by Andrea Mulder-Slater "Having that pool skimmer in there really complicates things." The plumber was bewildered, and he hadn’t yet discovered the paint roller extension pole. It had been 24 hours since I noticed a puddle in the basement. The source of the leak was unwelcome, but repairable, according to my husband because a trickle from the sewage cleanout pipe was nothing a plunger couldn’t fix. The plan was to remove the cap, eliminate whatever obstacle might be impeding the flow to the septic tank, replace the lid and carry on. A gentle twist was all it took. From there, it was like watching a WWII submarine movie with saltwater gushing through breached pipes, drenching the actors struggling to shut valves with nothing more than wrenches and dangerously good looks.