Sewer, Gas, and Electric

In Matt Ruff’s Sewer, Gas & Electric, a giant man-eating shark haunts the sewers of New York, devouring and dismembering the heavily armed sewer patrols sent to find it. My own sewer pipe, 50s-era terra cotta, is infiltrated with tree roots that are slowly but surely destroying it. As much as we love our little house, it seems determined to devour—bloodily—every small financial cushion we are able to assemble.

And this morning the refrigerator, after a long and dreary night of rumbling, gasped its last freon-filled breath and finally came to rest. So with a freezer full of tamales rapidly defrosting, I set out to find a new fridge. I believe that shopping for major appliances officially places me in the “mature adult” category; it’s far less fun than searching for a new home entertainment center, and there are other things on which I would be happier to spend a significant amount of money. Still, it is satisfying to say, like any other responsible homeowning adult, “I’ll take that one” (the stainless-fronted, top-mount freezer model, if you must know).

Now, waiting for home delivery (free with rebate; rebates are a scam, but I’ll take it), perhaps I can get on with my day. Since yesterday’s midterms are graded, perhaps some work on the proposal, some catch-up reading, and some preparation for tomorrow’s discussion of The Social Transformation of American Medicine. Yes, perhaps all of those things.

But, like the homeowner, there will be no balancing of the checkbook. Not today.