Who left this coffee thermos down here? No, I'm only joshing. That's your water heater, dear renter, and I'm proud to introduce you two. Water Heater, I bring you your new ward. Renter, I introduce you to what my ex-wife called Leak Bucket. For one contractual year, this Leak Bucket will be in charge of all your water needs and you'll be responsible for looking over it and caring for it as if it were your only child heir ill with wolf-bite fever.

Before you say a word let me answer a few questions you've probably got.

Yes, that noise is constant if the pilot light is lit. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking 'man, that sounds just like there's a rabbit drowning in there.' But you're wrong, buddy, I mean, if there were really a rabbit inside your water heater, it would have drowned already or in the very least been boiled alive, right? So, yes, it makes noise, and no, it has not been checked by a professional, and yes, it is really scary when the apartment is all dark and quiet and it sounds like some goon is using an aluminum bat against a skull in your basement, but no, don't ever worry that it's a rabbit. Because it's not. For certain. There are no rabbits in this basement. You have my guarantee.

Yes, that rusty water leaking across the basement is not ideal. But like a woman on her period or wounded horse, it is part of life. Nature. The rust shows that this miraculous water heater is truly alive. That you're alive. It's a comfort to know that everything is still working, right? I mean, if rust is like melted metal, then whatever comes pouring out of the side is pretty much extra metal the water heater doesn't need. It's become more efficient by rusting, really. Leaner. Stronger. So if you see rust water leaking from pipes, do not worry. And if you see rust water clogging your dish washer, do not worry. And if a thick, chunky stream of maroon rust water oozes from your shower faucet, do not worry, though I have been instructed to inform you to avoid such water from any eyes or sores you might have.

Yes, it smells like gas down here. It's an old house, so higher gas bills should be expected. Back when this piece was installed, heaters required a constant wood fire, but, we've updated it. Well, my ex-wife's father did most of the work and I sort of just handed him tools and beer. But look, see that gas line we piped in there? See that big-as-all-get-out flame? We did that. Pretty cool, right? And, even better, it works! Unless it gets drafty, then you better relight it before this basement fills up with enough fuel to ignite half the state.

But enough of the questions I imagined you asked, let's focus on how this water heater will change your life. This bad boy takes about fifteen hours of constant heat to warm up enough water for five minutes of a modern shower. I know, five minutes isn't a lot, but think of how much time you'll save not relaxing in the shower. You could sleep in with that extra time, you could learn another language, you could write a novel about a woman leaving her husband because of her rich jerk father. I don't know. The options are endless when you're able to start every day in a race against your heater's cold water.

And maybe water heater is the wrong word. Like, your internship isn't a fulltime job, so why should this water heater be a fulltime water heater. More of a mouse jacuzzi, A water holder, maybe. I mean, there will be moments of heat, moments of cold, but it's mostly always water. And that's perfect. Because we live in a country of opposites. Whites, blacks; abortioners and life lovers. It's the Land Of Freedom, right, Don't Tread On Me, and stuff. This water heater exists in that crazy balance between boil and freeze. Often the difference comes immediate, flicking back and forth back and forth forever. Do you have goose bumps or red blisters? That's for you to find out!

Anyway, everyone knows that the best moment of the shower is when the water heats up for the first time and splashes over your hair. Well, now you can enjoy that sensation time and time again between random bouts of freezing streams. It's like grabbing fifteen of the best shower moments and forcing them into a two minute adventure. Luxury!

Maybe I'll get a replacement soon, maybe I won't. I like to keep life interesting, you know? Keep you guessing. Like, whoa there, am I supposed to pay taxes for this property or did I tell the IRS your name? No. Just me joshing again. I won't be buying a new water heater for some time, not when the one here is so historical and really, really heavy.

– Ian "Salmon Season" Golding (@iggolding)

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