Now I don’t drink excessively, but I do enjoy the occasional beer or glass of wine. The hard stuff is so, so. And no, I’m not drinking right now at 12:16am on a school night, though I should be. Do you want to know why I drink? It’s not the kids who tear apart my house, throw tantrums and don’t listen to me. No one else listens to me so why should they be the first. And it’s not cause I don’t really have a job and any means to pay my bills, other than the occasional project here and there. It’s not cause the grass ain’t cut or there are religious fundamentalists everywhere, or because the honey bees are going extinct or because Taylor Swift still has a career.
The reason I drink, or at least should be drinking this very minute in bed, is because my hands smell like excrement. And why do they smell like excrement? Well because it’s raining of course. Let’s step back an hour or so….there I was laying in bed minding my own business (trying to get to sleep, you perverts)…and it started raining. Like raining really hard outside. Well no big deal…yay, more monsoon like rain on top of the forty inches we’ve gotten in the last 24 hours. By the way it was sunny out as the sun set so I don’t know where in the hell this rain storm came from. But there I sat in bed.
Why do I drink?
Because next I could hear running water.
“Hmmm…I wonder what the f%ck that is?” I pondered silently to myself and the wall.
“Maybe it’s the gutter over the rain barrel, gushing out water.” I countered myself. (Luckily I had been talking to myself in my mind as I went to bed anyway, so I was already warmed up when faced with this perplexing mystery to solve.) Hoping out of bed, and tripping over the laundry basket, pile of clothes, various vacuum cleaner parts and the f%cking cat, I headed out.
“Seriously why in the hell is all this crap between my bed and the fire escape?” the thought flashing by in a whirl as deftly avoid breaking my toe, which if that had happened then the whole house would have been woken up out of pure spite. But as such I made it to the hall to confirm my suspicions.
“Yep, the damned conduit is flooding my basement again.” I mouthed through gritted teeth. Stepping OVER the cat for like the third time in twenty paces…..”how is that even physically possible? We have only one cat right?” I thought as flipped on the light to the basement, rounded the landing and was met with my suspicion come reality.
Why do I drink?
Because I have a conduit into my house that in addition to bringing electricity to and fro, also brings in….not the word of god, or answers to how cats teleport at midnight…but rather gallons of rain water from the outside of my new home.
I knew it because it’s happened before. In fact I thought I had the problem solved by digging a trench last year to clear water out from the cistern conduit, which is where these evil little grey pipes go to..the cistern. And just last week though we had some leakage, so Christine put various buckets and rags down int he corner of the basement. I didn’t think much about it at the time because there was no standing water outside with last weeks leak.
“Holy crap!” I exclaimed to the cat, as she purred at the top of the stairs in anticipation of tripping me so I’d break my neck…at that point we were both hoping that would happen. Except with my luck I would just be in a chair eating from a straw were that to happen. Anyway, I looked at the smaller blue bucket and it was doing a fair job of catching the water. I picked up the big green bucket to replace the blue one but wouldn’t you know it the little blue one is the only one that fits in that corner. My mind flashes and I can envision my wife going through this exact scenario five days prior….ooo ooo…”My wife!” I exclaimed to myself, the cat now ruefully no longer part of my self conversation. I need to see what’s going on outside and she’s gonna help. So eyeing down Ms. Daphne as she purred jokingly on the landing I made my way up to the second floor and instructed the wife, working on her art, that I needed help. Granted I hadn’t devised a plan yet; though I had stopped talking to myself so progress was being groped at, at this point.
“I need help.” I pleaded.
“With what?” she, surprisingly, obliged me in a positive manner. Probably happy to get away from her art that she’s been working on for like 15 hours in a row.
“The water’s leaking again in the basement. I need a flashlight.” Her indifferent gaze turned to a frown. Which is understandable because our son has hidden, destroyed or ripped the batteries our of every flashlight that has ever been in our house. It would be easier to appoint a vegan homosexual chairman of the Republican National Committee than to find a flashlight in our household.
Like a god damned blood hound the wife darted to the hallway, pried open the back of a small tractor trailer and pulled out a silver LED flashlight and clicked it on, shining in my face so all I could see was the glow of light around her silhouette…I swear she does this shit on purpose for effect. Well I didn’t have time to ponder a higher power.
“What do you want me to do?” she asked, eerily eager to help me.
“Dunno, just go in the basement and keep the water company.” I said stumbling for my shoes (I had put my shorts and t-shirt on earlier).
I hopped outside to find it still a freaking monsoon out there. I stepped through the tall wet grass and shined my light down to the cistern lid. Sure as shit, the water level was halfway up my conduit boxes. “Son of a puppy.” I mouthed to the clover. I then went and got an umbrella and piece of plywood, figuring the wood might keep the water out of the ditch around the cistern lid and the umbrella would keep me somewhat dry.
Back at the lid I put down the plywood and looked at my drain, it was actually draining water, but not fast enough. So I took my hands and moved a bunch of the rocks to dig out the ditch some more, precariously clinging to my flashlight and umbrella as the cold rain drenched whatever parts weren’t covered.
Do you know why I drink?
Because apparently about a thousand spiders, all female with egg sacks on their backs, live in the ditch by the cistern cover. After audibly screaming like a little 12-year-old girl in the rain, I decided I didn’t care that they were crawling across my forearms and continued digging out stones, increasing the water flow. I picked out leaves and what not. The weird thing is it looked like the cistern itself was overflowing from the lid, filling the ditch more so than the torrential rain. Either way I picked out the rocks and muck. Not much happening though because there was still too much water.
I jumped back onto the deck, extinguished my flashlight and dropped my umbrella. Inside I grabbed a screw driver and went downstairs. The wife was watching guard with her trusty grey sidekick. I had the bright idea to screw down the conduit covers tighter and there you had it…
“You made it stop.” She said, genuinely impressed I think.
I explained what was going on and then headed back outside, to the garage for a smaller screwdriver and then back out to my flooded ditch. Praying to god that I wouldn’t get electrocuted, or at least asking him if I did get electrocuted, then make sure it killed me on the spot, I dipped my hands into the water and felt around until I could tighten the bottom screws of the outside conduit box. By then the water at receded and the rains died down.
Something out there smelled bad though, maybe it was the mud or rotting leaves or something.
Back inside disaster was averted, once again. I discharged the wife, and let the cat have the darkened basement all to herself with a purr and a meow…from her, the cat, not me. I don’t purr and I only meow when I drink, which isn’t tonight.
And now I lay in bed sharing my store. My hands smell literally like something crapped on them. I’ve washed them at least two times, up to the elbows and they still smell. Tomorrow I’ll have to call various and assorted trades who will all drag their heels in getting me estimates or fixing the problem because that’s just what tradesmen do. And I’ll have another major catastrophe to add to my “to do” list and erode my wallet. At this point the whole front yard probably needs to be regraded of some type, which will undo pretty much everything I’ve done for the last year up front grass wise.
This is why I drink.
The fact that all I do is drink is amazing.
Most sane people would have the common decency to check themselves into a mental clinic by now, for a vacation and a chance to watch Jeopardy regularly again, if nothing else.
But for now, no drinking. Rather wash my poop-y smelling hands again and try to get some sleep before the next “surprise”.
Is it all worth it, you might ask?
Will I stop?
Everything happens for a reason, bankrupting me or breaking me down may be the only way to get me out of here. I’d better hide something to drink, I’ll be thirsty on moving day.