Neighborhood Watch…

The recent hard freezes in New Orleans have lead to a lot of plumbing work for me. In case you have never had the occasion to know, I am a plumber by trade.

So today, we went to a housing development that suffered some freeze damage last week to make a repair to the water main that feeds the whole development.

As I pulled up, I was greeted by the local neighborhood watch.

I looked out my driver-side window and saw their inquisitive looks about how I was pulling my truck up onto the grass next to the area we would be working.

I shut the engine down, opened my door and stepped out.

“Good morning, Ladies.” I said, adjusting my sweatshirt down over my tshirt to shrug off the morning chill.

“What’chall doin over here?” asked, Lady Blue. I call her that because of her jacket she wore that had black patches with bright electric blue sleeves.

“Do you see where that water is bubbling up out of the ground?” I turned and pointed to the sandy area where there was a miniature “fresh water spring” gurgling up.

“Uh-huh” said Lady Blue, nodding her head and the little pink-ended hair ties in her hair.

“Well, we are going to dig it up and fix it.” I said.

“That why our water is slow?” She asked, referring to the low water pressure they had been experiencing as a result of the escaping pressure.

“Yes Ma’am” I answered.

“How ya’ll gonna dig it up?”

“With a big truck called a vacuum truck” I said

“It’s big?” She asked, looking down the road I had used to enter the complex.

“Yes Ma’am” I replied, “very big. but it won’t be here for a while. I’m here early”

“You the boss?” She asked

“No Ma’am. He’s back at the office.”

“Oh. Well you gonna tell them what to do?”

“I’ll keep things in order, yes Ma’am”


I nodded to Lady Blue and walked over to the area where we would be digging. I started taking down the barricades and caution tape. When I needed something from my truck I headed back over to where I left it.

Lady Blue and her entourage had taken up seats on the large, wide and very dirty bumper of my truck. One of them, let’s say Lady Pink (for obvious reasons), was looking through the rear window of the cargo area of their perch.

“What they got in there?” said Lady Blue

“I don’t know. It’s dark in there” said Lady Pink

As I approached I smiled at their curiosity.

Lady Blue keenly caught sight of me heading towards them.

“I don’t mind you Ladies visiting my truck.” I chucked, “But She works with me all day and she gets very dirty.” and I pointed to the pin that was holding my trailer ball on the bumper “…and she’s got some sharp edges. So please be careful and don’t get your school clothes too dirty.”

“We waitin for the bus.” said Lady Pink.

“Yes Ma’am” I laughed, “I thought so.”

“Your truck’s a girl?” interjected Lady Blue.

I grew up in a household with my Dad who was in the navy so yes…..all cars, trucks, trains, planes and especially ships and other water craft, are referred to as “She”

“Yes Ma’am” I responded, “She is.”

“What you use this truck for?” She asked

“Well, she carries me and my tools were I need to go to work.”

“Oh” nodding pink-ended hair ties

I retrieved my tool and headed back to the work area. Leaving the Ladies to their curiosity about my dirty and sharp-edged truck.

When I looked up from working a short while later… I noticed Lady Blue waving at me from across the street.

“We goin now. You gonna have the water back on when I get home. (it was not a question)”

“Yes, Ma’am” giving her a thumbs up with one very muddy hand.

“Ok good.” She answered and disappeared behind the side of the school bus.

And 1.5 hours after that we fixed the leak.

The water is restored, the hole is filled in, and I need shower and 2 tylenol.

*photo credit me.

About Eric

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