Either of those words on its own is enough to send me into a panic, but together – well, those two words in the same sentence is, I believe, code for “run as fast as you can and take the cyanide pill if they catch you!”. It feels like someone very strong and very angry sharpened a cheese grater on my palate, and then bored into my jaw with a jackhammer. For two and a half hours. Which, they tell me, was only the half of it. As if they really think I’m going to come back for Round Two. Hahahahaha.
Here’s another little word pair that can take a perfectly good week and send it down the toilet. Or, rather, send the contents of the toilet burbling up to say g’day. “Leach field”. As in “your leach field has failed”, which are the words I heard yesterday, while my head and mouth were still throbbing from “dental surgery”. Who ever said good things come in two’s?
Imagine, if you will, that the red barn depicted in the illustration above is our house. Like all the other homes in our area, we have a septic tank instead of something as civilized as a sewer. I have never understood this. I mean, didn’t the Romans have sewers way back in the B.C. days? Did the idea somehow not catch on here?
Every now and then someone shows up with what is actually referred to as a “sewage suction” (two high-impact words again there!) truck and a very long hose. I generally make it my business to be elsewhere on those days, but yesterday, I was right there when every sink and toilet in the house started making the kind of noises you hear right before someone parts with their semi-digested lunch. And I was here when Tony, the very nice man who has what must be the worst job in the world, came out to do battle with our septic tank. So I was the one who got the solemn news: “Your leach field has failed”. He paused to let the news sink in and seemed to think I was taking it awfully well. It helped that I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.
Thanks to http://www.co.el-dorado.ca.us/EMD/envhealth/homeowner_septic.html, however, I have learned just enough about leach fields to know that there will be no jewelry, automobile or furniture purchases in my near future, because we are most likely going to be ripping up our entire back lawn to replace the nasty thing. It’s a good thing baby chicks are in the $2 – $5 range, because that’s going to be about my limit.
Meanwhile, we’re engaged in damage control, because we have houseguests coming. Today. Of course. Teri is coming down from the Bay Area to visit friends and her beloved Chloe. And Alexandra, fresh from the East coast, is going to stay with us for a few days – unless, of course, she decides she’d rather be somewhere other than staring down a failed leach field.
If I sound inordinately chipper about sludge, sewage, flayed gums and rattled jawbones, there is an explanation. A certain un-named someone has just been offered a certain un-named position with a certain un-named (but very impressive!) organization in a certain un-named but very exciting city, and the CE and I would happily suffer twenty failed leach fields and dozens of dental surgeries in trade for this happy event.
Those two little words: “You’re hired!” completely trumped (ha!) the other dastardly word-pairs of the week. Yes, we will miss him – it has been so nice to have him at home – but we are so happy for him to have the job he really wanted and waited for during a time when it’s tough to get any kind of job at all. And these months at home weren’t all bad – if he ever needs something to fall back on, the kid has become quite adept at chicken-keeping! Two words for all of you: Happy weekend!