This whole week, except for today, I've been out on the road taking care of the service work at some of our pools. Pretty much right after Labor Day our workload increases dramatically as people want to start having their pools closed for the Winter.
You see, it gets really cold around here in the Winter, and except for the few stinking rich people that don't care about the gas costs associated with heating their pool year round, most people just shut everything down, cover up the pool, and wait til Spring to start all over again.
This is a pretty strenuous job because we need to drain about a foot and a half of water out of each pool, which means lugging a 100+ lb. trash pump from the truck. Also, we are dragging and pulling on the Winter covers, which weigh about 150 lbs. or more, plus the strain of pulling them taught onto their anchors. It's helping me get back into shape because I put on a few pounds there with the knee injury and overall laziness for the last few weeks, so I'm not complaining.
What I am complaining about is nature. Fucking nature. I don't know why, but I swear there are more mosquitos out now than there have been all year. There must be one that sits in my shorts pocket all day and comes out for a snack every few minutes, because right now, I must have about 30-40 bug bites on my calves and ankles.
Then, on Tuesday, I'm at this one pool in Clifton, VA, over by the equipment. I'm working on putting the filter back together when I feel this pain on my left shoulder. I look down to see the "Rafael Palmeiro" of flies sitting on my shoulder. This thing must have been about an inch and a half long and apparently when they get this big, they bite...hard enough that you can feel it THROUGH YOUR SHIRT!!! I rolled up my sleeve to see a red mark, which is now puffy with little bumps inside it. WTF???
Then yesterday, I'm up in Baltimore at this pool where their equipment is stored in this concrete pit in the middle of the woods. Before we head up there, some of the other guys are mentioning that a snake lives in the pit, which is very upsetting to me because I hate snakes and we will need to reach into an area where you really can't see to pull out the plug at the bottom of the filter to let the water drain out.
There's really only one way to handle this, and that's to kill. I haven't killed anything in a while, but I'm not opposed to it. I grab a shovel and we're off. Sure enough, we get to Baltimore and I'm working on the other pieces of equipment, but the time arrives when the plug must be pulled. I notice a plastic bag shoved in the corner of the pit that I'll have to nudge to get my arm under the filter, so I poke at it with my channel locks first...just to see.
FUCK! Out comes this black snake and heads right in my direction. I hop out of the pit and make the call. The call is, make my brother pull the plug. I tell him I'll keep watch out for the snake and if he makes a move back toward him, that I'll poke it with a stick, which I now have in hand. (It's about 200 yards to the truck to get the shovel...and he's the one at risk anyway, so the stick will do)
Luckily, the snake doesn't return and we get the job done, but this is way too much nature for this city boy in one week. Damned Nature.