“Jim Class” is a feature that airs within The HomeFix Show. Written by original charter show listener Jim Forrer from Caldwell Idaho, Jim shares his observations, life experiences and lessons learned in life. Joe Prin reads these at various times in most of the HomeFix Shows. Here is the original written text.
A man could lose an eye with the errant trajectory path of a food ladled fork. Lasagna is not prevalently known as a hazardous weapon, nor is the lowly fork, but this time, they were close. The explosion was so startling and unexpected that I almost skewered my eye.
Coming home for lunch was not the norm, but because the job-site was so close by, I figured ‘why not.’ Pat had placed a plate of last night’s lasagna in the fridge and knowing it was there prompted my sojourn home. I was about to take the first bite when the explosion precipitated my heart stopping fright. The large boom was deep and throaty and the shock wave rattled the windows. I could feel the floor shutter under my feet. The blast was louder than that of an aircraft breaking the sound barrier. I jumped up, ran to the back door as to investigate what had just happened. I could find no smoke, no fire or any apparent damage in my back yard. I investigated everything with a fine toothed comb, but found nothing out of the ordinary. I stood there in a stationary freeze for, I don’t know what, for the longest time. Eventually I went in and finished my, now cold lunch. Shrugging my shoulders, I went back to the job-site with trepidations still running through my thoughts. When I had finished with my work for the day, I headed home. I still knew and heard nothing of what had transpired earlier in the day. Later, just before dinner, I received a phone call from Bill. Bill asked if I wanted a small repair job to do on his garage. I said, why not, and told him that I would come over after I had finished supper.
Now, Bill resides only two blocks from our place, so I didn’t mind going over there on short notice. When I arrived, Bill told me to follow him to the back. As we got around to the garage, I stopped short, with my jaw agape. For there, what did my wondrous eyes should appear, but a white water tank stuck through a hole in the roof. That white visitor had punched a nice round hole through the sheeting, breaking a 2 x 4 rafter, teetering back onto the upper wall plating and crushing the garage’s corner eave. It laid there in silence, balancing on the wall. “Where in the world did that come from”?, I asked. Bill pointed, “over there”.
“Over there” was the house across the alley. It had been vacant for many months, maybe over a year or so. Anyway, when the Realtor was to show the house that day, he turned on the power. When they left the premises, they didn’t shut down the [Square D] breaker box. Now, I don’t know the whys and what-for’s that caused the water heater to build all that pressure, but nevertheless, it became an intercontinental ballistic missile. It tore through the ceiling and ripped open the roof like an old sardine can, peeling it back onto itself. In it’s flight, it sheared branches off the tree in the back yard. It ripped through the power lines, taking one line down. Then the water tank plowed into the garage roof next door. If it had not been for all of the obstructions in it’s path, it possible could have landed into the gymnasium of the Adventist School, which was only 30 feet further along.
Steam is a powerful energy source. Remember, folks, a drop of water expands 1700 times when turned into steam. Graphic. Very graphic as seen on T.V.’s Myth Busters of late.