Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Things I Learned About Burning Poo

It's a little known fact that septic tanks contain beneficial bacteria that help break down "solids" - otherwise known as poo. However, solids could also mean toiletpaper. Yes, you heard me. It's the white stuff that comes on a little cardboard roll that you wipe your poopy butt with. And most septic tank owners would tell you that you can, indeed, flush toiletpaper, as opposed to, I don't know, putting it in a trashcan next to the toilet. Ok, that part about the "little known fact" is just a damn lie. Unless you live in Santa Fe.

This may sound a bit far-fetched, but my eyes were opened recently with our trip to Santa Fe, NM. Before I go off on the poopy-toiletpaper, gritty bed, deaf dog stories, please read the following disclaimer:

I love my aunt and uncle very much. My uncle, for all intents and purposes, is like a father to me. My aunt, while a bit absent-minded and very (and I can't emphasize that enough) talkative, is a darling woman. These people loved me at my most unlovable moments: the teenage years. (You parents know what I'm talking about.) What I am about to say is in no way a reflection on their characters. Please forgive me. Did I mention I love them?

My husband and I left for a well-deserved vacation on November 9th. We spent the first 5 days in Charlotte, NC, and another 5 days in Santa Fe, NM to visit my recently retired aunt (by marriage) and uncle (dad's bro). When we arrived on our first night, we got this long dissertation about how they have a septic tank, and evidently theirs is a special one that has an anti-toilet paper warning label. (I grew up on a septic tank, and there are chemicals that break that stuff down, so there really is no other "special treatment" required, other than the occasional septic tank pumping every 3-5 years of full-time use by a family of 4.) Anyway, we were told that if you go #1 (that would be pee for the lay person), please throw the paper in the trashcan by the toilet. If you go #2 (that's the poopy), the first wipe (the most dirty) can go in the toilet, but the rest should be thrown in the trashcan. That is seriously disgusting. So... one day, we're driving home really quick cuz my uncle (God bless his soul) needed to "make a #2 deposit" (quote from my aunt). After a seemily very long ride home (for a number of reason, notwithstanding the fact that my uncle, who is in his mid-70's, shouldn't be driving), he disappeared for 10-15 minutes. My husband and I were sitting in the living room, when here comes my uncle with a big ol' wad of TP (obviously used), who just casually tosses it in the fireplace. Yes, I'm serious. Ass wipe in the fire! Ever smelled burning poo? It's a treat. We just looked at each other it utter disbelief. (So, as a joke, I went to the bathroom for a few minutes, and walked out with a big wad of tp (clean) and tossed it in the fire, just to get a rise out of my husband. He responded, "Please tell me you didn't just do what I think you did!" HAHAAHA I crack myself up.)

And then there is Gypsy. Gypsy is a VERY old (like 15 years or so, although no one knows for sure since she was rescued by the Humane Society) Australian Shepherd. As with all old dogs, she is pretty much deaf and almost blind (cataracts, I don't wish them on anyone). Her back legs don't really work, so every once in a while, she sort of spontaneously collapses to the floor after her hind legs give out. (Usually this follows a good rub-down, so you kind of have to weigh the pros and cons of petting this dog.) Gypsy is sweet... gives very sweet little kisses (you dog-lovers will know what I'm talking about). She also can't eat solid food. My aunt blends her food in a blender. Lord have mercy. I'm not sure I could adequately describe the smell of a dogfood smoothie, so I won't even try.

Let me divert for a minute. I did a load of laundry whle we were there. The dog's food dish is right by the dryer. As I was pulling freshly dried whites from the dryer, a perfectly clean and innocent white footie sock fell into the dog dish. In that dish was dogfood soup (a delicacy, I'm told). Needless to say, that sock had a very short life. It took one for the team.

Ok, back to the stories.

We entered the guest room to find rocks and grass all over the guest bed, which, I might add, was a double. (K. This may not be a big deal for you tiny little people, but my husband is 6 feet and over 200 pounds. I'm 5'5" and I won't tell you what I weigh (cuz I'm still in denial) but I can tell you that I ain't no size 6. Picture the two of us on a double bed. Got the image? Good.) The only thing I can figure is that the throw blanket at the foot of the bed must have been a dog blanket at some point, because there was dog hair and gritty stuff all over... We had to take the blankets off and shake everything out before we crawled into bed. I've heard that is an honored tradition for guests in some homes. No it isn't. Now, when you're used to a king size... a queen is a stretch... now squeeze into a double. Those are some good times. Now I'm not saying this happened, but I could imagine that if my husband had accidentally passed gas in the middle of the night, the vibration from his butthole, which may have been right against my hip, would have woke me out of a dead sleep. That is, if I could fall asleep. Which I couldn't.

And this is why I drink.