When the Wind Blows, Making the Cat Nauseous and Bravely Clogging the Sewer Line

Wednesday, April 7 began as any day normally would in the world of the Bear Team. The alarm clock went off at 4:30 AM, just as it always does. Eager to be up and about my business, I opened my eyes, stretched, and promptly hit the snooze button. Twice. Or maybe even three times. I finally got up at 4:50, by which time eating breakfast was no longer an option. I got dressed, poured a cup of coffee, and headed for another day in the working world. Nothing unusual in any of that.

Well, almost nothing. I did unplug both of our laptop computers before leaving for the day. I’d seen a weather report the previous evening that promised severe storms, large hail, and possible tornadoes. Not wanting to run the risk of lightning frying our electronics, I took the necessary precautions. Then I went to work.

It was an uneventful day for me. Things went on as usual, and I headed home with nothing more on my mind than putting on a pair of sweatpants and crashing on the couch. I was still thinking about this plan when I arrived home and got out of the car. I walked around the corner of the house and froze in mid-step.

Our backyard had changed since that morning. When I’d left for work, it was just your average grassy knoll, sloping gently to a creek lined with trees. Now it more closely resembled a logging camp after a drug-fueled Paul Bunyan rampage.

Trees were everywhere! One lay across the creek like some sort of 15th century bridge. Another dominated the backyard, having fallen mere feet from the house. Branches and leaves covered every available surface. Huge roots which had been ripped from the earth lay exposed to the sun for the first time in generations.


What type of weather event could have wrought such destruction? The answer came to me at once. It was a starkblast.

For the unfortunate among you who aren’t familiar with Stephen King’s Dark Tower series and haven’t followed Roland of Gilead and his Ka-tet across Mid-World, a starkblast is a rare weather phenomenon in which a fierce, cold blast of wind flattens forests, destroys villages, and kills anyone unlucky enough to be caught outside. For more details, check out the most recent Dark Tower entry “Wind Through the Keyhole.” It might just save your life.

As long as we’re talking about f**ked up things that can happen to a home, the water stopped draining from the shower while I was in there recently. I got out and flushed the toilet. It backed up as well. As someone with intimate experience in this particular field, I knew immediately that there was a problem with the sewage line.

Fortunately, our landlord responded promptly to the issue, and we were spared from having to deal with the problem. But it wasn’t always so. I’ll never forget the time that the shower backed up on my wife; while she was getting ready to go to a family gathering; on Christmas Morning. As our neighbors, dressed in their Sunday best, headed out for their own family events, I stood in our front yard, vigorously thrusting a pipe snake into the clean-out plug on the side of the house. Eventually, I cleared it enough to allow the water to drain. If you have any further questions on the subject, just ask me or Randy Quaid. Merry Christmas! Shitter was full!

Speaking of nasty messes, why is it that cats only puke on fabric? Carpet, sofas, blankets, rugs, etc. At our house, we have hardwood and linoleum floors. But our cats, Pip and Squeaky seem to go out of their way in order to throw up only in those places were we’ve placed a rug. In fact, I am a firm believer that even if we lived in a 65 bedroom mansion with no carpet, I could place a single cotton ball somewhere in the house and they would somehow manage to vomit on it.

This state of affairs often results in situations where we snatch one or both cats up in an attempt to move them before they erupt. To get an idea of what this might look like, click here.

Now that we’ve filled our disgusting quota for the day, on to more pleasant matters. This past weekend the Bear Team visited Turner Field to watch my beloved Atlanta Braves take on the San Francisco Giants. After  leaving later than we planned, chancing the traffic on Highway 316 and I-85, and making approximately 17 pit stops, we arrived at the park. Before taking our seats, we visited Smoke House BBQ where, for a mere $28 we received two pork sandwiches and two bottles of Dasani. Talk about value!

We made it to our seats, which were mercifully in the shade, in time to watch some guy throw out the worst opening pitch in baseball history. Once the game began, the Braves, who’ve struggled all season to score runs, were again shut down by Giants pitching. San Franciso won 4-1 in a game where the lone exciting moment came when the kid in front of us got his foot stuck in his seat. How did he do this, you ask? Because he was standing up in it! Perhaps his parents should sue. After all, he was only engaging in one of the few activities from which ticket holders are expressly prohibited.

Well, that about wraps things up for now. But before I go, one final word on the Dark Tower (That’s right! More Stephen King talk!). For several years, the idea to make a movie or movies based on this series has been floating around. While I love a good film as much as the next person, I think that there is an excellent chance that our friends in Hollywood would screw this one up. So, I’ve come up with a better idea.

Do the adaptation as a “Game of Thrones” style HBO series. There are eight books in the series, most of them quite long. Eight or ten seasons worth of one hour episodes would give the team writing, directing, and producing much more room to work than they would have in a series of movies. Plus, who wouldn’t love to see ***SPOILER ALERT*** viewer reactions when the hero of the story allows young Jake Chambers to plunge to his death in the early going?

That does it for another edition of “Adventures of the Bear Team.” As always, thanks for reading. And remember, if you sense something odd in the air, make sure to get inside and batten down the hatches, because there might be a starkblast coming. Or it could just be the smell coming form your clogged sewer line.





2 thoughts on “When the Wind Blows, Making the Cat Nauseous and Bravely Clogging the Sewer Line”

  1. Stephen King is one of my heroes. He has it all figured out, and he seems to single-handedly support the state of Maine, especially the library system. SK forever! (Given your sewer experience, I probably should have asked you before sticking my hand into a clogged basement drain. HUGE MISTAKE.)

  2. King is my favorite author. His work has gotten me through more tough times than I could mention.

    Also, no matter what you do with a clogged sewer line will be a mistake. I still don’t know exactly what to do when something bad happens in this area.

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