Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Leaving Well Enough Alone

I’m pouting.


Bottom lip poked out.

I really wanted to start framing tomorrow.  But Builder Gary says it is too wet.  He says the lumber truck will get stuck in the mud and we have to wait until Thursday.

I also wanted to celebrate the beginning of framing by  blowing out the well with dry ice.  You see many moons ago, in a lifetime far, far away, I was witness to a well blowing.

It was a mystical experience.

First of all the dowser who dowsed the well was a small man with Frankenstein boots.  And he was literally bipolar. He had at one time grabbed onto a high voltage power line and blown his toes off.  It must have polarized every cell into his body and turned him into a human magnet, because that man could flat out find water.  And downed airplanes.  He was a magician with a pair of dowsing rods.  He could even tell you how many gallons per minute you would get if he drilled right where he told you.

Problem was that once the well was drilled, it didn’t have the yield needed by the well owner or predicted by the dowser.  The dowser grumbled that the drilling rig had clogged up all the veins so that the well couldn’t produce.  That’s when someone came in with a magazine – Farm Journal or something like that – with an article about increasing your well flow with dry ice.

So, as outlined in the article, they took two sections of down spout, filled them with cut-to-fit bricks of dry ice, tied them together, weighted it, tied a rope on it to get it back out of the well and dropped the whole business down the well. 

For a while nothing happened.  In fact, I got bored and wandered up to the mouth of the well.  Then I heard a deep and disturbing rumbling that touched some primal place in me.  I didn’t know whether to run or sacrifice a goat.  Being thoroughly modern and somewhat of a city slicker, I ran. 

When I turned around, the well was overflowing.  As the column of water still in the well decreased in volume and weight, the height of the water coming out of the well increased until it was a fountain about 10 feet high.  Then without warning, the carbon dioxide gas in the well blew the water sky high along with rocks and mud and  bits of dry ice.  It was amazing.  A man made geyser. So much fun!

The theory was that the vacuum created by the escaping gas sucked out the clogged veins.  Theory or no theory it worked.  The well then produced the volume predicted by the dowser.  However, there was one part missing.

In the magazine article, the folks immediately dropped the pump back down in the well and got out the scotch.  After all, how many times do you have soda water in your well?  The folks whose well I witnessed being blown out didn’t do that part. 

I was ready to make amends for that.  I had the party all figured out.  Guest list, lawn chairs, plastic cups, scotch, man made geysers…

But Builder Gary and the folks who drilled the well said that it might mess up the casing.  In fact, it might mess up the water flow.  You know what they said.

“Leave well enough alone.”

Party poopers.

At least I have a bottle of scotch.

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