What more could go wrong?

Posted: April 9, 2012 in Life, Stupidity
Tags: , ,

Today was supposed to be a party at our place, with a few of the Usual Suspects, some wine, a bonfire, and a batch of something you can no longer get here, surprisingly, which we make at home: corned beef. Fray Bentos Corned Beef was one of the foods that helped win World War II, and it was made right here in Uruguay. Just one of the many long-lost bastions of capitalist excellence that has been consumed, shat out, and not reseeded, by generations of Tupamaros, socialsts, and communists.

Speaking of shit…

I got back to the house today after a run for groceries, firewood, and other sundries, including rye bread which I had to search all 9 levels of Hell for, and notice an interesting smell in the garage. There is shit water bubbling up from the plumbing access in the garage and bathroom. Lovely!

I run upstairs yelling for WifeBob, and find her in the shower. “Turn off the water! Now! There is shit backing up downstairs!”

I go back outside and put my head to the ground over the septic tank. Sure enough, I hear the overflow pump running. But it’s not moving anything. In fact, it hasn’t been moving anything for a month. But it’s been running the whole time. That explains the $400 electric bill I was about to take into the UTE office, guns blazing.

Great. 10 people are coming over in an hour.

Meanwhile, I call everyone I know, frantic to get any recommendations for a good plumber, because I certainly have nobody I would call again. Nobody else does, either. They all got tired of waiting around for people to not show up, and have nobody to recommend. I fall back on ArchitectBob, who knows our system better than anyone else, and I explain the problem.

“No problem, the plumber will come tomorrow morning.” he says.

“I can’t even flush a toilet until then? Are you serious?”

“Don’t worry,” he says… BEEP! Tu saldo no es suficiente para… (You are out of minutes, bitch. Buy more.)

UnFuckingBelievable. I go in to my computer and order more minutes online because the process cannot POSSIBLY be automated in this day and age of 2012. I call ArchitectBob back…

“I am supposed to have 10 people over for dinner tonight,” I explain.

“Oh. Yeah, that’s bad. Let me call you back, I’ll see if I can find someone to do it now.”

====

The plumber arrives at 7pm, after we have thrown in the towel and called off the Corned Beef party. We spend 2 hours digging the yard all to hell, right after we have finally nursed it back to health after the drought killed it off, searching for the access hatch to the septic tank, which Architect’sAssistantBob insists is 3 meters from the visible access hatch we have already unearthed, when it is, in fact, only one meter (and about 100 holes) away from the visible hatch.

As we get closer to the septic tank hatch, we feel the ground getting hotter and hotter underneath, and when we finally open the hatch, a cloud of steam erupts along with the stench. Imagine what it looks like to take the lid off a pot of boiling water. Now imagine it on an industrial scale with thousands of gallons of hot, steaming shit.

It’s also a good thing I shut off the pump’s breaker before we opened it, or we would have been taking a hot chunky shower. The pipe where the pump’s outlet is connected has come undone, and the pump was in there for a month or more simply spinning its own waste all over the place, running 24/7, and making it nice and hot. MMM!

Since it is dark and there is nothing open at this hour where we can get pipe pieces to fix the broken pipe, we must call it a night and the plumber will return tomorrow. The tank is still full, now I am covered in and smell like my own shit, and I cannot take a shower because it will just overflow the entire garage again with shitwater.

“Es mal hecho,” the plumber said. Well duh. Sad, really, because the work we had done was supposedly the best in the area, and we paid accordingly. Now it has to be redone, the yard is trashed, and we are an extra $400 in the hole for the wasted electricity (take a guess whether we’ll get that back!).

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