In the afternoon of March 18, Bucky went out to collect kindling twigs. He carried the copper tub that Yo had given him to use by the wood stove. The weather was fine, a warm before spring teaser day.
Bucky knew even though the weather seemed to promise warm nights, spring was not really here yet. The Lovebunnies would need a lot more fires before the summer came. Now the ginormous snows of the Biggest Winter had melted, it was time to collect kindling. The kindling tub was almost empty, and such a fine day was the perfect opportunity to fill it again.
A few small branches had come down off the maple trees that were the main source of kindling. These two trees dropped many small branches in the side yard. The branches were always well cured and dry. They needed to be taken off the grass, so breaking them up for kindling was the perfect solution to two chores.
As he worked his way closer to the first of his kindling trees, Bucky saw an odd stick on the ground. Or was it a bit of something that had dropped or been knocked off Farmer Roger's tractor while he had been plowing snow?
On close inspection, the odd bit turned out to be a black plastic coated wire.
"Oh for God's sake," Bucky said to himself. Now he knew exactly what the wire was. It was part of Neighbor Mike's new underground phone cable. The part the installers had promised to push beneath the tree root over which the cable lay.
Neighbor Mike had told Bucky, way back in the fall, that the phone company had promised to replace Mike's cable.
"The static and noise are so bad," said Mike, "I can't hardly use the Internet."
"Sure," said Bucky. "That's why we got the satellite. I argued and cursed Verizon for years over how bad it was. I thought they replaced all the bad cable out on the street.?"
"Well, yeah," said Mike. "But now they say mine's bad, too." So during the freezing weather of January, a crew had used a ditch digging and cable pushing in machine to put new underground cable up the Lovebunnies' lane, and across their yard to the phone box. Bucky had discussed with them the most efficient route for the cable, and asked if it could, instead, be be run around the maple trees, rather than through their roots.
When the project was being done, Bucky saw that the installers had, contrary to his request, indeed run the cable through the tree roots. And not only that, but they had run the cable over a root and on to the box.
"OK," Bucky had asked. "How are you going to get that bit under the root, down into the ground?" He didn't add that would be a topological impossibility. He was trying to be polite.
"Oh," said the installer. "We'll push it under."
"You can't push it under," said Bucky. "It's got to go through the root. I guess you can cut that one." And what with the cold and carrying wood and then the Biggest Snows, Bucky had forgotten about the Wire Through Root Dilemma. Until he saw it still unresolved. Bucky called Mike and told him about it.
"And you know what?" said Bucky. "It never occurred to me until just now they had no intention of fixing that. Did they? They were just going to leave it hanging out there for me to mow around, or whatever. Because they were too lazy and cold to do it correctly."
"Yep," said Mike, "That's what they were thinking. Bunch of stupid hicks."
So as of March 20, 2010, Bucky has a nice new bit of phone cable just waiting to be mowed.
Verizon Cable Fail. Oh brother!