The Way Things Are



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Email conversation with a colleague
2005-10-05, 2:10 p.m.

Email conversation with a colleague:

Me: One of our brokerís Houston colleagues is at the Beaumont property taking some pictures. Here's what he reports:

Lots of trees down and some roof damage, but not much more than that.
Residents swarmed him asking if he was the owner, and if the property is going to stay open.
Power is on.
Air conditioners are being stolen.

He is going to forward me pics when he gets them.

Colleague S: I am going to Beaumont and Orange tomorrow to see what the condition is. I understand the power came on late yesterday. Adjusters will be there either Friday or first of next week.

Me: Brokerís colleague also went to Orange, and said there is a horrible rotten meat smell coming out of one of the units. I suggested a rotten refrigerator, but Broker said the guy was worried somebody had died and wanted to call police to come see. Not sure if he did that, but I told Broker I'd pass along the rotten dead meat smell report to you. Says there is no water or power in Orange at all. Some residents are living there with generators outside their units.

Colleague S: Canít wait to get there!

It is such a fun industry. You should try some multifamily housing yourselves. It's boring until there's a crisis, at which time, one gets to deal with enigmas like "is it the rotting contents of a refrigerator, or did someone die? Do I call the coroner? Crime scene cleanup?"

Oh, speaking of rotten dead meat smells, I have some good news. The septic system at the house is working again! Yay! Was it not working before, you ask? Why, no, no it wasnít. We found this out last night when DW flushed the toilet in our bathroom, and every one of the five (yes, dammit, FIVE) toilets in the house started gurgling and bubbling with a particularly sinister, ominous tone.

Ah, tree roots growing.
Blocking the clear passage of
Wipies and paper.

Seems that in the 10 days we have lived there, our um Ė solids Ė have been forming a kind of sewage dam at the opening to the septic tank. Last night was the last straw.

I called my parents and let know the good news: when they come stay with us tomorrow night, they can flush the toilet and take all the showers they want. For the record, I took an Italian shower this morning.

Italian shower: a shower taken in a manner which maximizes water conservation and minimizes effluent. Characterized by short bursts of cold water and dubious cleanliness.

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