Monday, October 26, 2009

Septic Tank Evidence

by Laura James

Unfortunately, septic tanks sometimes end up holding more than household sewage. Occasionally they have been known to yield the bodies of
women who have been murdered, usually by very foolish men who think that nobody will ever think to look in the septic tank. Sometimes it might take a while, but eventually, both septic and murder will out.

Recently I learned that a more mundane sort of evidence can be found in septic tanks, placed there by those making the same foolish mistake of thinking that a septic tank is a good place to hide evidence.

I had my septic tank pumped out recently. The fellow who did this nasty business for me regaled me with a curious story.

Larry explained that he had been the "star witness" in a few divorce cases. I wondered where he was going with this. This was a surprising thing to say, as Larry fit the image of a man who spent all day with septic tanks, not a star divorce witness. He wore a University of Missouri T-shirt. I had asked him if he was from Missouri, as I've been spending a lot of time there lately. "It's just a shirt," he said sheepishly. He proceeded to tell me how he's come to be subpoenaed for the third time to testify.

Women, it seems, flush things down the toilet that they shouldn't, besides tampons. (Flushed tampons cause no end of trouble to public sewer systems everywhere, because the strings never dissolve and they get entangled in tree roots, causing massive plumbing blockages.) There's something else that shouldn't be flushed -- into a septic tank anyway -- and that's a used condom, particularly one that is being flushed by a woman whose husband has had a vasectomy.

Larry the septic tank hauler has had to testify three times now that condoms, when flushed down a toilet and into a septic tank, will float on top until someone like Larry pries off the lid and reveals more than the usual septic tank contents.


FleaStiff said...

I can't wait for the first products liability action brought by a woman who married the old goat but didn't get the house because of improper disposal instructions on various personal items.

I can just see a divorce lawyers rolodex: accountants, detectives, photographers and sewer workers.

Cheryl said...

I love this. Not only is it short and sweet...its hilarious. I own a home with a septic tank. Not due to be emptied till 2010though (we're required to have them emptied every 5 yrs).

I am kinda curious as to what might come out of it. I know I haven't flushed any incriminating evidence....but perhaps the previous owner has?

Who was the previous owner you ask? Why it was none other than my dear old mom.

James said...

A case of life imitating art?

Many years ago Edmund Wilson wrote a short story with exactly this same plot. As I recall he didn't get to the divorce part and ended his tale with the sanitary guy explaining what had caused the septic tank problem to the husband (who, of course, never used condoms).

Septic said...

I also agree with that the septic tanks sometimes end up holding more than household sewage.

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