20 June 2016

Stinky Slinky Misadventures

Once we had determined to take the path we are now upon, and being that a Travel Trailer Recreational Vehicle is central to our plan, and further, given that none of us had any direct experience with these beasts except to see them in the wild as they traversed the Interstates, I determined that it would be wise to learn everything possible about their proper care and feeding as quickly as possible.  And The Internet provided.

The most amusing thing that I learned as I smartened myself up about all things RV, is that the large diameter flexible hose that is used to transfer the "Black Water" (poop! and anything else you put in your toilet) from your RV to an appropriate sewer receptacle entry point, is, in fact, generally referred to and known as the "stinky slinky".  Maybe it's the part of me that refused to grow up all the way, but something in me finds this nomenclature tirelessly amusing.  In use, one end attaches with a sturdy bayonet mount to the RV "out" port, and the other end, on ours anyway, has a 90 degree elbow on the other end that screws to an adapter that then screws into a variety of different sewer inputs.

 A brief aside.  Tonight while dining with friends, Dan the Fireman related a story about his neophyte Fireman Trainee days when one of their tasks was to "tame" a firehose that was whipping about under pressure.  This story jogged a memory...

No kidding, there I was, at another RV dump station.  I had done this several times by now and considered myself Fully Qualified for Duty.  Fully Qualified for Dootie as it turns out.  

This particular dump station lacked a tight fitting sewer connection for my stinky slinky, and just had a big square hole in the ground.  No problem, I thought, just line everything up and put the hose opening right there in the middle.  Good to go.  

Remember how I said ours has a 90 degree elbow? 

I was never a fireman, and my experience with hoses under pressure is pretty much limited to the green type used to water the garden.  So I completely failed to anticipate what happened next...what happens when you suddenly release 20 gallons of raw sewage through a 4 inch hose that is not secured at the end.  

Imagine a giant cobra standing up to look at you.  While vomiting 20 gallons of raw sewage.

It's embarrassing, because it was my own noobie fault.  Normally I keep such embarrassments on a need-to-know basis.  But I'm putting it out here in hopes that learning from my misadventure will save some other noobie from the same mistake.  Maybe some day I will regale grandchildren with the tale of how grandpa once tamed a sewage-spewing firehose.  In that version of the story, I think it will be someone else's hose and I just happened to be passing by.

Epilogue: Yes, I did in fact have to lay hands on the monster in its throes.  It was a split second decision made to save the surrounding ecosystem.  Not sure I'd make the same choice again.  Nature is resilient.

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