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How William Fell Into The Septic Tank
How I Talked My Brother Into Digging by Matthew Dean How I talked my brother into digging up the septic tank. [430 words]
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How William Fell Into The Septic Tank
The battles with our septic tank...and how Will fell into it.
[1,055 words]
Matthew Dean

M. Dean

Currently I live in Tampa, FL and work in the software industry. I have a Bachelors of Science degreee from Purdue University and have lived and worked in Syracuse New York, Charlotte North Carolina, Cleveland Ohio, Columbia South Carolina, Toronto Canada, Chicago Illinois, and Silicon Valley. I have interests in computer language design, compiler construction, database technologies, and story telling.
[August 2000]
[email protected]
How I Talked My Brother Into Digging (Short Stories) How I talked my brother into digging up the septic tank. [430 words]
Scott Decides To Teach Us How To Break Horses (Short Stories) Scott decides to teach us how to break horses. [675 words]
Scott Wrestles A Coyote (Short Stories) Scott wrestles a Coyote. [1,838 words]
The Night We Saw The UFO (Short Stories) The night we saw the UFO... [435 words]
Tuck And I Steal A Boat To Go Catfishing (Short Stories) Tuck and I steal a boat to go catfishing. [939 words]
How William Fell Into The Septic Tank
Matthew Dean

Growing up on a small farm is very unique experience. Some say it builds character,
 others say that I am a character. Who knows what to say about this. All I know is that
 when you're growing up in a rural farming area, your childhood friends seem to be cousins
 and other farm kids in the area that you might have worked with at one time or another.
 You always seem to be fixing something that is broken, like a hay rake, a rusted corn crib
 roof, or even a septic tank.

 The farm house we lived in didn't alway look as nice as it does today. It was a very old
 house, and it took several years transform it into the beautiful house it is today. There
 were several patches of bushes that had to be cut down, hog houses had to be moved,
 we had to take off the green siding for some reason, (I always thought that the siding had
 asbestos in it, but my dad it was just old), and the septic system had to be fixed. Lot of
 times neighbors would help us out with different projects. That's kind of the way it works
 in the country, you help your neighbor and your neighbor helps you.

 Now, back to the septic system. For YEARS, my dad and I have debated whether this
 thing was technically a "septic tank" or a "finger system". We have argued the merits of
 both technologies back and forth many times, but could never agree on exactly what we
 had in our back yard. It may have been a hybrid of the two. I think the first time I started
 working on this thing I was about 8 or 9, and the last time I was probably about 16 or 17.
 My dad and I would dig this thing up, clean it out, and then cover it back up. We would
 dig up the back yard, side yard, mess around with these tiles, and try to get this stuff
 straigtened out. The problem was that we had this kind of swamp area in the side yard
 that I affectionately called "The Swamp of Bubbling Crude". My cousins and I would play
 games sometimes, and pretend that we found oil just like Jed Clampet. It had a spot in the
 center that looked just like the bubbling crude Jed found on the TV show - Beverly
 Hillbillies. The entire area was probably about the size of a small car and was basically
 just swamping looking grass, except for the center. The center was an area was about size
 of a paper plate, and looked just like crude oil.

 Eventually we got this swamp area worked down to just the bubbling crude area. I don't
 know how many wheelbarrows of dirt I hauled to fill in that swampy area, but it was a lot.
 It still took a few years to get the septic system completed fixed, but we did it. We
 eventually put some gravel down, ran tile, roto-ruted, and did the whole thing correctly. It
 just took us a little while.

 Even though the swamp had all but disappeared, this area of the yard was still key for fun
 and games with my friends. Many times it would be a gathering point before a dirt clod
 fight, or a key position in a game of "kick the can". One day a couple of my cousins where
 at our farm helping me work in the bean fields, and one of our neighbors came by. It was
 Van and his son Will. Will was a good buddy of mine and the same age as me, so we had
 a lot of fun together. It was about lunch time, so my cousins and I came in from the field.
 My mom fixed us a hearty lunch and told us we could take a break before we had to go
 back to work. Van had came over to talk to my dad about some mechanic work, and
 Will had came along for the ride.

 My cousins, Will, and myself decided to play a game. I forget the name of the game, but
 premise was that someone would be "It" and everyone else would have to chase that
 person and then tackle him. Well, I was "It" first. I took off running through the barn lot,
 then I ran into the barn. I climbed up the haymount and then climbed out a window
 because they were closing in on me. As soon as I hit the ground, I took off for the yard -
 toward the Bubbling Crude. Tim was close behind me, and his brother Don was a few
 steps behind him. Will was bringing up the rear because he wasn't all that familiar with the
 terrain. I was running full spead towards the Bubbling Crude; I leaped over it. Tim was
 close behind; He jumped over it. Don easily cleared it with his long legs. Then came Will,
 running full blast. He was determined to catch me, but he wasn't watching where he was
 going. He got close to the Bubbling Crude, then instead of jumping he slipped and fell. As
 he fell he had his right arm fully extended to brace his fall.

 Tim, Don, and myself stopped running when we heard Will yelling and cussing. We
 looked back to see what he was so mad about. There he laid, with his face flat against the
 ground and his left arm flailing in the air. We ran over to him and noticed that his right arm
 was gone! He had burried his right arm dead center in the Bubbling Crude. We were
 laughing so hard we couldn't help him pull himself out. He finally dislodged his arm and
 pulled it out. There he was, standing in the yard with this pitch black stuff on the right side
 of his face and completely covering his arm. His dad and mine came out of the pole-shed
 to see what all the laughter was about. They could hardly stand up because they were
 laughing so hard. We eventually hosed him off with water. Even today, I can still
 remember the picture of him with his arm stuck in the ground. I still laugh about this.



"Somehow I don't think it's a coincidence that the story entitled "Do Bears Shit in the Woods" is just below "How William Fell into the Septic Tank". I may have something more constructive to say later." -- EC Allen.
"Your septic was exposed like that? Didn't it stink? Isn't that horribly unsafe? Give us some more fishin' literature. You like them big cats? What knd of crops you growing? Did kids grow reefer out there?" -- Jarvis.
"Once again, there is a difference between autobiography and a fictional short story. Your spelling needs some work, and you are missing some words (eg, "...my dad it just old....")" -- TheCritic.


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© 2000 Matthew Dean
August 2000

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