Monday, October 20, 2008

Stink, Stank, Stunk

Lucky for you, my wordiness today is operating at a dangerously low level. I suspect that it is because all concentration, frustration, energy and voodoo curses have been directed towards a malfunctioning drainage pipe beneath our house. How did I know that there were issues with a pipe that one cannot see?

I’m glad you asked.

See, at first I didn’t know that water was gushing under my house every time the kitchen faucet was turned to the on position. Or that food particles from the disposal landed directly on the creepy dirt area that is our crawl space. No, I first became aware of a problem when I walked in the back door and smelled a stench so horrific that all of the hairs in my nose immediately fell to the ground.

(This brought Mary Mac great joy. This is why.)

As any responsible mom of three children would do, I called my husband at the office. In fact, and because I felt as though this might be considered emergent, I had John’s nurse remove him from a patient’s exam room to report my stinky findings. (Sorry Mr. Patient!)

This is my end of our phone conversation:

“There is a skunk in our basement.”

“ I know that we do not live in the forest, but I am certain one has escaped and has taken refuge beneath our house.”

“No, I did not see it. No I am not going to see if I can see it.”

“I guess we can wait until you get home. But what if it is rabid and foaming at the mouth and attacks one of the children?”

“I can’t call ‘911’ anymore. They have our number on caller ID and my face on their bulletin board.”

“Fine. I’ll wait until you get home, but you’re gonna be sorry.”

An hour or so later, John walks in the door and says, “Good gosh! It smells like a skunk is in our basement!”

Clearly, my sense of smell is not worthy of such accurate proclamations.

So off to the dirt basement John went, trepidatiously stepping into the dark space we were both convinced would produce our fugitive skunk. The smell was indescribable, and seemed to be coming from a deeper place under the house that only those under three feet tall could stand upright.

Should we send a child?

Of course we wouldn’t consider sending one of our offspring into the deep, dark bowels of our house. (Pun intended) But a neighbor’s child, hmmmmm……

Further investigation involved John crawling on his stomach commando style through treacherous areas that included puddles of infested waters we do not want to identify in public. He snaked his way to the source of the problem – a gaping hole in a pipe that, for some time, has spewed water and all kitchen waste onto the ground.

The visual image John relayed to me still makes me feel faint, and obviously steals me of the usual excess words on which I typically rely.

Suffice it to say, I wish it had been a skunk. Turns out animal control is a WHOLE lot cheaper than the plumber who paid us back dearly for the stench with the invoice he slapped on my kitchen table.

I think he was mad because he lost all of his nose hairs too.

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