Wanderings through life, landscapes, and occasional loopiness. So pull up a log and have a bit of a sit-down ’round the virtual campfire.

Like Sands in the Hourglass…

Greetings, peeps. I somehow survived xmas/solstice/hanukkah/kwanzaa and I sure hope you did, too. Right now, I’m sort of gearing up for the new year, but only because I’m driving to Colorado on the first (weather permitting) for a 4-month internship. No, you’re not rid of me that easily. This is why we have laptops and mobile wi-fi, amigas/os. Muah ha ha!

Anyway. I tend to think of the end of a year as a good time to purge. Not in that unhealthy kind of way, where you eat every disgusting leftover you can find and finish off the peanut brittle and that fudge that’s starting to harden around the edges and you even decide that pumpkin pie is looking pretty good–no sense letting it go to waste–and how about washing it all down with a slice of cake, a glass of eggnog, and a beer, since once the new year begins, so too begins that exercise program. After your attempt to clean the fridge, you end up feeling like the kid at the county fair who snarfed 14 cotton candies, 6 fried Snickers bars, 3 sodas (large), and 5 hotdogs and who got the bright idea that the “twist-your-guts-around-your-spinal-cord-tilt-a-whirl” was the best thing to do after all that. So you, too, might spend inordinate amounts of time in the bathroom following la fiesta de Frigidaire, wondering why the hell you did that, and you resolve (note use of prevalent new year’s term) never to do that again. Ah, hope springs eternal.

Back to purging. I think of purging as going through my closets and making massive donations to Goodwill. And yes, I admit it. I re-gift, too. I generally don’t ask for anything at xmas but invariably, somebody buys me something and sometimes it is something I find useful or interesting. Most of the time, it has absolutely nothing to do with any facet of who I am. But hey, it’s the thought, right? Those sorts of items I re-gift.

But back to purging. I was thinking about what I was doing about this time last year, and I remembered that our new year started with something that did need a purge–our sewer line. But not because of what we ourselves contributed (though in the great scheme of things, I’m sure that was also part of the equation). No, it was a nasty root build-up that likes to hit around January, usually the coldest part, too. So for your viewing pleasure, I have posted here a blog I wrote last year about that momentous occasion (on a now defunct site called AndiLand) because it somehow seemed apropos of what we really should do at the new year. Clean out our pipes–literal and metaphysical–and begin anew. I have updated it a bit, but the story remains the same.

Originally titled: “Please Sir, Would You Mind Blowing My Sewer?” by Andi Marquette

Thank god for guys like Blane. Yesterday, in a household crisis that threatened to overwhelm any summit, whether peace-, economy-, or environmentally-oriented, in which most other world leaders get out their imaginary cootie spray and pretend to douse themselves with it whenever a certain U.S. president walks past, we here in our little corner of the world were saved by Blane. I can’t imagine why Blane is not an ambassador, assigned to every freakin’ summit, meeting, peace talks, trade talks, or tense nuclear arms reductions talks because he could definitely unblock lines of communication faster than the Visine that Iranian President Ahmadinejab squirts surreptitiously into unattended drinks.

Blane is the Roto-Rooter guy. The pinnacle of plumbing. A superhero in jeans and button-down uniform shirt stained with…well, maybe we don’t want to know what that is. And frankly, I don’t care what it is because Blane was willing and able to conduct a major sewer screwin’ at the ol’ homestead yesterday evening in the cold dark winter air. Yessiree. Blane unhitched that length of stainless steel from the back of his mighty plumbin’ van and ratcheted it into the secret opening to hell. And then he shook his head and with a twinkle in his eyes, like he was the Santa of root clogs, he said:

“Well, dammit all. This is gonna require the BIG guns.”

BIG guns. Big, butchy, sewer-screwin’ guns. Blane is fixin’ to kick some root ass.

And within ten minutes, we stare, wide-eyed at the downstairs commode as it groans and shrieks, then burbles and wheezes. And with a WHOOSH the water in the bowl tears down the sewer line like a cat with its tail on fire. From outside, we hear Blane: “YEAH! GO, BABY, GO!” he shouts in his Brooklyn meets Deep South accent. I have already decided that Blane is from New Orleans and thus probably knows a lot about sewers and getting poo-screwed.

From the front door, we hear: “Turn the hot water on in the bathtub! Gotta make sure we cleared this baby! And flush a few times!”

Dutifully, I turn the faucet on full blast and commence to flushing. It is a thing of sheer beauty, to watch the water in that toilet disappear down the sewer line, nothing to obstruct its journey to the water treatment plant. Blane is a god. I exchange glances with my sweetie, who nods in solemn agreement.

The front door slams and we run out of the bathroom like teenaged hormone-ridden cheerleaders to worship at the altar of Blane. He’s laughing. “Well, I ain’t never seen anythin’ like that! WOO-WEE! Tore through that with the BIG cutter and then WHOOOOOMP WHIIISSSSHHHH there it goes! Five-foot a’ roots. Y’all oughtta have yer condo maintenance company take that tree out.”

“Oh, yes sir. We’ve told them the tree is the root of all evil in the sewer line. But they don’t listen to us.” We say it plaintively, like true acolytes. We are talking to Blane, after all.

He furrows his brow, in appropriate Zeus-like authority. “Well, I’m a’ gonna recommend that. We got a camera we can send down there to see what’s goin’ on.” He writes on the receipt, with big block letters so that the bureaucracy can for sure see what Blane thinks they need to do. Blane’s phone rings. He answers it. “Hello…sure, we can do that. You off I-24? Give me yer number…” He rolls his eyes. “Now, Bubba, you got to slow down. You’re cuttin’ out and I need your phone number. Hold on…I’m gonna repeat this back to you…Bubba, I said hold on…” Blane looks at us and grins. He is a sight to behold. He finishes writing things down and my sweetie signs off on the receipt.

“All right, ladies, y’all have a good night now. Mine…” he shakes his head though he’s still grinning. “Hell, it’s just beginning. Take care!”

And Blane is gone, off to save another, to preserve household peace and possibly to open communication lines between dimensions or perhaps even world leaders who don’t play well with others and run in the sandbox with scissors. Hell. Maybe I’ll even write Blane in as a vice-presidential candidate come November. Hope he’s okay with Oprah as runningmate.

All right, amigas/os. Take care over the changing of the year. Be safe, maybe think of others and maybe light a candle for tragic events going on in other countries or even right here in our own. Reflect, resolve, and roto-rooter.

Don’t buy the cheap stuff and

keep it real, yo.

Like Sands in the Hourglass…

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