We have a pool in the backyard. It is a wonderful living space that we custom designed so that it would become an extension of our home. The pool is surrounded by a myriad of flowering trees; maples, oaks, pear and a lovely apple tree in my next door neighbour's yard. There are also some pine, fir and much flora, and as such we have created our own little slice of nature, even if we can only enjoy it for a fraction of the year. Every year, as is the cycle of the earth, many of these trees shed their leaves and much of this organic debris deposits itself in our already winterized covered pool. By the time the spring rolls around, the resulting pond of sludge that has accumulated in our pool cover is a smelly disarray of guck. The ducks and geese may enjoy swimming in pond scum, but it is not fit for most mammals.
Every year I wait with anticipation for the pool company to come and open up the pool; as much for the cleanliness as for the swimming season that lay ahead. But there is a hitch. When the guys from the pool company clean out the leaves from the cover, they place the mess-water and all-into transparent plastic bags. Now, I don't know what the city bylaws are like where you live, but in my end of the world, the city will only pick up organic yard waste in enviro-friendly paper bags that are open at the top. This leaves it to us to transfer the foul-smelling mess from plastic to paper. Last week, Younger Son and I attempted to attend to this task, but we didn't do it very well. After hauling excessively heavy wet leaves and water into the paper bags, we lazily left in some of the plastic. I know that we were absolutely at fault here, but it was as close to an impossible household task as I have been faced with in a long time. Of course, the inevitable occurred and the city refused to haul the refuse, leaving behind a caustic note. Now, by my logic and The Husband's, we pay the pool company a great deal of money to clean and open the pool, the least they could do is place the crap in paper bags. So, The Husband calls the pool company and politely and patiently explains our problem in the hopes that they will come and haul the bags. The owner of the company calls back and just as gently and just as patiently explains to The Husband to either deal with it or find a new pool company. Business must be good in the pool world, as I don't know anybody who would risk losing clients in this economy. He tells the Husband that he doesn't know of a company in the area that will do it any differently (remains to be seen!) and he also states quite clearly that nobody else ever complains about this and that this issue is our problem not theirs. He even goes so far as to give the Husband a primer on how to transfer the leaves from one bag to another. It seems to me if it were that easy, they would have done it in the first place and not given us a make-work project.
After the ridiculous phone call, we went out to buy new paper bags so that we could make the transfer in time for the next trash pick-up. The Husband and Younger Son are engaged in this project as I type, all the while swearing, kicking, screaming and stinking. The Husband thinks that he has injured his back and Younger Son said that he will think twice about coming home before this task is completed. I still cannot be-"leaf" the entire tale. Maybe the answer is to move the pool to the desert where deciduous trees are not an issue. Phoenix is looking pretty good right about now.