If it’s yellow it’s mellow

Indoor plumbing is the cornerstone of civilization, period. Our sewer line backed up Friday evening and now by Monday morning we have devolved into a pack of savage Neanderthals.  We are unkempt and un-showered. The dishes are winning the battle for the kitchen and I fear the laundry room is already lost. The dogs are avoiding me and I think I am suffering PTSD from worrying about where my family will put their poop.

The main culprit of this story is Orangeburg sewer pipe. For those of you who don’t know, Orangeburg pipe is what they used for sewer lines before enough people got sick of being scammed and it was no longer considered acceptable building material. Orangeburg pipe was economically preferable to metal pipe because it is made from compressed wood pulp which is considerably cheaper than metal. It is also considerably less durable than metal because… It’s made from compressed wood pulp!

So the gist of the story is that a long time ago, in a land far, far away; some rich jerk wanted to save a buck and now my weekend sucked. The silver lining to the story is that we have the sewer line warranty which was offered by the city and pays for it to be fixed. More than that though, I will say that this experience was a valuable exercise in appreciating the little things that do so much to improve the quality of our life. Happiness isn’t strawberry daiquiris on a beach. Happiness is taking a crap in your own toilette. Happiness is a 15 minute shower and the ability to wash your own dishes and laundry.

We tend to heap a disproportionate amount of praise on those in our society who do something to satisfy the demands of our leisure time. Steve Jobs made our phones play movies, what a genius. Brad Pitt said the words some writer told him to say, how talented. Tom Brady threw a ball to that guy who caught it, what a hero. We practically exist in this headspace where happiness is merely the efficacy of distraction. And thank god we don’t have to constantly fret over fundamental facilitations of our daily life. Consider for a moment though, the ignorable conveniences that enable your happiness. Flush your toilette and smile. And if you want to honor the heroes of our world who have laid the framework for our great civilization… Thank a plumber.