The boiler is making a noise.
It makes a lot of noises, generally all of
the time it’s on, but this is a new noise. Specifically, a jingly noise. “Did
you hear that?” I ask my boyfriend. “The boiler is making a jingly noise.”
He gives me his world-weary look, the same
one he uses when he opens my laptop and finds “ear cancer” or “do people still
get consumption from tight bras” typed into the search bar.
“Listen!” I say, as it does it again.
“Jingly. It sounds like there’s a set of keys jingling about. That’s not
“Maybe there is a set of keys jingling
about in it,” he suggests, ever the pragmatist. I stick my head under the
boiler and peer up, silently begging it not to explode on my face. No keys.
“I think it might explode,” I say, at the exact
same time he says, “It’s not going to explode.”
But he doesn’t know it isn’t going to
explode, he’s only guessing. One of the things that bothers me most in life is
not knowing for definite whether or not things are going to explode. And
surely, just after saying “it’s not going to explode” is statistically the most
likely time for something to explode?
This could be exactly like in my old flat,
when I thought we had a gas leak and everyone kept saying, “we don’t have a gas
leak,” in exasperated voices, then it turned out that we DID HAVE A GAS LEAK. Neurosis
1: logic 0.
And so we sit – him watching Game of
Thrones, me watching the boiler. I have convinced myself that if I stare out
the boiler, nothing bad will be allowed to happen. A watched boiler never explodes; that’s the
The jingling stops, then starts again, then
I Google ‘boiler making jingly noises’ for
reassurance, and am dismayed to find that not a single other person on the
whole of the internet has had a jingly boiler. Not one. There are boilers that
bump, and bang, and rattle, and wheeze (which now I’ve written it looks like a
fantastic dance record from the late 50s) but no boilers that jingle.
Maybe it’s just a matter of phrasing. I try
‘boiler making jangly noises’, and find nothing. I try ‘boiler making tinkly
noises’, and find nothing. I try ‘boiler making metallic noises’ and find one
post on a forum from a man who seems to think this is A Very Bad Thing, so I quickly
close the tab in fear and go back to staring at the boiler.
If I keep staring
at the boiler, it can’t possibly explode – that would just be too much of a
coincidence. Maybe if I tell more people about it, the boiler definitely won’t
explode. Maybe if I write a column about it, the boiler won’t explode.
Or maybe I just
turn the boiler off and put another jumper on.