It can happen to any of us, even here in Richmond Hill. All psyched up and ready for the best of times, meeting people, enjoying the best food and discourse with the best of those you would admire – that was the way it could have been that evening. I can never forget those moments of grandeur, but they were only memorable thoughts, not reality. Coming like a thief in the dark was the reality.
It’s something one doesn’t prepare for, something which occurs and you don’t have an explanation or reason for its being. But there it was like a demon looking at you. Running around with my hands against my head wondering how I am going to deal with it.
I had wild thoughts of what it could be. But later when I expressed myself to those who really knew, they just laughed at me, placing their sympathetic hands on my shoulder and expressing their thoughts and probably pitying my stupidity. That was really the way it was that next day.
We were shouting and grabbing everything that would absorb water, even our best towels and wash cloths. We were as helpless as a ship at sea with no power, being cast about by angry waves. Even being a technical person, I couldn’t figure it out. I was just reaching for reasons but none of them figured.
The way it worked out, however, was an example of grandeur. All I did was call a plumber who moved in with his “rotating rooter” equipment and it was all over. I watched the level in the bowl drop like a lead ball. The county government moved in and did what they should have done when my home was built. The two crews worked and communicated like trained seals.
You would not believe the thoughts I had. They were enough to petrify anyone. The cost for remedying the situation would have been enough to make one gray-headed overnight. It would have meant hiring a contractor to dig about 11 feet into earth below my home and replace the drain pipe. I was told that the cost could have been near 10,000 bucks.
Thank heaven that was not the way it worked out. The plumber charged me chump change compared to what it could have been. The county charged me nothing. At that moment, I was shocked at the way my disaster dissipated. I didn’t think life would let me off the hook that easily.
The whole matter began one morning when we were sitting at the kitchen table. I had just placed my napkin in my lap. My first bite was inches from my mouth when my wife suddenly said, “Be quiet! What’s that noise?”
She ran down to the small powder room and discovered water flowing over the rim of the commode and splashing onto the floor like a waterfall. My mind was absolutely empty reaching for reasons. The carpet in adjoining rooms was flooded with contaminated water and everything that went with it.
In looking back and considering the matter, the event was caused by my failure to recognize the symptoms. Every time a commode upstairs was flushed, there was always that bubbling in the lower commode.
It was like the plumbing system was telling me, “You had better check me out.”
Bond lives in South Bryan County and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.