The good news: the snow has melted.
The bad news: the mounds of mud on your front lawn makes it look like there was a tractor pull!
The good news: April showers bring May flowers.
The bad news: your sump pump breaks down!
The first sign the sump pump malfunctioned– which is a nice word for ‘#!¥#!’– is when you return from your winter vacation…
Your husband opens the front door and collapses! He’s buried under four pieces of matching soft-sided luggage held together by 17-miles of zippers.
“Dear, how many times do I have to tell you? DON’T smash the luggage onto the ceramic tiles!”
Suddenly! He’s up. He’s running like a maniac to turn off the security alarm.
From back at the foyer: “Honey, what is it that smells?”
“Dear. I haven’t got time for what smells. Quick: what’s the code so the siren doesn’t start screaming! Fast!”
“I’m telling you. Something smells.”
“Sheesh dear. All I need now is the code! Come on!”
Ring. Ring. Ring…
‘THIS IS THE EMERGENCY RESPONSE CENTRE. OUR TACTICAL UNIT AND THEIR BOMB SNIFFING DOGS ARE ON YOUR FRONT LAWN! REMAIN IN YOUR HOUSE– WE ARE STUCK IN THE MUD!’
“Oh hi, it’s just us. It happens every time we return from vacation. My husband can’t remember the code. Do you know what a rotten rutabaga smells like?”
There’s no time…
Now your husband is running like he did when he prepped for his colonoscopy. Only this time he’s sprinting to the television: it’s NCAA March Madness.
Your wife continues sniffing…
It’s that sniff that only women can do– a time honoured tradition that’s got to be in females genes. They scrunch their nose. Their forehead brow furrows. Followed by two, three tops, purposeful sniffs; then they blurt out those five words: “Did you poop your diaper?’
But this time it’s different…
“Dear, something smells. I think it’s in the basement!”
“Not now Dear. I need to update my brackets!”
Minutes later she hollers from the bottom of the stairs.
“Dear. You’d better come down here soon. Something’ REALLY smells!”
OMG! The sump pump!
Next it’s another back from vacation tradition: husbands dashing to the basement– tripping over the four pieces of soft-sided luggage they left on the ceramic tile at the top of the stairs!
In the basement you slop through knee-deep water to the sump pump. It’s past the Bluetooth-enabled treadmill– with 20 preset workout apps, heart monitor, fat calorie counter, integrated tablet holder, and body mass index thingy– that your wife hangs the laundry on.
Guys like to brag about their sump pump: ‘Yeah I’ve got a submersible, cast iron, 3/4 horsepower baby with an energy efficient, 75 Amp maintenance-free battery with special backup system!’
To use layman terms a sump pump is, well, err, of no significant value; sort of like calling a customer service agent at the cable company. The sump pump is similar to Trump repealing Obama care: it fails.
Google ‘sump pump’ and it says: a sump pump is a device that is used during the Spring Thaw to prevent water from flooding the basement. Google even further and the truth appears: Spring is an acronym for: ‘Sump Pump Really Isn’t Necessarily Good.’
“I’ll go upstairs and call the plumber.”
Ring. Ring. Ring.
“Hi. You know what he did this time? No he didn’t leave the tap on in the laundry tubs again!”
Sump pumps are not covered in homeowners insurance policies. It’s in the fine print…
‘A sump pump, or similar apparatus that homeowners may purchase from a hardware store that also sells other home safety devices including, but not limited to, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, and duct tape– ‘Now Available in an Array of Designer Colours’– is not covered in your policy. Should you install a sump pump in your home our lawyers will use big words including ‘egregious’, ‘codicil’, ‘affidavit’ and ‘appellant’ when they officially declare your policy is– more legalize here– worth squat.’
Homeowners with sump pumps know what’s next: the speed dial on their phone…
“Hello is this the Home Restoration Company?”
The home restoration company arrives in a panel truck with large letters ‘WATER DAMAGE. SEWER CLEANUP. FIRE & SMOKE. MOLD REMEDIATION. BIOHAZARD CLEANUP’ so your neighbours– who are peeking out from behind their drapes– know your sump pump broke down, again.
These home restoration experts are skilled professionals who carry clipboards. As they inspect the damage they hear your wife’s sobs: something about “What are we going to do?”
“Mame, your husband installed a sump pump and it broke down, right?”
“No, I always walk around in knee-deep water in the basement. It’s part of my therapy for varicose veins. DUH!”
The home restoration experts haul all your water-damaged goods– including the gold and green wall-to-wall shag carpeting– to the front lawn. This is intended to dry the carpet, and publicly shame homeowners for their dreadful decorating taste in front of the neighbours!
It’s a lovely day in the neighbourhood. Another day in paradise!
Gary Chalk, a retired Canadian baby boomer is a member of Humor Writers of America. Each week over 3,000 readers across North America read Living Retired. To unsubscribe or to book Gary’s keynote presentation ‘I Don’t Have Wrinkles, I Have Laugh Lines’ visit http://LivingRetired.press. There’s lots more laughs at http://LivingRetired.press. Living Retired is also featured in After Fifty Living. Visit http://AfterFiftyLiving.com.