As a child, I have distinct memories of the many troubles my parents had with our septic system. On at least two occasions, I remember my father out back cursing as I watched human excrement floating along in the corner of the yard. As a result, I’ve been on high alert as a homeowner for any sign of anything that didn’t smell good. And, of course, with the number of diapers I’ve changed since 2002, I have a real nose for poop.
Two nights ago, as Gordie was down in the dumps with a cold (the perfect time to bring up any sort of issues with your spouse, right?!), I entered our bedroom with a somber look on my face. When I delivered the news that our front lawn smelled like poop, he was less than thrilled, told me he’d worry all night, and then promptly fell asleep. I, on the other hand, was awake for several hours. I began having childhood flashbacks. I was envisioning MY children’s swingset and riding toys floating away in foul liquids. I do give Gordie credit, because less than 48 hours later, the issue is resolved. The system was on the verge of overflowing, and the Spater family averted yet another costly home repair by the skin of its teeth.
Lucky for me, I had the distinct pleasure of welcoming the individual to my home who performed this suprisingly short yet remarkably costly procedure. While he was perfectly pleasant, it took everything I had to not say to him, “Why didn’t you study harder? I mean honestly mister, did you ever dream of spending your life cleaning up everyone’s shit?” Hadley, (2 1/2), was with me when I opened the door. She promptly lifted up her dress, and said, “Do you want to see my Winnie-the-Pooh diaper?” He already had the pump running, so he couldn’t hear anything. I doubt he has any sense of smell left at this point either, so the contents of her diaper wouldn’t have made him blink. When she finally got a good look at him, she said, “Mommy, who is that scary guy?” and cuddled up to my leg. Thank goodness that pump was still running.
That left me thinking about how lucky I truly am. Today was one of the few mornings when I knew I had a more glamorous occupation than someone else. Even if I die tomorrow, people will hopefully say, “She was a solid stay-at-home mom to three young children. It wasn’t always easy, but on most days, she kept all the wheels on the bus and even managed to keep her sense of humor.” Will people look back on the septic man pumper and say, “At the height of his career, he really took A LOT of shit from people.” ?!?! See, my life isn’t so bad after all!!
The cost of the pumping: $270 with a note to please call again in 12-18 months. Will do, Mr. Smelly.
(I also like how is says “It’s a pleasure to serve you.” Perhaps they should have some custom receipts made up: “It’s truly a pleasure to take away your family’s waste. Thanks for thinking of us.” )
The cost of my front lawn not smelling like 65 dogs pooped on it: Priceless!