Money Down the Toilet

The true meaning of “a world of crap”…

Our city is experiencing a sewage crisis. Crap is flowing into our rivers, literally. Instead of warning children not to play in the river because they’ll drown, we say, “Don’t play in the river. You’ll get Giardia.”

If the city addressed the problem when it arose, I’d be a teenager stressing over prom and not an empty nester stressing over how to afford crap. The ten year, 100 million dollar project received some grants, but most funding will come from me and my neighbors for the next fifty years or until we die.

People who know shit stand to make a good living for the next decade. The banks stand to collect interest on shit while I make payments on shit. The environment will no longer have to put up with shit. There is good from all this shit.

The project invaded my township last summer. Base camp, for the implements of destruction, is located a few yards from my house. Back hoes and dump trucks are as common as Fords and now mud on my street. Attempts to wash away mud have turned the road into a Serengeti watering hole where one expects to see wart hogs wallowing.

White lines appeared on our street in October signaling we were next. Want an adrenaline rush? Drive a car under a 16,000 pound back hoe bucket with six foot ditches on both sides of your car.

Road closed signs popped up like baby bunnies in springtime. Never knowing which end of the road would be open, I took to parking on a parallel street. While carrying groceries one day, a backhoe operator stopped me, “Ma’am, we’ll let your car through.” I replied, “I’d prefer that you keep working. I want you off my street, no offense.”

By December, most of the holes were closed. Our driveway was half dirt. The road surface was so uneven that a speeding car (20mph) could hit a bump and launch into a house. Our township sported enough orange cones that it resembled a driving course from a car commercial where the fine print stated, “do not attempt, closed course, professional drivers.”

My first car was a 1965 Rambler, a classic at the time of purchase. Classic translated into “tank.” I drove the Rambler to places called The Knob, Tin Shed, and Three Hills. My current car hasn’t a chance of making it through sewer repairs unscathed.

I thought the sensible way to navigate the streets would be in a Jeep. Plus, it would be fun. My husband saw no reason to take on thirty-five thousands dollars of debt to off-road in the neighborhood.

To obtain my dream vehicle, I proposed an investment scheme. We borrow money not only to finance our connection to the main sewer line, but also to purchase a couple mules and hardy burros. The critters would be used like taxis to haul our neighbors to and from their homes now that our surroundings resembled a miniature Grand Canyon.

January, they dug up our street, again. What’d they forget, tools, a co-worker? At  months end, pink lines and arrows appeared. I figured this was where they planned to put the dynamite to blow it all up.

In February, they were back, again. The sewer company, upon breaking the water main, called in the water company for reinforcement. A cup of clean water held more value than sugar or eggs in the neighborhood.

When service resumed, I had to boil the water. Potential disease causing organisms ran from my faucet. For a few days, I lived with the thought of organisms infesting my hair and crawling over my body because my husband insisted I bathe.

Today, a forklift rolled by with a port-a-john in its bucket, hmmm… I don’t wish typhoid on anyone, but I hope karma smacked the genius, who thought to integrate the river into our sewer system, with at least one bout of intense abdominal distress.

For the greater good promised for my environment, I shall persevere. For my investment, I do expect to plunge my face in the river without contracting cholera. I also want to paddle my canoe and see fish in the water, fish I could eat.

Published in Funny Times-November 2016

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