Monday, September 10, 2007


This evening, I came home to the delightful reality of a backed up sewage line that was bubbling water and muck up into our basement. At first, because of the large pool of murky water around its base, we thought it might be our washing machine having issues. But then we checked the basement shower, which was filled with a lovely black sludge.

We called the city and, to their immense credit, they had a crew out to check the main sewer line within 30 minutes (a snarky friend made the astute observation that yes, of course they'd act quickly, because "Tax payers remember shit in their basements."). Unfortunately, it's not the main line, so that leaves us to call in Roto-Rooter to unclog the pipes leading out of our house. Until then, no water usage for us. Which bodes for a somewhat smelly day at work for me.

But I'd like to take this time to (sincerely) recognize some of the unsung heroes of the municipal employment world: Vactor operators. The Vactor is that big green truck you see around town, snaking a long tube down into our crap-filled underworld to dislodge and suck up all of our unwanted filth. It's not a fun job, nor a particularly sweet smelling one. My sister did this for a summer some years ago and told many tales of nastiness (and sometimes hilarity).

So to the crew that hurried out to our 'hood at 11:00 at night after just 30 minutes and checked out the situation, I extend my gratitude. I hope your showers are long, hot and luxurious.

Seriously though, thanks.

(side note: when I did a Google image search for "Madison Wisconsin vactor", why did this come up and what the heck is that thing he's holding?)


Nick Null said...

Duh, that's a batleth.

Emily said...

Way to read the filename, smart guy. ;)

The Lost Albatross