I awoke at 5 o’clock this morning to the sound of rain. Or was it melting snow? I kept listening and noticed that, whatever it was, it was falling in the most peculiar way: one fat drop at a time, over and over. Plunk. Plunk. Plunk.

It sounded close — so close, it could’ve been in my bedroom. I got up to look out the window and identify the source of this strange precipitation, and stepped in a massive puddle of cold water. Glancing up at the ceiling, I noticed a large orangey spot that hadn’t been there before. I inspected the bottom of my sock. It was also orange.

Rusty water was dripping through the ceiling, down the front of some bookshelves, and onto the top of my dresser, where, my housekeeping habits being what they are, there were piles of books and bills and broken pencils and empty chewing gum packs, and a glass block overflowing with pennies.

I wasn’t worried about the furniture. Everything in my apartment came from a thrift store or the side of the road, (before I became aware of the bedbug epidemic) was handed down by a friend, or is constructed from some sort of particle board laminated in a plastic-like substance that would probably withstand a nuclear blast. The dresser falls into the latter category. I bought it as a kit back in Gainesville.

I cleared the dresser and part of the bookshelves and put a bucket under the leak and some towels around the bucket. Then I called the landlord.

He attributed the leak to the upstairs neighbors’ radiator and said he’d “try to get to it later today.”

I wanted to say that that, seeing as how we in the Maud household didn’t have a working bedroom radiator ourselves (aside from a free-standing, plug-in one that a friend was getting rid of last year), or any heat to speak of, the least he could do was make sure no one else’s radiators worked, either. Then we wouldn’t have this problem.

Miraculously, the dripping had abated on its own by the time I left for work. And Mr. Maud, thanks to earplugs and a pillow over his head, had missed the whole thing.

Here at the office, shit of a completely different kind is raining down. But I won’t get into that.

Until I catch my breath, please read about this handy recipe. It yields several dozen of what my friend Reeves calls “preemptive hangover food, in cookie form.”


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