Come hell freezing over or high water

Finished the day’s writing about 1:30 and headed to the gym. It’s seven degrees with a wind chill and all that but I’m tough, you know? Get there, feeling good, pumping iron (still no running because of the sprained ankle, but I’m killing those weights) and suddenly, blare blare blare, strobe strobe strobe, young persons in McBurney Y shirts striding everywhere shouting, “Exit the building! Exit the building!” Exit the BUILDING? In our gatkes? Which is Yiddish for underwear, very little more than which most of us are wearing. Blare blare, strobe strobe. They’re pulling people out of the pool. Those folks will turn into blocks of ice if they have to go outside. Are we on fire?

No, next worst thing. The gym’s on two floors, the ground floor and the basement. By the time we’d all piled upstairs to the ground floor they said we could stay inside at the entry area — where we watched from behind the glass as a huge burst water pipe in the double height ceiling inundated the lounge below. I mean, folks, this was a geyser. The blare blare strobe strobe and the spewing and the flooding went on for about ten minutes. The FDNY came and walked around; the Y staff opened the doors to the pool and tried to sweep the water from the floor into the pool drains before it flooded the basketball court, which would have meant replacing that floor. They succeeded, too.

What was it that happened? The damn pipe actually froze and burst. This is a big main, I mean six inches. So you see, it really is cold here in NYC. I wonder how long it’ll be before the residential building upstairs has water…

Finally they let us down in small groups to wade through the water to get our stuff from the locker rooms and exit through the emergency stairs. So much for my workout. But hell, as long as your heart gets pounding, one way or another, right?

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