Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — A couple of weeks ago, I drove to the St. Lawrence River by myself. I thought it would be a good chance to enjoy a peaceful weekend of fishing and golf. My wife allowed me this golden opportunity. I knew there would be some unexpected flies in the ointment — there always are — but I’m a glutton for punishment.
Upon arriving, I found that the above-ground septic line had broken. It’s not the first time I’ve had to fix it - who’d a-thunk four year-old duct tape wouldn’t hold?
Unfortunately, while working on the damn thing, I rubbed my eyes and wound up with an irritating eye infection. I went inside to clean up and 30 seconds after I’d gotten into the shower, the water pump that feeds water to the camp broke. (This is totally unrelated to the other problem.) The water pressure dwindled to a trickle … and then nothing. Naturally, I had just applied a quart of shampoo to my hair and had it all lathered up to the point where I looked like Jimmy Hendrix.
Toppling over furniture - and with the sting of soap compounding my eye woes - I found a bathing suit and stumbled to the river to rinse off. To the neighbors, I must have looked like an aging and drunken Ronald McDonald staggering home from an all-night bender.
After wiping myself dry, I decided to take a look at the pump and see if I could fix it. My only hope was that it had come unplugged. Plugging it back in is the extent of my self-repair abilities. It was not to be - it was plugged in. And now, I faced the grim reality that I was in over my head.
I called my river’s 911 help line — AKA: my brother in law, Bill — to assess the situation.
Looking down at the pump – which is outside among the cobweb-infested land of spiders and little evil insects that usually appear only in nightmares – he noted, “Yup. She’s water-logged, alright. Too much water, not enough air.”
“And ....? How do I fix it?” I asked.
Pointing to a grimy nozzle that was two inches from the filth-laden ground and next to a bug named, Toxic Teddy, he said, “You have to get down there and blow on that pipe.”
“Seriously,” he said, “that’s the only way you can displace the water with some air.”
I looked at him and asked, “How much for a new one?”
After Bill left, I decided to put the broken water pump on the back burner. I needed a break. Perhaps a good meal would take my mind off of my run of bad luck.
When I opened the freezer door, a bag of frozen-solid fish fillets slid out and - with the precision of a fleet of kamikaze pilots from hell – crushed my barefooted-toe like it was a grape.
When I ran to the bathroom to rinse off the deep gash, I was quickly reminded that I had no water.
I couldn’t wait to go home. I packed and left a day early. Nothing went right and all the way back I lamented the lost opportunity. No fishing, no golf. (But, yes, before I left I got on my hands and knees and blew air into that confounded tank. I care not, to discuss what it looked like with my butt up in the air pointed at the neighbors nor what they yelled at me while doing such.)
When I got home, my wife asked me how my weekend was. By then I realized not only what I had gone through, but what I had missed.
“How much for another one?” I asked.
I told you, I’m a glutton for punishment.
And that’s the way it looks from the Valley.Tom Valley is a Medina resident. His column appears every Thursday. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.