The Talking Water Heater
By Harrington A Lackey
One wintry day in Chicago, Sam Warm undressed to take a shower. He turned the shower knob to the left to heat the water. As the water gushed out, it felt lukewarm, but, a minute later it turned cold. Sam turned the knob to the right to warm up the water. But there was little warmth. As a matter of fact, it still felt cold. He shivered and immediately got out of the shower. He dried himself with a towel, put on some clothes and marched down to the basement to check the water heater.
Sam couldn’t tell if the machine was working properly or not. He had bought it ten years ago and had very few problems with it, if any. So, he called a local plumber to check it out. When the plumber came a few hours later, Sam showed him the machine. The plumber examined it and noticed a bit of rust around the bottom faucet. He turned the water on and rusty water flowed out.
“Am I acting ‘funny’?” a voice exclaimed.
The plumber, named Jake jerked up and quickly looked around him.
“I hope you have warm hands. I feel cold!” the voice said.
“Who said that?… Mr. Warm?”
“No. Me… The water heater.”
Jake looked at the machine with his eyes wide open. “Wha..?”
“I’ve been here for many years! Hopefully, you can change me for a newer model… I can’t wait to get outta here!… Wanna hear a joke?”
Jake gazed at the water heater with full attention. “Y..y..yea?”
“I’m just getting warmed up,” the heater said with a laugh. “What did the water heater say when the plumber emptied out all of the water?”
Jake said, “I… I… don’t… know.”
“The heater felt drained… ha… ha… ha!”
Jake looked down in disbelief. He began to think what would happen to this magic water heater that could talk. Then an idea came to him. He imagined himself becoming famous and wealthy if he owned this wonderful machine.
“Does Mr. Warm know about you being able to talk?” Jake said to the heater.
“No… It would make him nervous. Can you take me home with you? I know I need to be replaced.”
“I’ll see what I can do.”
So Jake told Sam that the old heater needed to be replaced. Sam asked, “When can you get a new model in and take this one away?”
“As soon as possible. I can schedule something for tomorrow. I do want to ask you if I could keep this old water heater.”
“Sure. That’s fine with me.”
The next day, Jake drove his truck, hauling a new water heater to exchange for the magic water heater. When he came in, walked to the machine and said, “I’m here. Come to take you away,” he told it.
“That’s great! Can’t wait to get outta here!” the machine said cheerfully.
Jake disconnected all of the pipes and hoses. After he drained the water, he eagerly installed a new water heater to replace the old one. After Sam signed and paid, Jake hauled his heavy future money making machine away.
When Jake came home, he contacted a comedy club and told the manager about his talking water heater. The manager laughed in disbelief. But, he set up a time the next evening for Jake to entertain the club’s crowd with his water heater. “Jake and His Talking Water Heater” would be the first act of the evening.
The next evening, Jake hauled it on a dolly into the comedy club. The few people who worked at the club gawked at the huge machine and wondered why a water heater was being rolled backstage into the club. They thought that the club needed a new water heater and Jake was there to install it, but they looked shocked when he hauled it onto the stage. Everyone laughed and mocked Jake, but he thought, I’ll show them.
Jake had dressed up in a coat and tie, and he had covered the heater with a sheet. Jake waited impatiently while the audience slowly took their seats. When Jake came out he quickly uncovered the heater, and said, “I took a look at this old heater at a customer’s house and it talked to me. So, I’d like to present you to him. What do you say, my friend… ?”
It didn’t say anything. It just gurgled. The crowd began to laugh and boo. Jake began to sweat. He nervously asked the heater, “Water heater, tell us a joke.”
Again, the heater didn’t respond. The crowd yelled, booed and threw trash at Jake and the heater. Jake ran from the stage, leaving the heater on the stage. Before the next act, Jake angrily composed himself. Then, he took a dolly and quickly wheeled the heater off. He was so embarrassed he wheeled it into his truck and went home.
When he got home, he kicked the heater. “Why couldn’t you talk?!” But it just gurgled.
Poor, tired Jake walked slowly into his living room and sat down. Ten minutes later, he moseyed to his refrigerator, opened it and grabbed a can of beer.
“I don’t guess you talk?” he asked the refrigerator.
Jake thought for a while why the heater didn’t talk. Suddenly he had an idea. He turned off the water in his house and disassembled his own water heater and connected the talking one. After the connections were fixed, it immediately began to cough.
Then it said, “I forgot to tell you. I have to be hooked up so I can talk.””Why didn’t you tell me this before I took you out?” Jake said angrily.”I was going to but I forgot,” the machine said.
Jake turned his back on the heater. Then he stormed upstairs and grabbed a pair of pliers to disconnect it.
The water heater saw the pliers and yelled, “No! Don’t disconnect me! Dd… ddd… ooo… ”
The next day, he placed an ad in the paper which read, “Free old useless water heater. It talks. You just need the right connections.”