As it mounts up, you might have found yourself comparing yourself to Job in the Bible, maybe? It's easy enough to happen. You have a number of things go wrong, add a soupcon of self-pity and a dash of why me? And voila- Just like Job.
But what happens if someone else takes a look at what's going on in your life and they declare “You're situation is positively Jobian...Jovian? Just like Job in the Bible.” That's a little different, don't you think?
The other day a number of Sheri's friends came out to the house, to keep her company and to cheer her up. By the time they left, they were shaking their heads and Sheri was in tears, all be it briefly.
You may recall that I had written about our toilet not flushing... Well, we actually had to replace it in the end. We got it prior to the weekend, but could not get a plumber to install it until Monday. This meant that Sheri's friends had to use the one upstairs.
Well, lo and behold, the pipes upstairs had frozen, which even I, complete non-plumber that I am, knew was bad. Until this point, I had been resting in the downstairs bedroom because I didn't feel especially well, and, besides, I like to give Sheri and her friends some privacy. But the amount of noise generated by the fact that the pipes had frozen made it difficult to try to remain oblivious.
But then I heard, “We could probably get at the problem if we did some drilling, or maybe cut through some drywall.”
You see, knowing the players as I do, I thought it unlikely that the person who said that was joking, so I felt compelled to get up off may quasi-sick bed to declare, “No! No drilling. No drywall cutting!”
It was somewhere in here that Sheri started to cry. We'd had so many things piled on our plate, not the least of which were her broken leg and ankle and my having to go back on chemotherapy, that the frozen pipes were just one thing too many.
Also in here somewhere is where our friend Wanda June (not her real name) said, approximately: “You know. As a basically partial outside observer, I give you permission to compare your plight to Job in the Bible. You seem to have had an inordinate amount of tests thrown at you in a very short period of time.” True dat.
Soon enough, it was time for everyone to go, except Sheri and me who would continue to live in the House at Poo Corner for the foreseeable future. But then we had pause to consider: “Could these Job-ian type of curses be catching? Could the misery be shared? A problem shared is a problem halved?”
Maybe so. Because, when it came time for Wanda June to leave, she was unable to navigate the ice on our driveway. Well, she did get past that, only to end up at the bottom of our fire road with no hope of getting back up it, even as far as our driveway, of which the being stuck in didn't seem so bad by that point if I may convolute my syntax.
But here's the thing... We called AAA and they came and helped Wanda June. Our friend Hank (not his real name and not the first name I gave him for column purposes. It will have to do, though, because I have other fish to fry, and forgot what the first one was and don't have the inclination to look it up) came and helped us get our pipes unfrozen. He also carried the new toilet in from the car because the temperature was supposed to dip below zero and we were afraid it might crack, given how everything else was going.
With a new toilet on the horizon, unfrozen pipes and Wanda June well on her way... I realized something surprising about these patches of horrible circumstance we all go through at one time or another. As each one ceases to be a problem, you get a little buzz of happiness around the fact that it isn't a problem any more.
I certainly wouldn't go so far as to say let's pile on the problems because it's so good when they stop. But, I will say that looking at it that way made me feel much better.
One last thing. In this midst of all this trial and tribulation, it was my friend Not-His-Real-Name Walter who summed the whole thing up perfectly: “Wow. That's Biblical! The Book of Johns.” Well said, Walter, well said, sir.
There are a variety of versions of the story that gives this blog its name. The pony is the constant in all of them. A man is on his way to a party when he comes across a young boy shoveling ass over tea kettle at an enormous mountain of manure. The man asks the child if he wouldn't rather go with him to the party than shovel all that poop. The kid says, “No way man. With all that poop... there must be a pony in there somewhere