Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Cotttage Vignettes Redux

I searched long and hard for a picture to go with this one, but nothing is... shall we say, appropriate for general viewing*. Thus it remains illustrationless. That, I think is a good thing.

One of the most wonderful things about cottage technology is the septic tank. Oh yeah, you gotta luuuuuuuve the septic tank.

Accumulator of all things nasty, the whole idea behind it is that the town has no need to pay for installation and upkeep of sewers. Instead you have your own personal little sewer system right next to the house. How cool is that? Yeah, not particularly.

Of course, unlike your municipal sewers, the septic system must be emptied now and again.

Last weekend was now.

You've all seen pictures of our lovely cottage perched on its hill. Well, the septic tank is perched on the hill too. Waaaay up there on the hill. About 70 feet up, 130 feet from the nice shiny poop vacuuming truck.

The driver and poop vacuuming operator wasn't thrilled at the idea of hauling his vacuum hose up 70 feet of hill. So he called into his boss "Hey, is there a truck around with two guys who could take this one?"

Answer: "Nope, you're stuck doing it."

Poop vacuumer: "You owe me" He listens a bit, laughs and hangs up. Then says, "He said, Yeah, I know, I did that place once and swore never again".

Nice to know my reputation precedes me. I can't help but wonder if there will come a time when they will refuse to do this job for me - and if that is the case, what will I be reduced to... He breaks into my philosophical reflection saying, "Well. You up to helping me get the hose up there?"

Never one to refuse a challenge (I really gotta think long and hard about that life rule, I do), I said sure.

Now it's not like I was the one hauling the hose up the hill. All I had to do was unroll the thing. And lordy that's a lot of heavy ass hose to unroll. A lot of huge damn hose. The thing is probably 5-6 inches in diameter. Of course, considering what flows through it... well, let's not consider that, shall we?

So all in all it was very interesting. I learned it takes a while to vacuum a septic tank, quite a while. I learned the trucks cost around half a million bucks - though why you'd get into the poop business in the first place is beyond me. Public service I guess. Very lucrative public service.

As he worked, I learned he'd been doing this for 25 years. "A damn good argument for higher education", he noted.

Interesting argument, but I beg to differ.

After all, Choochoo has a masters degree and her specialty is poop bugs. Hell, the woman could make a field trip to study my septic tank!

I guess it only goes to prove that whatever your level of edumacation, it's all about... well, never mind you get the picture.

* read : disgusting pics of septic tanks.


choochoo said...

I may study the poop bug but my degree makes sure that I don't have to touch the actual poop. That's for the degree-free ppl to do :D
first the ppl with no degree get the poop. Then the ppl with a lower degree grows the stuff that's on the poop. Then the ppl with the higher degrees - like moi - gets the stuff that was grown from the stuff that was in the poop.
So the poop is like twice removed

Dumdad said...

Merde! What a business. You must have been pooped after all that exertion.

VioletSky said...

Poople who do jobs like that deserve to be richly rewarded.

geewits said...

I'm just glad everything is working. Weren't you having troubles several years ago?

Rachel said...

I am jealous of choochoo's job.

Yeah that's sarcasm.


I can always count on Jazz's blog for a good solid giggle. :)

Gaelyn said...

What a laugh! No, not for you I suppose. But a funny story nonetheless. I've only dealt with a poop truck or honeydipper (which I don't understand how it got that name) once and it was so nasty. Sure glad I didn't have to help. See what being such a nice person can get you.

Choochoo's comment is also priceless.

Jazz said...

Choochoo - Oh, so that's how it works.

Dumdad - LOL. Brilliant

VS - Except they aren't. And I did it for free!

Geewits - Yeah, it had a hiccup a while back. It seems to be working fine now.

Rachel - Well, at least she's twice removed. Or something.

Gaelyn - Actually, I'm not easily disgusted. The whole process (and what these trucks can do) was really extremely interesting. I wouldn't have helped out if they still did it like 50 years ago - with buckets (!!!) I still think he was pulling my leg on that one.

secret agent woman said...

I have to say, I am glad to now be on the city sewer system.

Anonymous said...

I once taught at a school that was on a septic system - a school! With 500 kids! The sewer system was just across the street, but for whatever reason, the school wasn't connected to it. Sometimes we could smell the septic field, which just happened to be one of the playing fields. In four years there, I never saw the tank get cleaned out. I guess that's why we could smell the field sometimes. Ewwww!

Jocelyn said...

I was so sure the punch line to this was going to be another one of your "adventures"...where you fell...you know...in.

The line about "great argument for higher education" is making me laugh.

Jazz said...

SAW - there is indeed something to be said for municpal sewers.

Pinklea - Ewww.

Joce - Um, no. Even I'm not that bad of a spaz...

Anonymous said...

There's a certain amount of poop in every job, isn't there? At least he gets to work outdoors, gets lots of exercize, meets interesting people, doesn't have to deal with office politics. And ya, septic tanks have been around for a long time and so have pump mechanisms, so I'm pretty sure the tanks never had to be emptied with buckets

Anonymous said...

Well, it's a shitty job but somebody has to do it. Sorry, couldn't resist.

A joy in my current life is that I no longer live in a place with a septic tank. Oh, and roots of holly trees wreak havoc on the damn things.

Suldog said...

Very funny (for us, not for you) stuff.

lime said...

mmmmm, yummy