Sunday, November 8, 2015

When it comes to installing rain barrels, I am all wet

I bought two rain barrels recently, so that I could snag me some of that sweet state rebate money. I bought them online, so I did not have a receipt, only a "thanks for your order" email, which is—let me stress this here—not a receipt.

I know this because when I mailed a copy of my email into the state, they replied, in words more polite than these but with the same gist, "We think you are trying to rip us off. We think the closest you have gotten to a rain barrel is seeing one being worn as clothes in a Yosemite Sam cartoon. Send us a receipt."

So I mailed them a copy of my credit card bill, photos of the barrel crates with my name on them in my back yard, and a letter written in a tone you used to see in colonial days, where they guy totally rips the other guy a new flintlock, but then signs it ever so politely, "your humble servant."

A week went by. Two weeks. Finally I got a terse email admitting I had probably bought rain barrels and would soon have the heck rebated out of me.

I even paid extra for two sets of downspout-to-barrel converters, not noticing, because of what these days I jokingly call my "attention to detail," that the converters were for rectangular downspouts. My downspouts are round.

I added the converters to the ceiling-high pile of similar mistakes in my garage which conveniently camouflage the Ark of the Covenant.

I was going to have to cut a hole directly into the side of my downspouts and insert a rubber rain collector piping the water to my barrels. As can be said of so many aspects of my life, I did not have the tools.

At the hardware store (where, on Halloween, it was full-on Christmas) I bought a hole dozer and, to attach it to my drill, an arbor. Got them home. Naturally, they did not fit my drill.

Truth. I had to buy an entirely new drill to water my roses. Finally, suitably armed, I showed those downspouts who was boss. I hooked up the barrels. Done.

I figure that after buying the drill stuff, the rain barrels, and the cinder blocks upon which to set them, even factoring in the rebate I still ended up in the red. But come next summer, my lawn will be sooo green.
. . .