Greg’s challenge was to write a story about advice you’ve received. This is my response and it happened twice. I hope I never have to have my tank cleaned again, but by simply writing this, I’m asking for it.
If You Poop In It, They Will Come
aka How to Make a First Impression With New Neighbors
aka Come On Over and See My S…
Yes, this is about septic tanks.
First round was quite a few years ago. I was probably in my late twenties. We built a small hut—ten feet by fifteen feet. A bit small, but we had a kitchen, hanging bed, bath under it and room for a toilet. When you’re young and broke you get creative.
Then we dug a hole, lined it with concrete and dug a leach line. Not an easy task when digging in caliche. Much later, we built concrete blocks to go over the tank.
You may ask what we used for our poop in the interim. It was a modified version of a chamber pot. Okay, it was a bucket. We’d dump it in a shallow hole. Hey, don’t get uppity—you’d do the same thing.
When we finally installed the toilet (septic tank not yet covered), my husband was so excited. He immediately (I think he had an immediate need) went outside with a five gallon bucket (no not the one we pooped in), hand pumped it full (understand that was truly hand pumping from a small refurbished antique pump usually seen inside an old home) and poured it in the toilet. After a few flushes, I suppose our neighbors (all of them) heard the ker-plops, and surprise, they all showed up to see what was going on. I’m not talking about one, but all of our neighbors. All of them said, “Peeuuu.” Then came the advice.
“Is that corn I see floating in there? You really need to eat yogurt—looks like you have a digestive problem.”
“I smell garlic. Well, that’s good for you, but maybe you should cut down on it.”
“Looks like you have diarrhea. Try drinking tea.”
“No, tea’s not gonna’ help, try peppermint.”
“No, that don’t work. Try … .”
Okay, enough of that story, now to the newest. We’re in a different town, in the country, but still have neighbors. The sceptic tank wasn’t installed properly and we didn’t know till a few months later. We had to have the septic clean-out guy come over. Once again (maybe it was the odor) all the neighbors showed up; all saying, “Peeuuuu.”
“So, I’d advise you to not eat so much.”
“You’re eating too much garlic.”
“Is that corn I see floating around down there? You should eat more yogurt.”
Next time we have our septic cleaned; we’ll pay extra money to have him sneak in at midnight.