Lots of things are frightening, but particularly frightening is when the sprinklers outside my window turn on.

Initially, it shuffles, like something’s shifting inside the wall. Fine.

Then it clanks, like my heater turning on. Fantastic! I was cold anyway and I’m glad it’s working again.

But then it sputters, and this makes me think that a pressure cooker is going, and that something is wrong with the setup. It shouldn’t pfafff pffafffff stromphhhh like this. No, no, definitely not; this time the porridge isn’t getting cooked more efficiently: it’s ending up on the ceiling to fall down in globs, and leave a purple-pink stain forever.

But then all seems to set, and we hear a steady, industrious hiss of steam. All is well, and I shall prepare to wake up to a well-watered lawn, approaching soggy.


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