My family and I live in a college town.  More specifically, we live in the midst of a neighborhood with far more students than non-students.  And as you might guess, Friday nights, Saturday nights, and other random nights are less than quiet.  So I am quite used to being woken up at all hours of the night to young men and women screaming at random people or objects about random things.\

On Sunday night, it was a bit surreal.  I wake up at 12:30 am to what sounds like someone standing right outside my bedroom window.  Sure enough, there is a large white van parked in our driveway and two men, one in his 60’s, the other about my age talking.  So, I get dressed, go outside and ask, “What are you guys doing in my driveway?”

The older guy with the Ithaca Fire Department t-shirt on begins by asking “Who are you?”  I tell them I live here and would like to know why they are on my property and have woken me up.

“We’re trying to save your life.  There is a natural gas leak, we have shut off the main and called NYSEG (New York State Electric & Gas), and we were going to be waking you up in a minute anyway.”

I’m not sure if the night shift was this guys normal time to be working, but he clearly didn’t seem any happier than I did to be up after midnight.

At that point he asks, “Do you live upstairs or downstairs?”

“I own this house.  My family & I are the only ones who live here.”

That seemed to confuse him.  “What is your name?”

“Bob Wilson.”

“Well I spoke to the owner of this property and he said the maintenance man’s name was Jim.”

Now, as much as I would love my own maintenance man, sadly I don’t have one.

When I told him “I am the owner and I live here,” he asked a question that I would have assumed he could have checked before the whole night began, “is this 401?”

I enjoyed being able to tell him, “Actually, this is the 500 block.”  Not only because, that meant that my house does not have a gas leak, and I would not be getting the bills associated with fixing a said leak, but the response of the NYSEG guy as he nearly fell over laughing was worth the whole night.  Of course, watching the other guy go from yelling at me to apologizing profusely to me and the NYSEG guy, helped too.

As usual, once I get woken up in the middle of the night, I’m up for the next couple of hours before I can get back to sleep, but that might have been worth it.