The Hellhole

Monday, November 22, 2004

What a weekend...the septic system at The Hellhole backed up with a vengeance. It got ugly in the back bathroom. Experts had to be summoned, at great expense. I have seen the inside of my septic tank. I’m pretty sure I saw the Golgothan. And his cousins. Let me give a shout out to RooterPlus of Alpharetta - I totally recommend calling them if you have any plumbing problems, drainage issues, septic stuff, etc. (770.888.1931). They came out on a Sunday, showed up on time, sent some of the nicest, most helpful guys I’ve ever dealt with and, not incidentally, took away all the poo.

While we were waiting for RooterPlus poo salvation, we noticed a weird phenomenon. Of the number of cars which were passing en route to church and sundry Sunday errands, roughly every third vehicle was a gold, oversized pickup. It wasn’t the same pickup going by a dozen times because we only saw them heading east, never west. Apparently I am the only one in the neighborhood who didn’t get the association memo requiring residents to drive gold oversized pickups. What’s up with the sudden popularity of the gold paint-job? It’s hardly the most manly shade available (that would be Honkin’ Hemi Ebony). Trés odd.

Within the specified time frame (I swear it’s true!), two fellows arrived with a big green poo truck and a Caterpillar excavator. I asked the Head Poo Technician if a driver had ever tipped over the 4400-gallon poo truck; I’d really love to hear Captain Herb explain that on the morning traffic report. The answer: neither he nor anyone at his company ever has, but he’s heard of it happening before. EEEUW!

I had no idea where the septic tank was located as I’ve never had a plumbing problem - and I've lived there since June 1991. The scientific method used by professionals to find a septic tank: the Junior Poo Technician roams around the yard with this t-shaped spike with handles and sticks it down into the ground at random intervals until he hits cement, while the Head Poo Technician roams in the other direction and says, “Hey! Try over here!”. The tank turned out to be in the front yard instead of in back as I’d assumed. This means I can put a huge inground pool out back without interfering with the drainage, except I can’t because now I’m bankrupt. [Incidentally, you’ll all be getting presents from the Dollar Store this Christmas. On the plus side, should you need to, you can use my bathroom.]

Once the tank was located, Alan and I sat out on the porch to watch the excavation with that same sort of horrified fascination I used to reserve for the Anna Nicole show. This one guy (in a tiny, white, Japanese wuss pickup) drove s-l-o-w-l-y by, staring at the Caterpillar with palpable envy in his eyes. He SO wanted his own hydraulic excavator - you could tell. But it was ours! Ours! OURS!

I reflected how glad I was that I don’t give a damn about my lawn. It would have been truly painful to watch them dig up the yard if I’d spent all summer working on it and tons of money on expensive sod. As it was, only dirt, crabgrass and dandelions fell victim to my selfish, overriding desire to wee without incident. So the septic tank was unearthed, vacuumed out, re-piped and primed with a pink tablet of poo-bacteria.

Then, a plumber from the same company had to be summoned to snake out the main line from the house to the tank because some rocket scientist of a previous resident had the brilliant idea of planting a privet hedge directly above the main septic line, which was now root-laden. The Head Poo Technician called the plumber, got us a discount and - it just gets weirder - the guy said he’d be right over. And weirder - less than an hour later, he actually arrived. Sadly, his jeans came all the way up to his waist, so that’s one myth debunked.

Even though I’m joking about this (because, frankly, that’s the only way I can keep from going fetal and crying in a corner) I have to say - all three guys who came out this weekend were polite, friendly, helpful, courteous, patient with our questions, explained everything that was going on, offered various options as fixes - they were just great. It didn’t make the HUGE HUMONGOUS EXCREMENT-LOAD OF A BILL any smaller, but it helped make the experience less painful, overall.

Upon reflection, perhaps I will go fetal and cry in the corner. Do you realize that I have squandered a once-in-a-lifetime, prime opportunity to summon Belphegor???



  • MONTOYA DELENDA EST! (in an un-pumped septic tank!)

    I am so sorry you had this 'nasty' experience but could not help being tickled at the thought of you and Alan on the porch, watching the proceedings, like your Grandmother and Granddaddy used to do....

    And a plumber whose jeans reach his waist? Surely you don't expect your readers to believe that! And a group who actually come out and work on Sunday? Get out!


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:44 PM  

  • Well, the horrific event at least inspired an entertaining story. Did they leave you with any assurrance that you'll never have the problem again?

    By Blogger Evenstart, at 2:03 PM  

  • I have a friend who owns a septic tank business. His house on Smith Lake here in Cullman is truly impressive. Thar's gold in that thar poop.

    By Blogger Topcat, at 10:15 AM  

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