Thursday, September 24, 2009
Sh*t, that is.
It's been a banner week as it became frighteningly apparent sometime around Tuesday that the septic tank out back has not been emptied in quite some time. As a result, the pipes have been -- literally -- full of sh*t. Yes, sh*t backed up into the bathtub, sh*t backed up into the sinks, sh*t pretty much backed up everywhere. And it ain't pretty, my friends. Nope, not at all. It's been like an episode of Dirty Jobs around here, except without the gallows humor of that hottie, Mike Rowe to make me laugh about it. Or, at least a hefty paycheck to ease my misery.
But this morning, Joe, the septic man came to the rescue. I have to confess that I've not had any experience with men who deal with sh*t for a living, but this sh*t man was a very kind and sympathetic sh*t man, who laughed when I said "You sure have a sh*t job" even though I am sure Joe had heard that one about a thousand times before. Within minutes of arriving, Joe dragged his big, industrial septic sucker (I believe it was the ACME SH*TSUCKER 1000 Model) over to the incredibly stinky hole in the earth--the hole that I could not get within ten feet of without gagging, but that he somehow stuck his entire head into--and proceeded to suck every last drop of muck and sh*t out within minutes, like his truck was sucking up a thick and frosty Starbucks Frappuccino on a hot August day.
When there was nothing left to suck, Joe asked me to run inside and flush the toilet, and once I did, I quickly raced back out to see if the problem was solved. The two of us stood perched over the side of the filthy hole in the ground (me covering my nose and mouth, lest I hurl over Joe's boots), eagerly waiting for water to flow in, but....
I looked at Joe and Joe looked at me, and even though I knew the answer to the question, I asked it anyway...
"Is that bad?"
"Ummmmm....Yes", my sh*t guy answered.
He left to go get his friend.
His friend with the snake.
The electric snake.
Twenty minutes later, he was back with Pete, the Snake Guy. Joe introduced us, and I gave Pete a nod, rather than reaching for his hand, because--quite simply--Pete was filthy. I said hello to Pete, secretly disappointed that he had such an ordinary name, that he didn't have a nickname like Stinky Pete, or Brownie, or Muddy.
Pete and Joe got down on their knees and they both stuck their heads in the tank.
Pete shook his head, signaling things in the tank looked bleak. Then he said he was going in.
Going. In. The. Tank.
I asked him if he was out of his mind, and he told me he was so used to it, that he could eat in there. That he had eaten in there.
I asked Pete if he was married, and he said no. I just nodded.
He jumped in, rooted around, then climbed back out and decided to snake it.
That didn't work.
Then they went into the basement & tried snaking it from there.
Finally, after plenty of hammering, grunting, and swearing, they removed a cap--THE CAP--and a floodgate of sh*t emptied into the basement. If on a scale from 1-10 the stench from the septic tank was a 9, then this was most certainly a 45.
But that wasn't the worst part. The worst part was that when THE CAP came off, and a floodgate of sh*t came spewing out, as if from the mouth of a possessed demon, it not only completely covered Dirty Pete in sewage, but it went in his mouth as well.
I swear I can't make this stuff up.
Clog cleared, basement filled with sh*t water, Joe and Pete were finally on their merry way. As they pulled out of the driveway, and I was waving goodbye to my new friends, I caught sight of Pete in the passengers seat. Still covered in filth, there he was hungrily digging into a big, sloppy chicken parmigiana wedge. I couldn't believe my eyes; would you believe that crazy old coot dribbled some sauce on his tee shirt and actually bothered to use a napkin to dab it off?!?