We’re on a septic tank and a soakpit and I’m the only one who cares.
So I think about all our waste and our waste-water, as none of it leaves the property. It all stays right here and must be done right.
So whenever I had a pot or pan or plate with grease, oil, fat or protein on it, I would have it pre-washed before running the dishwater. That way less fatty waste was in the pipes and the pits.
Made perfect sense to me, was hygienic and made a huge difference to the gunge in the system, as Sambucca’s poop would be flushed down the toilet same as ours, and I wouldn’t need to pay for a honeysucker truck to suck.
Yet my co-habitants thought EW! and YUCK! Sambucca’s spit, Dad! – !!?? – Hello! It gets washed off at high temperature, dudes. They remained unimpressed. I remained unmoved. Sambucca’s movements were regular.
Now Sambucca has shuffled off and they’re happy and I’m not. The ants – millions of them, are also happy. And I’m not.
The pic is not actually Sambucca – this is Greg Price’s picture from Hilary Price’s cartoon website Rhymes With Orange. Sambucca got given her licking n pre-wash duties outside the kitchen door. She LURVED the job! Sometimes, though, she’d be less than thorough and I had to say Hey! Lick Up! – that was when it was olive oil. When it was dead animal juice she would lick the platter clean.
Another cool honeysucker truck . .
Although the teenagers were critical, I received support from adults who also use the doggie pre-wash method; regrets that cats don’t do leftovers from Rita – and even evidence of the system working live, from Gayle:
We were happily sitting on a septic tank in River Drive when progress came rudely knocking. The municipality was putting in water-borne sewerage and the pipe was going to go through our garden and across the Mkombaan River at the bottom of it.
There would be some dynamite blasting. Deep blasting where they were going right under the river bed.
Bliksem. I was not happy. Our little wilderness was about to be badly shaken up.
Aitch arranged to meet with the high-ups and extracted some undertakings from them – We hereby undertake to minimise damage; to let you know the exact path so you can move your precious plants; to give you ample warning so you can move your dogs in time – we were still blissfully child-free – etc. they intoned solemnly. And she kept them to their word!
I asked the guys onsite to please not kill any creatures and to bring me anything they found so I could move it away safely. I would reward them. That’s how I came to receive this in a big bucket:
What a beauty! A solid-looking snake about 80cm long. Fascinating. I read up on them: They’re back-fanged, mildly venomous, not life-threatening; very reluctant to bite; slow-moving, placid; Look at the beautiful coloration and scales.
Relatively rare, they spend most of their life underground or hidden – note the small eyes. Found under rotting logs or when doing excavations. Move about slowly on warm, overcast days; good swimmers. Natal Black Snakes feed on frogs, lizards, legless lizards and small rodents; are known to take carrion.
As I promised them, I moved it away to a safe place that same evening: the other end of our garden. I was so concerned about saving him I didn’t take a picture!
Dad! Who farted!? exclaims Jess this morning, wrinkling up her nose.
Not me! Not me! Not me! say all three of us, each suspecting that someone is holding back. Or not holding back?
Soon the mystery is solved as we hear a rumbling in the road at the bottom of our garden. Someone must have been full of shit and the honeysucker has come to the rescue. It’s slurping up the neighbours’ overflow, as it were. Just as well. We don’t want to become known as an effluent suburb!
Ours was a boring municipal truck, white and blue, this one from Hillcrest looks better: A pink honeysucker, YAY!!
Turning into Jan Hofmeyr road today I saw the brightest rainbow I have seen in all my life, which is a long, long time. The picture is washed out – it was seriaas bright and richly-coloured – quite spectacular! The ‘shadow’ rainbow to the left (it was a double ‘bow) was as bright as a usual rainbow. Ah swear!
And it ended right in our garden!
I hurried home and started digging where I had seen it hit the ground –