Thursday, June 12, 2008

Brief encounter

You sorry sonofa...

I work hard at trying to control my tongue, even when I'm not speak aloud. This was one of those trying times. I let the curse trail away unfinished.

A homeowner had recently applied carpet grass sod to his yard. He had somehow managed to "overlook" his water meter. Sure, he "overlooked" it. He had somehow managed to meticulously avoid covering all of his sprinkler controls and his cut-off, and just as meticulously managed to completely cover the biggest and most obvious lid of all: his water meter.


His across-the-street neighbor was standing in his front yard, and although I hadn't looked directly at him, I knew he was watching me. So instead of just ripping up the sod as I was prone to do, I carefully peeled up each rectangle of sod, ramming my hook into the mud beneath. Thup, thup, thup...

No luck. Thup, thup, thup...

On the fifth try I struck something. Thup, thup, clank!

So I snicked out the saw blade of my multi-tool and carefully cut the sod so that the meter would be exposed. I looked around his yard for a bare patch of ground where I could place the cut-away sod so it wouldn't be wasted. Far more care than my job responsibilities entailed.

Finally, as I walked away, I looked across the street at the neighbor and said good morning. His reply was unexpected.

"Kinda makes you want to say a bad word or two, don't it?"

I had to laugh at that.


  1. My great-grandpa could sympathize with your job better than I can, he used to be a gas meter reader for the city, wayyyyyy back when. Kinda hard to hide a gas meter tho, without some really big bushes to plant around it.

  2. I used to do that, too. The most annoying thing that people do to their gas meters is they use it to wrap their garden hose around. This means you have to actually walk all the way up to the meter and move the hose so you can see the dials, instead of just reading it from a distance as you walk past.

    Many people don't know what their gas meter is. Some people think it's the water meter, and they completely wrap it up with that foam insulation stuff in winter to keep it from freezing. And of course that means they also cover the dials, so you have to cut the insulation away from that part to be able to read it.

    Back when I did that, I was constantly amazed when I would sometimes ask someone if they knew where they're gas meter is (sometimes they're harder to find than you think), and they would say, "I don't know, what does it look like?"