Monday, May 5, 2008

Oh, Oh SpaghettiOs®

Back in 1975 I bought an old dilapidated building on the north side of Chicago. It was built around 1915 and hadn't been upgraded much during the ensuing years. Among the problems it had were termites, pipes that froze solid in the winter, and uneven floors that rolled like waves across the ocean surface.

After a few months of home ownership, I discovered that my shower and sinks wouldn't drain properly. My brother came over and diagnosed the problem as a full 'catch basin'. A 'catch basin' is a large tank that is placed underground, in your drain line to the sewer. It's purpose is to catch all the crap that is flushed down the drain, that the city doesn't want in their sewer. Now the proper way to clean out this tank is to bring in a truck with a pump, and suck all the gunk out into their tank, which they then take away and out of your life.

What we did was to get two fifty five gallon drums, and with buckets, scoop out the slop, fill the drums, then roll them out to the alley for the garbage men to pick up. One interesting thing we found out is that the people who lived in this house before me ate large quantities of SpaghettiOs®. It wasn't just a few SpaghettiOs® floating on top of the slop, it seemed that the bulk of the waste in the catch basin consisted of SpaghettiOs®.

We proceeded to fill one drum with the slop/SpaghettiOs® and managed to get it out to the alley. It was when we were trying to wrestle the second drum, heavy with slop/SpaghettiOs® out to the alley that it all went wrong. As my brother and I pushed and pulled the drum towards the alley, one of us got out of sync. The slop sloshed against the side of the drum like a wave against the shore, and flew straight up and out at me. It happened so fast, I didn't have time to cover my face or even close my eyes. In seconds I was tasting the SpaghettiOs® of the previous residents. It was all over me, in my hair, on my clothes, in my face, and I stood there screaming in disgust, with slop and SpaghettiOs® dripping off me.

To this day, a can of SpaghettiOs® on the shelf at the supermarket can trigger my gag reflex. It could of course been much worse. At least it wasn't something that I liked. Imagine if that 'catch basin' was loaded with old shrimp, French fries, or steak, or even worse, little vodka bottles.


  1. I think I'm going to throw up now...excuse me.....

  2. Some how I have no problem picturing the two of you doing what you described. I'm sure that I have heard the shrieking and MANY swear words that flowed from your mouth, with or without the O's.

  3. I'm still waiting for the SpaghettiXs & SpaghettiOs to be mixed in the same can so kids can play tic-tac-toe during mealtime....or is that why they invented alphabet soup?

  4. Was I too technical?