Let me preface this by saying that a few weeks ago, I grew weary of
waiting for a friend of ours to scan some photos. " I want my own
flatbed scanner for Christmas." I whined. "How much are they?" The
Bearded Guy told me they run around $600. I was not completely
disuaded. A portion of my quest for Slack now included a flatbed
scanner. Now on to my tale of woe:
In the last ten years or so, I've started receiving my share of Slack
back...and then some. On occasion, I get a little MORE than my share.
Well, "Bob", being who he is, usually decides that's the time to make
a visit and borrow a cup or two. I usually don't notice he's been
there until my toilet plugs up. By then, he's split; taking my extra
Slack and a little extra (he knows I'll make it up in a few days).
My toilet backed up last Sunday morning. I was washing a load of
clothes while reading the net. I went upstairs to ask the Bearded Guy
a question. When I came down, the drainage from the wash cycle had
backed up into the main floor kitchen and covered the entire kitchen
floor. We turned off the electricity and got out the mop. Three hours
later, after moving every major appliance in the kitchen and washing
them and the floor down with a combination of boiling water, bleach
and pinesol (twice...I got real persnickety about it when I started
thinking it over) and I could stand to examine the source of the
We determined that it wasn't a plug in the toilet...but a full to the
brim septic tank (oh the joys of country life!). So we called the
septic tank guy. He said he'd be happy to be there bright and early
Monday morning. That meant no one could take a shower or use the
toilet until Monday....great. The Bearded Guy went to the Y and took a
shower. I toughed it out...and peed outdoors. Because this is
Oklahoma, sure enough, the Pump Boys were there at 9 a.m. They located
the child's coffin-sized cover to the tank and called me out to see
something. I couldn't imagine what I would find of interest in my
septic tank, but I obliged them.
Covering the surface of the tank was a thick webwork of tree roots. So
thick in fact, that you could have lain across the surface and never
touched the befoulment below. I guess this was their idea of a real
interesting find, so I mumbled my admiration for the Slackful
something-for-nothing attitude of the giant maples that shade the west
side of my house.
Then they smiled and said, "Well, yer tank's full alright, but that
ain't yer problem. Them root's is growin' up inta yer pipes and yer
gonna have to call a plumber to clean 'em out." Shit!
So I called a plumber after forking out $100 to get the tank pumped.
They came out that afternoon. The poor guy fussed around trying to
core out the pipe from the tank end, but it wasn't working. In the
meantime, his travails had flooded the kitchen once more. I was
prepared with a towel dam across the bathroom threshold.
Finally he was forced to lug 150lbs of equipment up onto the roof and
begin cleaning out the pipes from the maze of roof vents. After
another hour or so, we thought we'd achieved success. The toilets were
flushing once more! Another $105 and I went upstairs to take a
celebratory shower and shit.
The Mont Christmas Party was Monday night. I was rescued in the nick
of time! As we walked out the door, I re-started the load of wash and
said goodnight to my kids. When we returned around midnight, Eric said
that the toilet overflowed again when the washer drained. Arrrggghhh!
He'd already cleaned up the mess, thank Dobbs.
I'd had a few drinks and I was pretty tired ( I usually get up around
5am) so I guess I wasn't thinking clearly. I started the rinse cycle
on the washer thinking that I'd watch when it drained and stop it
before the toilet overflowed, then I could at least finish that load
(which had been in the machine since Sunday morning). I forgot that
the cold water takes an incredibly long time to fill. The sound of the
machine spinning dry at 2:30 in the morning woke me.
So, there I was in my underpants cleaning shit water for the umpteenth
time in three days at 2:30 a.m. I trudged upstairs and went to bed. I
started coughing...so badly that I made myself sick....in the sink. It
was not a good night. Fuck you, "Bob!" I dragged myself back to bed
and got up again at 6 to get my son off to school.
Okay, now I have to call the plumber again and tell him the first
douche didn't take. The said they'd send him back that afternoon. He
returns, re-douches the pipes, gets them flowing but informs me that
he has determined that the orange feltlike material that connected my
sewer pipe from the house to the septic tank pipe had come loose. I
would have to have a new line installed. Since the line was only about
15ft in length, that normally wouldn't be a problem, BUT in our case,
the idiots who lived here before us installed the air-conditioning
unit right on top of the sewer line! My sister and her baby were due
to arrive that night. It had to be replaced. They could do it next
Wednesday. I at least had toilet flow, others were backup up. They had
my sympathy but I wanted running water.
Thursday night I ate my first gyro in over a year. Guess what
happened? That's right...the mother of all intestinal irritations (to
be genteel), but that's not all! It was accompanied by sweats, chills
and joy of joys...projectile vomiting! Now, I have one functioning
toilet, five adults, one baby and a case of the trots. On the news
they warned that the warm spell was over, and it would be 12 degrees
on Friday night.
"Bob" finally moved out of range. The next morning I felt better. At
10 am the plumbing company called and said, "A job fell through and we
have couple of guys who can come right over and install your new line.
We won't have to move the a-c unit, we'll just dig under it. Four
hours later (and $440 poorer) I had a new cast iron line...just before
the storm hit.
Slack is illusive to discuss but you know when you have it. Friday
night I took a hot shower and thought about how incredibly lucky I am
to even have a house, a toilet, and hot water. Slack isn't about fame
or fortune or power. It's about seeing the world through the right
eyes at the right time. It CAN be money...but it can also be nothing
more than the sound of water flowing through a drain.
We get used to a certain level of comfort and begin to expect it. I
have to remind myself regularly how lucky I am to even get fed every
day much less actually EXPECT it. The total amount for the plumbing
project came to just about the amount of a new scanner....go figure.
"Bob" works in mysterious ways.
Reverend Mutha Tarla Star of the Little Sisters of the Perpetually
Juicy; a Proud jism schism of the Church of the SubGenius.
Worshipping Juicy Retardo and "Connie" Dobbs since 1986.