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21 September 2010


No Water 2, the sequel

As near as I can figure it goes like this:
This is wrong so I shall try to get it down correctly this time.

Summit Lake, notwithstanding jetskis, planes, boats, swimmers, and the occasional parasailor or windsurfer, is a Drinking Water Lake, although it is never tested and undoubtedly Things are leaking into the lake.

My water begins in the lake, is pumped into the house, and plops out of the taps wagging its tail eager to be ingested, along with whatever happens along for the ride.

There are stringent unenforced regulations about what you can spray and so forth, within X distance of the lake.

Blackberries grow out of control down by the lake.

Mr Landlord hires Man A, who wanders into Jessica's garden while she's sitting outside in her pajamas one morning drinking coffee. He explains that he's going to liberally spray an incredibly toxic herbicide on the edge of the lake in order to kill the blackberries. Jessica (an environmentalist): Dude, that's against the law. You'll be hit with a lawsuit, plus OUR WATER COMES FROM THE LAKE and you might kill someone.

Exit Man A.

*Lights come up and audience is encouraged to buy popcorn and drinks as I'm not sure exactly what transpires but the next thing I hear is that...*

Jessica's houseboy (whom I've never met, but who is some kind of cleaning fetishist availing himself of J's dominatrix services apparently) is going to remove the blackberries with old fashioned work involving digging and whatnot.

On Sunday the water pump burns up.

Ever on the ball, my landlord hires a 91 year old man (who built this house, but who is a VERY old, deaf, stooped, wizened little man now) who replaces the pump today.

Midday-ish: Water! Yay! It's brown! It's... pooh! *lets it run* It's... brown! *lets it run* It's stinky!

I hear someone shouting irately at someone else but don't try to listen.

Tiff rings: "I want to come over since my week is weird and I might not get another chance."
Me: "OK, I need to take a shower because I didn't like the thought of being in a confined space with the smell, but I will."

I showered, things were a bit more spluttery than expected. Cleaning the kitchen I noticed grit in the sink after running the stinky water.

My landlord rings just now and asks me to turn off electricity to the pump (don't ask me why he rang me just now as I don't know).


On one side we have my landlord (not here, very ill, bad track record for house maintenance) and the 91 year old man (can hardly see/hear).
On the other side we have Jessica (environmentalist), houseboy (SCUBA diver/handyman), new tenant (journeyman carpenter), and me (god-like observer - well, not really).

According to my landlord, the pump burned out on Sunday, then on Tuesday after the 91 year old man replaced the pump (I think) the houseboy, for unknown reasons involving a desire to clean the pipe, CUT the pipe that leads out into the lake. The pump was struggling to pump nothing or perhaps pump from the muddy lake edge and consequently the water was brown, stinky, and spluttery.

According to the other side, 91 y.o.m. arrived 90 minutes later than specified in the company of a young man who admitted he is a neighbour and is A) frightened by driving with a man who can't see/hear, and B) possesses no knowledge of the problem at hand. [He is appalled (one supposes) and doesn't return the next time 91 y.o.m. comes.] 91 y.o.m. works for a short time. The pump was replaced but was not working when the 91 y.o.m. left with the house still waterless. Houseboy and new tenant, both of whom are handy (and this is a fairly simple thing, after all), decided to troubleshoot with the goal of fixing the issue. The water pipe leading into the lake, which should be inspected by SCUBA divers every 1-3 years hasn't been checked in many moons. The pipe is too fragile to be checked in the
normal way (SCUBA diver loops a cord around it and follows the pipe out to its end), but might well be clogged, so the two men cut the pipe, knowing that mending the cut is a 20-minute job with a connector and some epoxy glue or whatever. In their poking around they see clearly that the pump has the wrong connector, that the right connector will cost $5 and will fix the water problem. They somehow get things going enough so that we have brown, stinky, spluttery water for a certain amount of time.

91 y.o.m. turns up (I think this is how it went) and is livid, saying the pump was fine but cutting the pipe has caused it to not work; he behaves "inappropriately" to Jessica, shouts at the two men, calls my landlord and tells him we need [ANOTHER?] new pump. The two men say NO WE DON'T - we need a $5 piece of pvc pipe.

My landlord, having an oil-and-water relationship with Jess, after receiving detailed emails, and phonecalls from both sides gives a one-sentence command: back off and let the 91 y.o.m. finish the job without interference.

Today the 91 y.o.m. turns up at 10:30 or so without the equipment he needs, apparently. Houseboy is backing out of the situation. Jess is seething with anger. I am considering rereading Dante's Inferno as it is a guidebook to this territory.

I still have no water,
Maybe one day I'll have what I consider to be my normal water situation.

posted by - 9:28 PM

if this doesn't have a really dramatic ending you should totally make one up just for us!

It's currently an all-out war, and I've had heartburn for two days because of it.
I think that 91 yom must be the same one who "fixed" the whole in my bathroom wall with Mister Rivers, 32 years ago in Brooklyn! They left my charming, white-ceramic-tiled tiny bathroom (which had a skylight) with a tumor protruding from the wall that appeared to be made of brown poo with broken pieces of ceramic tile pasted on it to simulate the rest of the wall. an observer could have believed it was good as new only if one they were totally devoid of their visual and tactile senses.
erm HOLE not WHOLE ...
If you fill the hole you mend the whole.
awww Osprey - come stay with me in Vermont for awhile! our water is ok now.
Look on the bright side - I can't drown!
This is like "The Whales of August" meets "On Golden Pond." You should be filming this. I want to see the dailies.
Now I need to scrub and disinfect my house as we have a sooper sekret revolting tenants' meeting here tomorrow.
I'll throw in "The Dirty Dozen" to the mix then.

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