Full (2)

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My brother Steve and his family are moving in with me on Thursday. “We’d better get the septic tanks pumped,” my father said.

The man who operates the pumping truck was more than happy to come out. Troy is one of the best hunters in Plummer’s Hollow and spends as much time up here as he can. And he had time to stand around and shoot the you-know-what, too. “July is the slowest month of the year,” Troy said.

The sky was entirely clouded over – in fact, we had a brief rain just as Troy came up the driveway – but for some reason its reflection in the sewage appeared blue. The vacuum made short work of the liquid portion, but the solids at the bottom – which were not as high a proportion of the total as some of this blog’s readers might suspect – took a bit more time. Troy has been doing this work at least part-time for several years now. “This is the first time anyone’s taken pictures,” he said.

A series of very solid things made a rattling noise as they went up the hose. “Boy, I don’t remember passing those,” I said.

When it was done, we stood around the empty tank jawing for a few more minutes while the hose sucked on air. Troy told us he likes the job – it’s much less stressful and easier on his back than his previous job doing maintenance work on 18-wheelers. When the truck is full, he takes it to the Altoona Sewage Treatment Plant, where another one of our hunter friends works. Merely by taking a crap, it seems, I am contributing to the local economy and helping my friends put food on the table. There’s a certain rightness to that, even if we don’t do the ecologically correct thing and switch to composting toilets.

See also my post from last February, also entitled Full.

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