Our bodies need hydration. Most bachelors get this hydration from a single source: Mountain Dew. (This, by the way, is not a paid advertisement so please do not buy anything from Mountain Dew until they give me money. That’s right! I’m holding you ransom for Mountain Dew. Uh, that is, for them to pay me. I don’t want them sending Mountain Dew to me—I really can’t stand the green stuff myself.)
I, however, get my hydration from a healthier source: A&W’s Sparkling Vanilla Cream S—um, I mean water … yeah. I get my humor from the soda—or “pop” as some of you call it—but my hydration really comes from water. Mmm! I love water! I dream about water. I cleanse my clothes in water. I capture water and collect it in little bottles, even carrying some of these wherever I go, sometimes even taking water on beautiful walks in the park. I decorate water with little rocks and fish in big, glass display cases in my house and connect little filters to keep it pristine under a fluorescent light. I even bathe in water!
I love water so much that I have a special system just to keep water comfortably warm. I have a huge hole in my backyard where I collect as much water as I can, and then feed it special vitamins and minerals to keep it healthy and then I … I … swim in it … and I … jump into it with reckless abandon. And my cares of this world float away on water’s back. When weather gets cold, I cover water with a giant blanket and tuck it in with love until the next season.
But alas! Ours is a wishy-washy relationship. More on the wishy side than the washy. At times, I fear that water does not love me in return. These are the chronicles of my war with water.
Ever since the local mayor told me that I could no longer live and conduct my graphic design business under the interstate bridge, I have moved from cardboard box to cardboard box, struggling to find somewhere that suited my needs. Although I found many cardboard boxes wired for electricity and even indoor plumbing, the broadband monsters must’ve deemed the cardboard box market too small to extend their high-speed services to me, despite my offering to move onto company property.
Thus, I was left with no choice but to buy my own house. I had familiarized myself with the housing market (which mostly involved ensuring my ability to distinguish between houses and public parks), I interviewed several realtors (they needed to indentify a house, too!), and I began shopping. (Oh! That reminds me. I need to go grocery shopping again soon. I’m out of chicken-flavored ramen noodles; I have only the more-exotic flavors left in my pantry.)
I eventually found a great house. Not only did this house have high-speed internet available, but in the backyard was a modest-sized, in-ground swimming pool! I knew this would give me extra points in my struggle to achieve “elite bachelornessity,” so I bought the house. (Listen to episode 4 to learn about “elite bachelornessity.”)
The former tenet did not take good care of the pool at all—he was probably some Mountain-Dew drinking loser who thought the pool was a meteor impact crater from a martian rock. Not only was this evident from the drained pool and resulting destroyed liner, but there was something dead in what little water existed in the pool. It was very hard to tell what this creature had once been—all I could see was soaked hair and a bloated body.
(It’s at this time that I’d like to remind my listeners (or those slackos who read my podcasts rather than listen to them—you guys are missing cool audio features like this: __[really cool audio feature]__) that this portion of the podcast is best enjoyed on an empty stomach. If your stomach isn’t empty now, it may be within a few minutes.)
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve wondered what would happen if I threw a cat into a pool, but I never thought to remove the cat after the experiment. Perhaps this was the same flawed logic as that of this home’s former resident. In any case, I now know what happens to a cat if you throw it into a pool. But then again, I’m not even sure if this was a cat.
The backyard stank, but not overly so. It was almost bearable, if for just a few moments. This dead animal was only a preview of things to come. And for ease of telling the remainder of this story, and to make it easier for my listeners with weak constitutions, let’s call this dead whatever-it-was animal … Edna, which stands for “extremely dead, nauseous animal.”
After I had a contract to purchase this house, but before the closing date, I decided that Edna just had to go. She just couldn’t continuing hanging around my new home—actually, I guess she did more floating than hanging. Whatever the case, I tried to figure out how to get rid of Edna.
In a stroke of sheer brilliance—or utter stupidity, it’s hard to tell the difference at times—I stopped by the house after work one day. In my business-casual attire, I strolled to the backyard to negotiate a severance plan with Edna. Either she pulls herself back together and climbs out of there, or we do things the hard way. Unfortunately for both of us, Edna refused to reason, so I reached for the swimming pool net.
