Overhead & Underfoot

I can see Beckett’s Point from the front yard!

This misty, moisty morning I met with some of the local characters who are helping us get ready for the move.  This is a town of nine thousand.  The businesspersons all appear to know each other well. My realtor is a tall, white-bearded ex-Texan.  He has been managing our offer/counter-offer process, and he knew who to call to expedite the inspection process. He’s also the reason so much of this deal has reminded me of poker.

The first fellow was in charge of visual, physical inspection.  He was genial and wiry, like an elf.  He carried a little bag with the odd-looking tools and meters needed to check plugs, pillars and any place water comes out.

He never stopped moving as he went, bent, poked, switched, crawled, wrote, and snapped pictures.  He went from under the deck to over the rooftop.

An hour after his inspection the result was online.  He wrote a hundred notes in 45 minutes, but all he really had to say was, “nice house”.  He documented little bits o’ rot here and there.  The house matches the new owners.

Character number two was the “king of the county septic inspectors”.  Been doin’ it forever, like an old stagehand who’s seen them come and go.  He didn’t need a probe to find the access ports under the spongy, wet ground cover.  He’s done so many hundred of these inspections he could feel them right through the soles of his thick work boots.

He tore the plants back like a patch of living carpet and had the 150 pound cover off the big port within a minute.  I wish I had him around at the Dementia Care home to lift people!  Did you know that when a septic system is working properly it doesn’t smell?  I didn’t.  The gas gets aerated through the soil.  Our tank capacity is 1100 gallons.  I haven’t a clue if that’s a good number.  I took my reaction cues from the other men, who were nodding approvingly.

The poker-playin’ realtor will know how much credit to ask for from the sellers toward any required repairs and upgrades.  The inspection period on Casa DeLuxe ends in five days.  Then we have 20 days of escrow before our purchase is complete.  You’re all invited for the virtual housewarming.  OH, I forgot to mention one difference I noticed in what they call “staging” here versus what was used for it in California.  This admirably horrible table, decorated with shells to the point of complete non-functionality, was among the furniture left on display there to inspire potential buyers.  I would like to meet anyone who thinks this is an example of tasteful design.  I’m sure it would be entertaining.


Filed under Communications, humor

16 responses to “Overhead & Underfoot

  1. Sarah Baram

    Oh man, I feel like I have seen that table at almost every cheesy New Jersey shore house we have ever stayed at. The “decorations” people come up with are always… Odd, amusing, interesting, and many times eye sores. But Mikey, did the table inspire you?(Aside from you buying the house, which I’m sure that table had nothing to do with. But, maybe you should ask for it anyway!)

  2. Read up on septic systems. You want to be wary of phosphates, bacterias, know the good from the bad. It will save you a small fortune. A well maintained septic is worth the time and effort. Say good-bye to high quality toilet paper and opt for something a little more septic friendly. (We actually don’t flush toilet paper, unless it involves a BM) Avoid excessive cleaners going down the drain as this can interrupt the beneficial bacteria cultures necessary for a healthy system. And yup, if you can smell it, there’s something wrong. The most beautiful grass grows on septic beds. I do suggest becoming aware of what type of system you have, what your weeping bed consists of etc. Capacity is important depending on the number of occupants in the house and is usually rated by the number of bedrooms in a house. An 1100 gallon tank will accomodate a 3 or 4 bedroom house, so you’re good ;P
    Inspections are scary. And invigorating at the same time.
    And the table…well…one has to at least have a certain amount of…uh…respect (?) for the amount of work that went into it.

    • My mother seems to be up on them too, as she has lived with them for over 50 years. I almost asked for your input right in the post, SBC, but something told me you would be right on it.

      It’s only a 2-bedroom.

      Respect? For OCD? For crafting gone WOO-WOO??? I would go so far as to not tell them what I thought to their face.

      • Of course I’d be right on it, I learned a valuable lesson by not getting to know my septic from the get-go! We can’t have your tank suffering the same fate.

        Perhaps the table is a valuable relic from an era gone by. Say a Mary Delany, circa 1745. Don’t toss it to the curb until you’ve done some research. Just saying 😉

  3. I believe you meant the septic king could feel the access ports through the soles of his boots; not the souls. Then again, those boots could have a personality all their own by now.

  4. I have to admit to zero experience of septic tanks… but have a voodoo theory about the table.
    You have just seen the house and are filled with wonderous emotion because it ticks all your boxes, is even better than what you’d hoped for and cheaper too… a whirlwind of thoughts pass by, THEN, you round a corner and spy this table, suddenly there is emotional overload, fuses blow in your brain and you are done for… you are overpowered, stunned and in a daze… the agent says ” thinking of buying?” and in a vague voice enveloped by the fog surrounding the image of the table burned into your brain, you whisper… “Yes……”
    Thus Voila, you bought yourself a house!
    See? How sharp am I to work *that* one out ! LOL?
    (Ans: about as sharp as tennis ball and clearly my voodoo skills are even less than my septic tank ones…)
    The table does tell you that there are no small kids in this house, Come on… let’s be honest, it’s a magnet for squishing playdough into and traces would be impossible to cover up.
    It’s a very scary table, and even more scary is that fact that a)someone made this (I’ll assume they did it happily and not under torture) and b) their parameters of “good taste” mean they actually thought it was a masterpiece when it was finished. Hmm, I hazzard a guess that the person who did this is also the designer of some of the unbelievably revolting fabrics I’ve not had the pleasure of seeing over the years. Thank your lucky stars that you don’t have this person in your family buying you Christmas presents 🙂
    Here’s a thought: ask the Strong Man Septic Inspector to return it to the sea and see how far he can heave it from the shore …all in the name of recycling you understand.. the fish need their habitat back.
    The septic tank can be made sweeter if it’s not currently up to par, but sadly I have to be brutally honest here: the table, no matter how hard you try will always stink.

    • It looked as if he could casually pick up the corner of the entire house to look beneath. As SBC alluded, the grass likes the nitrogen.

      Watch out for the hole! oops – Well, thanks for dropping in.

      There’s another “decorated” table too, very nearly as ugly.

  5. Pie

    Another table?! Don’t you think one is more than enough?!

    All that sea life joined the choir invisible, only to have their shells violated in this manner. It’s rightful place is beside the septic tank as a warning to the unwary.

    If that table had been at the front door, would you had ventured further?

    • I admit we were stopped, transfixed upon first seeing the “tables”. Perhaps a descendant of Medusa put them there in some wager with Poseidon.

      I will write a post about bad art for the home in future, but I’m waiting for my other computer to come up with the wife. I have photos from my previous Bad Art Garden project on it.

  6. I dunno, Mikey, I think you’re being orfly hard on the shell table. I mean, the thing is both amazing holistically and in its particular details. It’s actually stunning (I know, so is a crack on the head with a brick and that doesn’t mean it’s art). And lookit, it’s not completely nonfunctional…I bet you could get a bag of nacho chips to sit still on it. Anyway, I always look at something like that and say, “I could not have done that.” Maybe smarter people look at something like that and say “I would not have done that.”

    I loved your line about the rot and the new owners. And I think you really captured the essence of the elf-inspector here in word and image. Great stuff.

  7. To me it is hideous!!!!!!!! My first instinct is to lay it to rest in a grave or to chuck it into the water from whence it came. Now that would be my OCD project, getting rid of it, the shells sticking up bother me, yuck.

    Though I think that deck is mega swell and so is the view!

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