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Water Leak Leads to Close Encounter of the Snake Kind
My water bill was through the roof last month. I called the Jasper Water Works and told them my bill had almost doubled. I was not happy and I wanted to share that with someone

I told the lady that answered the phone that I needed someone to yell at. I guess she could tell by the tone of my voice that even though I was concerned about my bill, I wasn’t really the yelling kind, so she volunteered to take the tongue-lashing.

She listened intently and after a few minutes, she told me they have new fangled meters these days and that she could get to the bottom of the situation. 

The lady said the meter showed I WAS using a lot of water, almost twice as much as I normally use.

I had a sinking feeling that I might have a water leak, which was unfortunate for me because it took the monkey off there backs, and put it squarely on mine.

The investigation began. 

My pipes have been spliced a few times during the 30 years we've lived here, so I knew pretty much where to look. 

The last issue we had was under the deck, so that's where I started. After 20 minutes of digging, I unearthed the pipe and it was not leaking.

The second place was out by the apple tree where the old standpipe once stood. The moment I stepped on the sharpshooter shovel, it sank to the hilt. 

I was so glad that I hadn’t really been ugly to the lady at the water works, cause I would have been eating some crow.

I turned the water off and started to repair the leak when I realized I needed a new fitting. I keep all kinds of stuff in my tool shed, but after turning it upside down, I realized I didn't have the right one.

I went to plan B, which is to look in the barn and in Sharky's old truck. Sharky was Jilda's dad and he was a plumber from way back. In addition to doing plumbing work, he was a pack rat who never threw anything away. 

Through the years, that’s been a blessing for me, because whenever I need a tool or some other obscure part, I can usually find it in the barn.  

Sharky had bins, buckets, and shelves where he stored nuts, bolds, screws, and fittings.  More often than not, I can find what I'm looking for somewhere in there.

Unfortunately, I didn't find it in the barn this time so, I decided to look in his old blue Ford pickup, which is parked behind the barn. 

I opened the door, scooted in the passenger side, and started going through the boxes and sacks in the floorboard of the old workhorse. 

I moved a plastic garbage bag from the driver’s side of the seat and uncovered a snake coiled up that looked as big as Rhode Island.

You could say I exited the truck quickly, but that would not have captured the level of haste I used to get out of that pickup! 

I bumped my head, my knee, and both elbows. I didn't mess up my britches, but I swear I came close.  I let out a stream of cuss words that would have gotten me “whupped with a rosebush” if my mama had heard it.

I'm not sure if it was a rattlesnake or just an old chicken snake because I didn't hang around long enough to make the proper identification. I realized in billionths of a second that I’d seen as much of the cab of that truck as I needed to see.

I left a pair of pliers in the cab of old blue, but I think I'll leave them there until maybe December when snakes hibernate.

I went to the hardware store and bought a fitting to fix my water leak so hopefully I won’t have to take out a pawn my truck to pay next months water bill.  

If anyone wants a great deal on an old Ford pickup, just let me know.


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