I’m not sure if it ever occurred to me that I’d have to do something with the body once I dealt with Edna. But throwing caution—and my last breath of clean oxygen— to the wind, I extended the pool net into the brown water in attempts to capture Edna.
I’ve never had much luck with fishing. It always seemed that no matter how far I cast the line, no matter how much bait I put on the hook, and no matter how patiently I waited, I could never catch a fish. This day proved no different—except that I wasn’t fishing for a fish this time. I guess that’s different.
The net dipped into the murky water and slowly, quietly drifted toward Edna. My hope was to catch her by surprise. If it wasn’t for the long piece of flesh (presumably her former tail) on one end, I wouldn’t have known which way Edna was looking.
SNATCH! I had her! Or did I? I tried to lift up, but Edna was too heavy! So I thrust the net deeper into the water and pulled it up under her. But this time, Edna pulled a nasty one from her bag of tricks. Rather than simply sinking into my net, Edna kind of … spread out over the water. But that wasn’t all! You think skunks and your uncle smell bad when they let one go, Edna was a thousand times worse times a thousand dead animals times a thousand pig farms times a thousand rotten eggs times sewage plant gravy.
Immediately, my eyes begin to water, my stomach began to twist, my throat began to contort, and my saliva became thin. If I didn’t get out of there, I knew I would toss my noodles.
I threw the net into the yard and ran as fast as I could back to the front yard. But I found no relief! The stench was so horridly strong, that I could still smell it in the front yard. I could see a need for relandscaping in the near future as plants in my future front yard, and the neighbors’ front yards all along the street began to wither as if bowing under Edna’s odorous presence.
Edna’s stinky stubbornness proved to be a problem that I could not solve alone. So, the next day, I called in the experts: the Environmental Protection Agency. I explained the problem to them, trying to frame this as a hazard to the environment and possible detriment to Earth’s longevity, but they told me the worst thing that I could hear, “Soldier, you’re just gonna have to deal with this yourself.”
Homeland security didn’t understand the terror Edna brought, the NSA said that Edna posed no threat, the CIA said that dead Edna could tell no tales, the local police were too busy with Betsy the cow, the FBI went on a raid to find Edna’s kidnappers, and the local library agent said that the only book to have a solution for my problem was already checked out. Even my real estate agent turned his back on me, saying that he couldn’t blow his cover.
Thus, I alone began plotting how to evict Edna. Once I had moved in to my new home, I ran several errands to buy the necessary material, checked the weather reports, and scheduled my offensive.
On that Saturday morning, the Sun wasn’t too high and the air was still. The cooler temperature would help keep Edna’s stench to a minimum. It was time and I was armed for battle.
I wore my dirty-work clothes, in case Edna decided to fling body parts at me; and I doused a red handkerchief in some of the flavored dish soap from episode 1 and wrapped the cloth around my face to protect my acute senses of taste and smell from Edna’s not-so-cute influence. This time, a shovel was my weapon of choice, and several of the thickest trash bags that I could find would be my way of protecting you, my listeners. (See? I care about you!)
Instead of taking the higher ground in my war against Edna, I climbed into the dried shallow end of the pool to come to a near-level battleground with my enemy.
I arranged one trash bag for a quick deposit and then grabbed my shovel. Edna cautiously drifted toward me to see what was going on. She saw the trash bag and the shovel hidden behind my back! But before she could effect her escape, I thrust the shovel under her and began to struggle to pull her out. She resisted with all the strength in what remained of her body. Edna was heavy, but not heavy enough for my two-liter-bottle-strengthened arms. The attack was quick, and I had her bagged—literally.
But one bag would not be enough to contain this would-be escape artist. So I tightly tied that one bag, and then tied it into another bag, and then put that bag into another bag, and then put that bag into another bag, and then put that bag into another bag. Each bag being tightly locked. Despite these seemingly extraneous security layers, Edna still screamed nauseating protests.
Being assured that Edna wasn’t going anywhere, I locked her in yet another container to be picked up by the only government agency available to transfer my prisoner. This Rumpke representative came the following Monday morning and took Edna away, all without knowing that he was transporting a prisoner more deadly (or maybe just more dead) than anyone he’s ever seen before.
Having removed the threat, I called the CIA cleanup crew to replace the pool so that no one would ever know what happened here. But this was only the first battle in my war with water.