Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Horrifying Tale of the Sewer Monster...

..and three terrified children

Following the current theme of relating personal and family experiences, I will now start a short series of tales from my childhood and that of my siblings. There are a few stories that we continue to tell when we get together and the more embarrassing it is for one or two of us, the better. So right at the top, is the Tale of the Sewer Monster:

Much to the relief of my poor overworked mother, we finally got electricity and hot and cold running water in the house in the early 1960s. One of the first things we got was a bathroom with a flush toilet!!!! Dad built a small bathroom just off the kitchen (stole a bit of space from the dining room, but no matter). Plus, in the kitchen, a kitchen sink with hot and cold water taps was installed!!

Needless to say, with dirt being the norm on the farm, and five kids, there was lots of bathing, and lots of clothes to wash, as well and all that fluid had to go somewhere. So, at the same time, a big hole was dug behind the house and a concrete septic tank was installed.

Septic tanks fill up and the contents have to be pumped out. Soooo, under the ground, leading from the septic tank out to the corner of the homestead yard, a pipe was laid and a motor run pump installed. The pump was set to automatically start up when the contents of the septic tank reached a certain level. Way out in the corner of the homestead plot, the pump spewed its load out onto the field. The only things out there were a few trees and a cultivated field. The pump made a loud gurgling sound when it was doing its business and boy, did those trees grow fast, tall and sturdy.

One day my three youngest siblings were playing outside by themselves and they came running into the house, absolutely terrified. Their faces were as white as snow, they were so scared. They had heard some monster and were certain they were in great danger so came running in.

Well, of course, there was no monster. It was just the septic tank pump cutting in and making it's gurgling sound.

Being older, and so much wiser (not to mention meaner), my older sister and I have used that story and retold it time and again. Not long after that, the term "sewer monster" became well known in the family, and to this day, we still use it and derive some perverse pleasure out of retelling the story of the sewer monster and three terrified little kids.

Stay tuned. I've got more stories.

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