Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A day in the glamorous life...

The pond fountain clogged up last week. In the morning it was a nice fountainous spray and by lunch it was anemic and by dishes it was a dribble.

 Hmmm, I thought over a sudsy pan. Could be some leaves, could be algae, could even be chunks of the alfalfa hay that’s supposed to control algae problems. Then again, it could be a more costly problem of the fountain motor burning out. By the time I finished a mountain of glassware I’d decided (like I do with most electrical things) that all the fountain needed was a rest.
Seriously, a rest has cured all kinds of plug-in devices at my place. Electronics are just like the rest of us slaving for the Man and a bit of downtime works magic. 
Today, I awakened to the sunshine and the cicadas singing in the birches. I walk the kids to school and it’s not until the trek back up the hill that I notice the odd hush that’s fallen over the yard. Instead of being greeted by the cheerful applause of water, I walk up the long driveway and am reminded that I haven’t yet replugged the fountain which means my pretty little water feature is now five days into becoming a stagnant swamp.  Yes, the road to Hell and stagnant swamps is paved with forgetful women and the belief that appliances deserve vacations.

Needless to say, I hustle to plug that puppy in.  I wait for splashing water. And wait. And wait some more.

Ungrateful fountain doesn't so much as sputter a thank you. No tan, no t-shirt, not even a tropical hangover and a mildly funny story to tell. A va-kay has only made the fountain worse. The works are definitely clogged.
I built this fountain, you can read about it here.
There are three parts to the fountain: 1)filter, 2)the hose and 3) the fountain motor (actually a ridiculously powerful motor, like I’m talking a city snowplow wouldn’t want to meet this thing in a dark alley) with a four foot pipe off the top and a cap that forces the jetted water out tiny holes to spray out prettily.  

I clean the filter. It’s in good shape- not the problem.  Can’t be the hose, so my last option is the fountain device located in the center of the lake.  Standing on the side of my water, planning to climb in, it no longer resembles a pond, it is now a lake of soon-to-be fetid water if I don’t hustle and get the water circulating.
I roll up my pants and sleeves and dip in a toe and notice, as anyone swimming in MN in September has, that it’s FREEZING. I also notice that there’s a funky smell coming from the pond today.  But it’s Fall, leaves are beginning to drop, and leaves+ water= funk. So I push aside my squeemishness and jumpy tummy and wade into the pond’s center.
Anything that gets past the filter is next sucked down ten feet of skinny hose where it meets the spinning blade of the motor before it is rocketed up a four foot pipe at 2G’s. Finally said object is blasted out the tiny holes of the fountain head at a blistering 10 G’s.
If there’s a clog, it’s mostly likely in the fountain head.
I work to unscrew the fountain head. I really work.
I tug. I pull. I pry. I full-body pole dance and finally get the head of the fountain off.  Sure enough it’s clogged with something… something that smells awful.  Like five days decaying rot awful.  I hold my breath and look closer… I’ve got to solve the mystery… it’s gooey, slimey, beige-colored.. oh,  and it has a frog leg.
Yeah, that would be a frog.
Nasty. Nasty, nasty.  Everytime I shut my eyes I can still see it.  Blendered beige guts and one untouched green leg. 
Now most girls, nay... most people with eyes, at this point would fling the fountain head and run screaming for a kerosene bath--  I’ve just waded through this guys blender spray AND groped the plastic tube his frappe'ed entrails would have dripped down.
But hey, I’m not most moms. I get a stick and uncerimoniously stab out my fountain head, hose her off, dry heave more times than I’d like to admit and then plug in that fountain to make sure it coughs out the final frog toes or spleen or whatever.
THEN, I took a kerosene bath.
I won’t blame you if you don’t hug me next time we meet.   But please, admire the fountain.


Tiffany said...

oh my gosh , I love you. that was the best story ever. I would totally hug you.... you deserve like 500 hugs. you definitely aren't like other moms! great writing, jenn.

Katie and Lane said...

Oh so disgusting. You have one tough gag reflex. Just reading this made me almost throw up b