“Write ‘em about the pumps. Tell ‘em how I’ve suffered. They’ll want to know all about it.” The puppy spins as ever in the center of her dizzy private universe and thinks involving others will lessen the odious burdens that are hers alone to bear.
“Just how have you personally suffered?” My demure picturesque brook is now a muddy torrent racing beside the house, threatening to erode my driveway at the very least. I dare not consider how close it is to the library window. I am rain-soaked, marathon-running-sore, and my nostrils are filled with the stink of gasoline and mud. I’ve been in better moods. “Tell me where it hurts, my precious.” Sarcasm affords me a soggy remnant of self-respect. A rather threadbare remnant.
“Well, if you must know, I hate that gasoline smell and that horrid noise from the pumps disturbs my sleep, and I have all this mud between my toes and it itches. This just sucks. Make it go away. Now.” Of course if the puppy had any sense she would skedaddle onto the porch, but she needs to be at Action Central here with me beside the pumps, complaining, because complaining is what she does best.
“This is another dire dickerment you’ve gotten us into. A dire dickerment. I’m catching a cold. ”
The pumps are sixty-five-pound gas-powered metal monsters, each displacing two hundred gallons of brook water per minute via thick seventy-five foot hoses that lead from the upstream side of the driveway, across said driveway, thence spilling the excess water downstream eventually into the Atlantic. The circumference of the culvert under the driveway is inadequate to handle the present deluge so, thinking as always outside the box, I have decreed that water shall flow harmlessly over the driveway as well as under. The pumps’ simple engines are temperamental divas who cough if their throttles and their chokes are not adjusted to perfection, and occasionally stop altogether, necessitating further pulling on the rip cords. My right arm is possibly measurably longer from yanking on those friggin’ cords. All this happens in the dark with just enough light from a feeble flashlight stuck in my hatband to lend a touch of romance. I am not amused. It is a long night.
And yet… as the sun rises the rain relents, the brook recedes, and the pumps sputter their emptied-gas-tank last gasps. After the cacophony of the pumps, the air is astoundingly quiet and refreshingly free from fumes. The driveway and the library are saved from the wantonness of water, but my sanity is shredded. There are little pieces of Mara-matter floating through the morning air like so much dandelion fluff. I decide to sit down where I am. In the mud. It’s not as unpleasant as one might suppose.
NOTE: This episode happened days ago. All is now sumptuous and at least pseudo-spring-like.
The puppy, every thrifty, plans to market the mud as a beauty product. I am told the mud of the brook possesses amazing regenerative properties. I am told this by the puppy, and would she lie? Her own feet are now soft as a baby’s bottom. Infomercial fame and fortune will soon be hers. She has persuaded me to try one of her mudpacks. It settles in my wrinkles and makes me look like a jigsaw puzzle. Perhaps if I left it on longer…
Causes Mara Buck Supports
Kennebec Valley Humane Society, Amnesty International