Type, Type, Vent, Vent, Oh What A Relief It Is


pressure (Photo credit: Sean MacEntee)

Upon returning to my urban home after being in the country for a few days I noticed a wet spot on the corner of my driveway. The wet spot was a result of the pressure relief valve on the water heater having opened and releasing excess pent-up pressure.

Pent-up pressure can be a very dangerous thing. Whether one is talking of water heaters, boilers, turbo engines, or human beings excessive pressure that is not safely released can and most times will do terrible damage. Years ago a daughter of my employer at the time saw her home physically destroyed when a water heater exploded because of an inoperative pressure-relief valve. Remembering that tragedy I have been very watchful of my situation in the home I live now.

Because of my watchfulness at home and contemplation of relief valves, my reading of many WordPress posts took on a different understanding. I observed many relief valves working wonderfully in various writings and posts. I observed the most wonderful ‘bleed-off’ of excessive pressures in the lives of bruised and heart-broken lovers, special needs parents, frustrated social workers, unappreciated artists, not yet published writers, and the list goes on. I mused that WordPress alone had helped reduce the stress levels in thousands of homes in one day through providing such a wonderful place to pour out our hearts and thoughts and to showcase our talents.

As I thought on such things I remembered a related incident in rush hour traffic as a friend and I were leaving the inner city on our commute home one afternoon twenty-five years ago. I had changed lanes quite legally with about ten car lengths of space between my car and the one following. However, when the driver of that vehicle sped past us he raised a fist at me and cursed me vehemently for cutting him off. My friend and I recognized the other driver as a very tense graduate student we had been involved with at the university earlier that day.

My friend and fellow commuter expressing frustration at the uptight graduate student for flipping us off and cursing us asked why it was not bothering me. I remember replying with a smile on my face, “I may have just given him enough excuse to safely ventilate on us instead of his wife and children when he gets home. Who knows we may have just helped prevent a heart attack. Haha”

Go ahead: Type, type, vent, vent; oh, what a relief it is!  Who needs Alka-seltzer? I feel better, already.

-Donald R. Sansbury, 2013


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