Being Phil Laak … The big picture is under water

A few years ago, I flooded six apartments by being a total space cadet.

It all started simple enough. I decided to take a bubble bath. Really Phil, a bubble bath? Is that really you? Well, no, actually it isn’t. In fact, my last one was over a decade ago. However, I had the urge, so that was that. All I need is a bathtub and some bubble bath soap. Right?!

Pirate Bubble BathNo, it turns out that a bubble bath is not as simple as it would seem. You need more than just a tub and some suds. You also need to remember to shut the tap off after you have enough water. That part is super important.  Failing that part can be costly.

I remember it like it was yesterday. As I plugged the drain, I took note. The water overflow drain would only work if the water rose slowly. A fast rise would be too much for it. Noted. And then (lol) proceeded to open jam both faucets. The faster the better.

Note to self, “Phil, don’t be space cadet and forget about this. That would be ugly.” I said it out loud to myself as I cranked them both open.

I went to my office (not sure why), but I do remember being slightly distracted by a book I had purchased a while ago. I wondered why I hadn’t started to read it.  I picked it up and read the first page. Oh yeah, now I remember why I got this book. It was good one. Anyway … some 20 pages later, I became thirsty.

As I walked to the kitchen for a glass of water I was horrified. Water was leaking from the bedroom out to the living room? What? Huh? What is going on here???!!

Uh yeah. The tub.

How could I be this out to lunch?

“Wow!” I thought as I opened the bedroom door. “That is a LOT of water!” And as I rounded the corner to the bathroom, I got what I suspected. Even more. Wow. I really built myself a supreme stupid hole!

So I will spare you the details, but the short story is this. A lot of water leaked down into the apartments below. A lot. The fellow right beneath me; his bathroom ceiling actually caved in. No one was hurt, but a lot of damage rolled in and the insurance only went so far.

It was the most expensive bubble bath ever. And I didn’t even get to take it!

You might think that is the end of the story. But it isn’t. It actually has a wacky ending.

Three years later (which is actually just this last week), I came home to discover water leaking into our apartment from above! Now I had water puddles, but they were from above. (Not from me.)

It turns out the tenant above us was not home and a pipe burst in his unit. Thank goodness that I was able to discover this before it got worse. Anyway, Panorama Towers can’t reach the renter, so they call the owner. They get him. He is on his way over. He opens the unit and they find the leak.

The next day, I planned on having the owner swing by to check out the damages to my place. The door bells rings. I open the door. Uh … Ummm …. Huh? This is not the guy from upstairs, this is David, the poor fella from three years ago! Turns out it is the same guy! He bought the second unit as a rental. Oh my! Life is stranger than fiction once again.

The whole thing felt like a strange union: Carl Jung meets Karma. But maybe not. The damages I took when he flooded me were very, very small relative to the damages I had done to him (and five others) three years prior. About a 70 to 1 ratio.

But then the story does yet another sideways turn. A week later, I cross paths with David. He asks how the poker was going. I replied very well. He was happy for me. He said something about how winning must be so awesome. I decided to explain how I was, in fact, not winning, but why I felt great anyway. I explained the “how am I playing” metric as opposed to the “how much am I up (or down)” metric.

I was stuck for the series. (Yup, even with six cashes I was still stuck!) I was playing well, and that was my litmus test.

He either understood, or pretended to understand. I am not sure.

As I made my way along, I couldn’t help but laugh. David prolly thought I was nuts! “A poker player who is only interested in the quality of his play, not if he is up or down?  No wonder the guy flooded six units that day! What a space cadet!” (He must have thought.)

There is an end to this story. I got my apartment back to normal in no time flat and in the last week of the series I got handsomely ahead. I basically went on a cash game tear after I busted the main and just super beasted it! Killed it! I closed out the series well in the black!

When you are flooding apartments or losing at poker, don’t lose sight of the big picture. Keep making the best decisions you can, keep your focus, and the apartments will do just fine, and the money will come. It is all going to work out. How?

One decision at a time. Even if you happen to blunder here and there, don’t sweat it. It is all good. Just focus on the process, not the result. Eventually your blunders will become just a memory, and the good decisions will get you that much further along on your ride.  : )

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August 2014