Among other new and different charges that we now are getting used to is the appearance in our mailbox each month of a bill from United Water. In Montreal, water was included in our taxes. By the way, we paid almost one quarter the amount of property tax in Cote St. Luc than what we pay here.
Nina has taken over the role of bill payer in our family and she was quite surprised one Motzei Shabbat upon opening the bill from United Water when she saw that our monthly bill was $595. She remembered, quite emphatically, that in the past our bills were usually around $45.00. Rather than disturb her hubby with this obviously annoying mistake she decided to wait until Monday and call the water company. As she had planned, Monday afternoon she put in her call to United Water. They told her that her bill was definitely not a mistake. She asked if Niagara Falls had been moved to Bergenfield. The very pleasant agent suggested to her that she check all of the bathrooms around the house because “he is sure that we must have a running toilet.” He then explained to her that what must be done is to pour something dark such as coffee or cola into the tank on top of each toilet. After 20 minutes if a toilet is running the water will become as brown as the liquid that you poured into it.
Lo and behold no brown water anywhere. When Nina called back and explained that there definitely was not a running toilet she was asked if we had a running hose outside in the garden. She was quite sure not but waited until the more accomplished member of the family in determining things about hoses arrived. She asked him to look outside and of course the hose was not running. Then suddenly his face turned pale as he noticed what looked like a glacier in the backyard. A mountain of ice—where was it coming from?
We called a friend who has done wonders in helping us with keeping our house in order and asked him to take a look at our backyard. Lo and behold underneath our deck, which has absolutely no crawl space for a human being to get into, was a faucet that had been turned on. We never had a clue that there was a faucet there. Nina reluctantly called United Water back and told them of our find and the lady immediately told her how this misfortune had taken place and that it was a common occurrence. The faucet had been turned on by a raccoon. She continued to explain that they have hands and in great detail explained how they do this amazing feat. The question quickly became who should be responsible for the bill? By the time the conversation was over she informed Nina that the total was now up to $1295. Which bank do we think that the raccoon stores his finances in? Who should we go after?
Last week we wrote of the turkeys and various other sightings in the community. Has this entire community been given over to the world of animals? The lady at United Water suggested that we get an exterminator to catch the raccoons. Who is going to take them out of their traps and for what purpose? Does she think that we can get the money back from them?
As we were getting used to the fact that this ridiculous tale actually happened to us we began to enjoy the feeling of the beautiful weather that we are encountering. Sunday was spent in the garden, sprucing it up. Nina got the entrepreneurial idea to put several old tires from our former car in the front of our driveway with a sign saying that they are for sale.
We were excited when one man actually stopped, but he found that they were not the right size for his car. Several minutes later, as we stepped into the house for a few minutes, another man stopped as well. (We are assuming that it was a man.) The individual wasn’t concerned about the size of the tires. He just picked them up together with the sale sign and picture frame that it was attached to and drove off. Another type of animal living in our area that gives us the feeling that the furry type might be less ominous.
By Rabbi Mordechai and Nina Glick