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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Better Buy a Brita......

Better Buy a Brita......or......Move the Pump Further From the Outhouse

"Honey! What are you doing?" she shouts out the back widow. "The men are here to install the water meter in the front yard."
"I'm digging a hole,(pant puff wheeze) and I know, I already talked to them!" I attempt to shout back but with very little breath to do so.
"Be a dear and dig a few holes along the fence for my begonias would you." ( not bothering to ask why I'm digging a hole in the yard) "Oh and my sisters coming to stay with us for a few days. Her and Dereck are at it again."
Well now I've got a second use for this hole if the whole outhouse think doesn't work. But I'm sure it'll be okay with the city. I'm saving water! I'm building a no-flush toilet. And by building this structure I can do something I want to do without paying the government to do so. The government always has their hands in my pockets! And now with the water meter measuring every flush, they now have their hands in my pockets even when their around my shoes on the bathroom floor!
It must be my dad coming through that makes me the miser that I tend to be at times. I could hear his voice every time I told the kids to 'Shut the door! I'm not paying to warm the world ya know!' 'Hey princess you've been in the shower ten minutes now!' Or the all so popular 'When you leave a room, shut off the lights!' 'Only three squares of toilet paper are needed to....' well you know he rest.
I think all dads are, or become a little crazy when it comes to paying utilities.
My ex-father-in-law would go in the bathroom, leave the light off, and take a bath with the use of a flashlight. He would run the tub or 30 sec. Then he'd get in and squeak around for awhile...drain...another 30 sec. of running water, followed by more squeaking around on the bottom of the tub.
I'm not that crazy yet, but I catch myself, now that I pay for water by the volume used, doing some pretty weird things. For example when I pour a glass of water I'm always pour too much, because I like my glass half full, I pour what I don't drink into the dogs water bowl. I now only use two ice cubes in a drink instead of the four cubes I used when I was living the high life. No longer is the courtesy flush rule used during the use of three squares of toilet paper (if you know what I mean). And if there's left-over coffee in the pot.....? I pour it in the dogs water bowl. He's never been so active!
Habit after habit that I had developed as a child in the use of H2O is going down the drain! Water was abundant as a child of the sixties. I could brush my teeth and run the water the whole time doing so. I could lather, rinse, repeat, then lather again, rinse, apply conditioner, rinse and not feel guilty. Now the wife and I ( I've got her on the program too) walk around with our hair looking like we were on the episode of Seinfeld when they put in the low flow shower heads! We are looking to maybe follow the old bumper stickers advice of 'Save water shower with a friend'! And as ecologically sound as that may appear my buddy Jim didn't want anything to do with it.
It was the first couple of weeks on the water meter that were the toughest. I did things, devised ways, and brought into practice, as household law, ways to limit the wanted waste of the once endless supply of running water.
1. Never wash the car until the neighbors have gone out for the day, then use their hose.
2. If by luck the neighbors should leave you in charge of their house when on holidays, (because last time they did their cat died and all their patio furniture was stolen, but it's actually at your sisters.) all bodily functions and personal hygiene is carried out at their domain.
3. Have a key cut for the Husky gas station washroom at No. 3 Rd. and Blundell.
4. Try at least three new public washroom every week.
5. Eat more cheese and less fiber. Learn to accept constipation as the norm.
6. Dig a hole in the backyard deep enough to for an outhouse and then one more for a well to use for household water.
7. Buy a Brita. (maybe this should be 6 and 6 should be 7).
8. Clean out and repair the reservoir you built three years ago. (it became a mosquito pond that then resulted in killing many of the birds in the neighborhood so you buried it)
9. Every time you leave McDonalds fill your drink cup with ice to bring home as free water to brush your teeth with.
10. Bathtub water is to be used for at least two baths and then dirty dishes are done in remaining water with three extra squirts of Mr Bubble. (do not dry the dishes with the bath towels as body hair has been found in my Orange Pekoe Tea).
As I mentioned that was what I tried to adhere to the first couple of weeks on the water meter. I had successfully dug the two holes (and the begonia holes) to the required depth, and we're operational. All ten of my by-laws had been achieved and practiced. And I don't know if it was the hospital stay (should of brought the Brita first!), or angry neighbors, gas station management or the constipation complicated with all the scratching from mosquito bites but I've pretty much given up on my manifesto. I'm back to the way it was, but being much more aware of how much I use.
Most of us born here grew up taking for granted our endless supply of fresh clean water. It's funny how a valve and a meter buried in the ground becomes such an education as to how to effectively use this precious resource.
"Honey are you in there? The lights not on. Are you in there with the flashlight taking a squeaky bath? Sis needs in to put on her makeup...she's going out on a date." the wife taps and asks the bathroom door.
I squeak down and turn off the flashlight. Two cups, two saucers and assorted cutlery shift about my feet in my inch and a half bubble bath. No ones going to rob me of my soak!

Bob Niles

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