Few things in life strike terror into the heart of man quite like a sewer main collapse. Visions of vast sums of money and ruined yards are common visions that come to mind.
Relax, because they’re not true. Ha! You wish. Not only are they true, but they won’t even begin to describe your approaching trials. Welcome to my nightmare. I’m here to tell you my story.
Last Wednesday the signs began. A slight backup in the basement. After a call to city utilities it was quickly diagnosed that my sewer main had gone to that big chuck-wagon in the sky.
And that’s when the contractors came. Upon great, pale iron horses they came. Oh, the horror.
It was decided ( by them ) that the job would be about $3500. Sigh. Kiss family vacation goodbye this year. At least it wasn’t a 10K financial disaster like it could have been.
So at 8:30 am on Monday, days after showering in a bucket like Jed Clampet and “seeing a man about a horse” in ways too horrible to describe, salvation was at last on my doorstep. Everyone had a get together in the front yard, a big plumber group hug and a fist-bump, and then proceeded to take a back-hoe and rip up my front lawn.
Not a problem. The hole wasn’t THAT big. But I was so young earlier in the day. So naive. The next few hours would age me considerably.
At 10:00 my new friends have coffee and danishes over the twitching corpse of my front lawn. Probably talking about how they’ll spend the money I’m forking over on cocaine and strippers.
Then at 11:00, they put the camera down the pipes. It’s now a cocktail party with everyone invited. Then begins the laughing at the incoming images. That’s not good. No, that’s NEVER good.
After the comedy-fest, the theme music to Deliverance is heard as I’m informed that my pipe requires more, well, pipe. I squeal like a piggie as another 1K goes down the crapper. Any puns loose their humor at this point. I immediately call down the wrath of God on them but the good Lord has forsaken me. And now they’re just looking at me uncomfortably.
Then ( it just never friggin’ stops ) I discover that the city side requires replacement as well. Financially this is no problem as the city will incur all expenses on their side of the property line. But my front yard will suffer a fate worse than Pat Robertson during an audience with Nero Ceasar. The best I can hope for is the reassurance they will at least do the landscape repair on their side. And who knows…maybe I can talk them into doing my side as well if I can convince my wife to show them a little leg in return.
After getting one of their toys stuck in the line, and downing a few more danishes ( it’s like they’re all Jughead with bottomless stomachs ), I’m informed the completed job will take another day. Possibly two. My bowels cry. Images of merry old England and dumping sewer onto the open street come to mind. I’m not sure I’m comfortable with being the cause of the next great plague. Or maybe I am. I have mixed feelings about humanity right now.
The city side is now a complete disaster, and all I can do it watch and wait while taking some small comfort in the fact that at least I’ve paid my part. And I never really was getting a handle on my dandelion problem. Who’ s laughing now you noxious little weed?!! Who’s “sniff” laughing “sob” now?
So after the nerve-wracking day, I’m a shadow of my former self. My stomach churns, my bank account hates my stinking face and in all likelihood I now suffer from erectile dysfunction. At least they rigged a temporary sump for me to take care of my household “business” overnight. But if nobody minds, your friendly neighborhood parrot is going to try and sleep this one off!