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October 2019 Vol. 15 No. 3

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Tom Painting

Troubled Waters

The permanent residents warned me not to get Nut started as he was a bit of a talker. But when he pulled up in the Honey Dipper and hopped out I couldn’t help comment on its name. When he asked for mine, we were off. He quickly located the lid to the septic tank, having believed he had serviced this place years before. According to Nut, the family who lived here for several generations, “Got full up to here!”; put it up for sale and moved to Tallahassee. I learned that Nut had lived on this barrier island his whole life. His father, now deceased told him stories of how things changed after the state put the bridge in. “There weren’t no septic systems before then,” Nut proclaimed. He went on a tirade about government overreach, all the while the Honey Dipper sucking years of accumulated human waste out of the septic tank. Reaching bottom, Nut surveyed its cavernous inside and proclaimed it fit for another five years or so, depending on how full of shit I was. He figured not a whole lot since I took such an interest in his work.

tide pool
minnows cut off
from the world at large