It was the old timer up the road on the other end of the phone line. “Where the hell is your husband?” he demanded to know.
“Same place he is everyday at this time… at work,” I barked back.
“Get up here right now and bring a flashlight and the roof rake (a 10 ft aluminum pole with a blade at the end, used to scrape snow off a roof). And you might want to put on a pair of rubber gloves,” he commanded in his usual gruff manner. I heard a click and the line went dead. I was given my marching orders and had no choice but to gather the needed supplies and get up the road post-hast. The option to go AWOL was not on the table. The old timer knew I was home and to disobey a direct order would mean I would be court-martialed and sent to solitary.
“Why rubber gloves?” I mumbled under my breath. “This can’t be good. I better change my clothes,” I told myself. I reluctantly pulled on my barn boots and headed out the door.
I found him around the back of the house, laying on his stomach with his head below ground. I knew exactly what he was looking in…
The septic tank.
I dropped the supplies at his feet and his head popped out of the tank opening. I immediately took the opportunity to tell him that I didn’t care if he was digging up ten million dollars in pirate treasure – there was no way in hell that I was helping with this predicament.
“It’s my damn cell phone!” he yelled at me. “It slipped out of my pocket and fell into the tank when I bent over to pull off the lid.”
I pursed my lips and shook my head violently. “Nope. Not gonna happen. There’s no way on God’s green earth that I’m helping you fish your phone out of the septic tank. I’m not doing it,” I firmly told him.
He just stared at me.
“Do you honestly think it’s gonna work after swimming in a tank full of crap?” I hollered at him. “How do you think you’re going to clean it?”
“A little sh*t never hurt no one,” he shot back at me. “Besides, the lady at the phone store told me to put it in a bag of rice,” he said matter-of-factly.
“That’s what you do when you spill water on a phone. THIS IS NOT WATER!” I protested with every bit of my being.
He shot me an irritated look and stood up. “Well, hell. What am I gonna do now?”
“You’re going to get a new phone. And I’m going to go home and forget this ever happened,” I told him as I picked up my supplies and headed for the truck.
“Well I can’t leave it in there!” he yelled at the back of my head.
“Oh… Yes. You. Can,” I said to him in a slow, deliberate manner.
Again, he just started at me.
“I’ll make you a deal,” I said. “You leave the phone in it’s watery grave and I’ll drive you down to the phone store.”
“Deal,” he said as he hoped in the passenger seat.
Two hours later, I dropped him off at his house with a brand-spanking new… flip phone.