Thursday, January 3, 2008


In which the author alludes, in a wry manner, to the
horrific tension wrought by a continuously running sump pump


This morning I ran while it was eleven degrees; more important, the sump pump ran this morning while it was eleven degrees. Why is there liquid water when the temperature is so far below freezing? What can this mean? The pump has been running ("Thank the manufacturer," as a certain cartoon eighteen-wheeler might say) since, what, the 23rd? Whenever it was that we had the snowstorm and then the 45-degree rain a day or two later and the whole world melted.

The ground uphill from the house is dry now. There is no more snow on it, really. No more standing water from the deluge. No flood breached the berm behind the shed. No one else's pumps are running -- the usual crew down in the low spot at the main road all seem dry.

Pssssssshlllt, says the pump every few minutes. Ordinarily I would connect a black corrugated hose to it and route the water down to the driveway, to prevent it soaking into the front lawn and trickling its way into our downhill neighbor's sunken living room -- but ice was forming in the hose so I have to let it jet onto the grass, where it is forming a glacier. Pssssssshhhhhhlt.

One theory -- not mine, mind you! -- is that our house was built over an entry to hell, and that the water is running because Satan's fires are well-stoked with the emaciated souls of Bush supporters, thus melting the ice in the surrounding soil. That sounds unrealistic to me, because it would be warmer in the living room.

So, no, it's probably something simpler, like that the subterranean creek on our property runs below frostline. Neighbors tell me that the water trouble began on this side of the nearby town property only after a couple of parking lots were paved over there. That makes sense...the alternative theory is that a hundred years ago someone dug a well here and then decided What the hell-- let's just put in a whole house.


Primer said...

Emaciated souls couldn’t possibly give off enough heat upon immolation. Could they?

Happy Birthday Braine!

(Ha, ha! The word verification for this comment was "yesgmbee")

Claudia in Toronto said...

In spite of the Pssssshhhhlt, were the pork shops good, Chef?
Having read: Going Small/Weight Watchers/Back on Track/Sump Pump/, I'm with you all the way. All the best!

Magpie said...

My father's house is like that - sump pump goes nearly all the time. It's just a way of life.

My husband's favorite line: "Water is the enemy of the house".

Bill Braine said...

The pork chops were marinated overnight in mustard, soy sauce, chipotle and honey, then broiled both sides for a total of about 14 minutes, and yes they were good.

The water seems to have stopped. That's a record, maybe 12 days? Yoip.