front lawn. New vinyl floor covering is measured up and on order. A new bed and conventional mattress are also on order from deepest Yorkestershire. Bank balance and credit cards are taking a pounding. I have discovered the operational limits of fuse on the plug of a 3KW fan heater plugged into a 240 volt 13 amp mains socket (you can do the math) for too long running on full whack trying to dry and therefore possibly salvage an uninsured carpet. Yes! If the damage had been caused by a burst water pipe, we would have been covered, but we have just changed insurers and we did not read the new policy contract closely enough to grok the full meaning of "accidental damage to contents cover" which, in our case, we 'ave not got, squire. And, to add the proverbial insult, we are both finding out the hard way how awful it can be sleeping downstairs on the terrible accommodation we have been blithely foisting upon various honoured guests from time to time.