…Over the Septic Tank

By Dave Fox

First and foremost, I would like to apologize to every single person I know. I am sorry for not returning any of your phone calls, e-mails, smoke signals, or carrier pigeon messages over the last month.

You know how you are always telling me I am too busy? Doing too much? Need to slow down? Finally, I agree.

Throughout March, I’ve had book deadlines, speaking engagements, proposals to write, and too many doctor appointments. I’ve had Saint Patrick’s Day to contend with, and a sad, sad final night at the Pig & Whistle, the pub down the street that has been my second living room for the last seven or eight years. The Pig closed its doors for good a couple of weeks ago. I had to fit in as much quality time there as I could before the final squeal.

So I’ve not been in touch with anyone. I have barely been blogging. I have also barely been sleeping.

Ahhh… but vacation looms. Finally, a real vacation — my first trip in years that has not been work-related to a totally foreign place.

“All I have to do,” I told myself yesterday, “is proofread my entire book manuscript, pack for both a writers’ conference and a kayaking trip through the Mekong Delta (fashion varies for these two activities; it’s tricky when you string them together), write a proposal for another conference,  proofread my book some more, go to some more doctor appointments, figure out which country I’m going to spend my last four days of vacation in and… EEK! I’m leaving in three days?!

I called my airline. I changed my flight to leave a day later for Dayton.

I’m headed to Dayton, Ohio, early Thursday morning for the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop. I’ll be there through Saturday. Sunday I fly from Dayton to Chicago to San Francisco to Hong Kong, where I will bask in 48 hours of excruciating jetlag and travel fatigue before heading south to Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In Vietnam, I will eat lots of food, cycle and kayak my way through the Mekong Delta, and hopefully take a nap at some point. The last four days of my trip are up in the air. I’ll either stay in Vietnam or head back to Hong Kong.

“Phew!” I was thinking to myself at 3:30 this morning, awake with insomnia. “I sure am glad I changed my flight to Dayton! This extra day of prep time is just what I needed for a slightly calmer departure.”

Eventually, I dozed off again.

My first thought when I opened my eyes at 6:30 was, “I should get out of bed and pack before the next version of my manuscript arrives from the publisher around lunch time.”

My second thought was, “What the hell is that sound?”

It was a peaceful sound, actually… the sound of bubbling water — kind of like a softly babbling brook — only the brook was babbling out of the drain in my bathroom sink, all over my floor, along with some sticky black goop. I called my upstairs neighbors and asked them not to shower. I called a plumber and asked him to rescue me. I called my girlfriend, simply to whine.

It’s been a long morning.

I’m hoping to blog more consistently starting in a few days when I hit the road. In the meantime, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a couple of things to contend with.

Published on Tuesday, April 1, 2008

One Response to “…Over the Septic Tank”

  1. April 3, 2008 at 5:49 AM

    Have a great vacation Dave! Hope your condo is not underwater when you come back.

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