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My $350 watermelon


Posted: June 29, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: June 29, 2014 2:00 a.m.

I paid $8 for a very large, ripe, juicy watermelon to be shared among the neighbors at our annual Crab Fest block party.

Several BBQ’s were set up on the cul-de-sac, and decorated tables were heavily laden with mounds of crab legs, corn on the cob, hot dogs, hamburgers and all the trimmings that one could desire.

The temperature was cooling down comfortably by six o’clock.

Providing our own drinks, we chatted happily with our neighbors and enjoyed each other’s company. One of those big brightly-colored Bouncies was inflated at the end of the cul-de-sac, where the children jumped and bounced to their hearts’ content.

At clean up time, only half the watermelon had been eaten, and customarily, you take back your own leftovers. I did. I should have parceled it up for the children.

The next day, I decided to go on a semi-starvation diet – nothing but watermelon until dinner time. What a great idea!

Surely everyone knows it is a good diuretic. At our age, and especially my gender, we’re always carrying around excess water packed in unseemly places, like tummies, thighs and ankles.

Happily leaning over the sink, dripping and drooling, I ate lots of it.

Switching on the garbage disposal and ignoring the feelings of guilt at the waste of running water, I got rid of the rinds at the same time.

I went back to the kitchen time and again for more watermelon. It was so good! Was I ever pleased with myself!

After dinner, when the dishwasher was running, we noticed bits of dark green and lots of horrible black sludge climbing and sticking to the sides of the pearly white sinks.

To our dismay, it wasn’t only the kitchen sinks. Our bathroom sinks were also filling up with the same dark green particles and nasty black sludge.

Were we the dirtiest people in town? Had we been living with pipes that harbored untold germs, bacteria and other sludgy black critters?

We plunged and plunged and still that grungy water rose. A cupful of bicarbonate of soda and a kettle of boiling water were put down each sink.

With a sigh of relief, the water began to recede ever so slowly, leaving behind that nasty black sludge in its wake.
I didn’t relish a nightmare with those grisly black critters crawling all over me, so I dumped pure bleach just to make sure they didn’t go a-wandering during the night.

Next morning, as my husband was shaving and I was enjoying my second cup of coffee, I heard a very noisy gurgle, gurgle, gurgle coming from the kitchen.

The sink was burping ominously although the water was rising crystal clear, thanks to the bleach. Yep! It was still clogged.

Snaking through 75 feet of cable, the plumber failed to clear the blockage. Tomorrow a special tanker will arrive to send a water pressure of 3,000 pounds per square inch through all the pipes. (Household faucets, running at full pressure, approximate a pressure of 65 pounds per square inch).

That $8 watermelon actually cost us $350! Diuretic pills would have been cheaper!

But that melon was so good, methinks I’ll go out and buy another. The rinds can go to the city recycling center instead.


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