Ecology & Economy

Technology fails, the ecology takes a hit, and my wallet gets lighter

When I got home the other night, I failed to notice that the pump in the fish pond wasn’t working. Hardly surprising, since I didn’t go out into the back yard.

Mrs B. however is much more observant. No sooner had she gone out to feed the fish when she noticed that the pump had stopped. Even though I’m “busy” with an urgent case of Freecell, she insists I look. Yes, I say, it looks as though the pump isn’t running.

After checking the pump filter and all the electrics, I reluctantly come to the conclusion that the problem is the pump. Since it’s almost dark, I assume that that’s enough yard work for one day and go back to Freecell. Mrs B. disappears in her new car.

Several hours later, she telephones to say she’s found somewhere that has pumps in stock and we have one of those conversations (you have to be married a long time to have one of ‘those’ conversations) about what size pump she should buy. She’s found one that’s too small (the Leaky Tap size), and one that’s too big (the Trafalgar Square Fountain size) … but she has found another store that has the one that’s the right size in stock.

Mrs B. returns and ‘persuades’ me to go with her to the hardware store. Since it’s almost 10 p.m., there’s not a lot of staff interest but eventually we find the perfect pump – maybe. After more discussion with uninterested staff, we find a better, bigger, pump for half the price. Success!! We have found a pump that only costs 30 times what it would have cost to replace the fish – and since goldfish aren’t exactly indigenous to Canada, we’ll probably get to replace the fish anyway (so who needs the pump?).

The next evening, the old pump has to come out. In the three years its been there the bullrushes have sent out roots so dense that we can’t get the old pump out without hacking the cr*p out of the bullrushes. Since it’s now almost dark, we survey the ecological wreck and agree – we’ll finish this on the weekend. I’m tired, she’s tired, wet, and dirty – but dammit, those fish are swimming around like there’s no tomorrow.

Final score:
Ecology – more or less even, not counting the gasoline burned;
Economy – minus $60, not counting the gasoline burned.

Published in 2003

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