Tuesday, June 19, 2007

a wonderful way to end the day

father's day. so, saturday night it's movie night at journey and we show "Saved!" and have a fun talk about it afterward. go to bed late, but not too late. i notice my nose has been running all day and i have felt crappy since the day before. hm. that stinks partly because i had a cold six months ago or something like that. wake up sunday, it's father's day, that makes me happy - L has brought krispy kreme donuts for me. i go to journey, start a new series on Psalms, poetry, the joy and complexity of being honest with god and oneself. it turns out great even though whenever i start a lesson series i feel a little unsure as to how it will turn out. then the teenagers lead worship and i'm blown away by how honest and real and beautiful it is. then i go do a wedding for a really lovely couple, 60 years old, dated 38 years ago, got back together last year ... very cool. go home. do father's day things. we watch a new dvd i got that day ("children of men" - if you haven't seen it, watch it, today, now). get ready for bed. exhausted. weak. runny nose. irritated about that. but a beautiful day. grateful. happy.

and ... the kids' bathroom toilet won't flush.

leslie's parents were here for father's day. i figure it's just too many flushes and just too much toilet paper - there are always lots of teenagers at our house too, which makes us happy but anyway - so i try to plunger it. nothin'. i get the other, double secret probation plunger, the one i save in case it's bad. i does nothing. i go get the snake - this is for serious clogs. nothing. and the joy is, by that time, it's been flushed in one way or another about thirty times, so it's just water and some lovely bacteria, but mostly just clean water - so i've got my arm all down in the toilet. what're ya gonna do? i look over - and greyish water with little pieces of somethingorother is seeping back into not the toilet where my arm is but the bathtub next to me. i think that's a bad sign.

i tell leslie to go call the city. i put on long pants and socks and crappy old shoes - no pun intended, at least, not yet - and go outside to open the traps. the one up next to the house? little bubbles fizzing out around the top - i unscrew it and lovely, lovely brownish greyish yellowish water flows out. jesus! i am now interacting with raw sewage - yeah, sink water and bathroom sink water and shower water and kitchen water - but for real, this is toilet water too. i close the motherfucker up. i walk out to the trap in the grass near the sidewalk. reach down to open it and notice that my foot's in a half inch of water. okay, i know it's rained a lot, but did it rain that much? um, no. i open the trap and meet the same lovely ... uh, water ... that is everywhere else.
L comes out, says she can't figure out which department to call. i say just pick one and keep calling all of em until you get somebody; i can't really help right now.

so, turns out, at after, i dunno, 11 pm on a sunday, it's the police. weird. the dispatcher is great, very nice and helpful. we're going to wait. so i ask L's dad, who's hanging around with me (he LOVES this kind of thing - man stuff - wants to be the first one to answer the phone and say "Diamond residence," wants to be the one who has the right key to unlock the door, wants to be the one to hold the door open, wants to have all the information. so this kind of guy stuff, technical, problem-solving, is his happy place), to bring me some strong antibacterial soap. he does. i wash and wash and wash my hands and arms in the outdoor faucet, and then start cleaning the garage out, while we wait. i'm so sweaty now what difference does it make?

the guy shows half an hour later. very nice man. turns out opening the traps and letting some of the blocked pressure out was a good thing to do. at least the toilets will flush now. he has to go get another truck. says he'll be back in 25 minutes. so i go back to cleaning out the garage, putting stuff away, arranging laundry, talking with pop. an hour goes by. it's, i dunno, 1230 am. i'm exhausted. shaking. i do indeed have that cold after all. i give it up. shut the garage door, strip, throw away the shoes, put on my daughter's bathrobe - it's a little small - go in, wash off, wash again, wash again, then call the city - what up? turns out the other truck broke down, they had to call the mechanic, they're working on it, they're so sorry, they will not sleep until it's fixed. and i can tell they mean it. that rocks.

so i wash some more, put on shorts and a t-shirt, lie down. the guy comes to the door. it's all good. it's fixed. he asks for some bleach - turns out that kills the E-COLI KILLER GERM THAT IS CARRIED IN WATER WITH FECES IN IT - and so he pours it all around both traps, is apologetic about the wait, sincerely sorry. i thank him for taking care of us in the middle of the night.


i wash some more. then some more. dip myself in a vat of lysol and tilex, with scuba gear. konk out. don't set an alarm. sleep pretty much all day. feel ... better? and have a lovely story to tell.

1 comment:

writeright007 said...

oh my this is such a garrison Keillor story.. remember the one you told us about the parade and some how the car in the parade got caught in the sewage? or some such story...you are so funny... it's enjoyable to hear your very own pooh story.
reminds me of simpler days long ago.. or where they?!?!?! reguardless of more simple or not. your one heck of a great writer!